Pros / You can transfer rewards points to family and friends.
Cons / Daily rental costs are high.
Verdict / Hertz has numerous locations and one of the best rewards programs, but it’s one of the more expensive rental services.
A good rewards program can benefit even the most infrequent car renter. We compared the rewards programs in the industry and determined that Hertz has the best. The Hertz Gold Plus program lets you earn points for each dollar you spend on approved car rentals. You also earn points on other optional services like fuel purchases, car seats, Sirius radio and GPS.
While other rental companies have blackout dates or restrict certain car classes, Hertz puts few restrictions on how and when you can redeem the points. Once you get 550 points, you can redeem them for a free day’s rental. This is more than Enterprise requires but less than Avis.
Gold Plus is free to join, so even if you only rent sporadically, you get benefits. With the rewards program you have access to the Gold counter, so you can skip the regular line and get your car just by showing your license. Hertz also has expedited return. Gold members can return cars, fill out a slip and get a receipt emailed to them. Those who use the Hertz Gold app are eligible for free upgrades. No fees for additional drivers is a benefit unique to the Hertz rewards program.
If you’re not a member of the Gold Plus program and want to add another driver to your rental, Hertz charges a daily fee of around $14. This is the highest additional driver fee of all the services we reviewed.
Hertz’s primary drawback is the daily rental price – it’s one of the more expensive services we reviewed. To get an idea how much a rental costs, we got quotes for a one-day and one-week rental in New York City, Los Angeles and Houston for a compact, economy and full-size car. After averaging the prices together, we found that a one-day rental from Hertz was about 6 percent more expensive than the average rental service. However, its weekly rates were often among the lowest, beating the average by as much as 24 percent. So, if you’re making longer trips, Hertz is a good option.
Hertz is one of the largest rental companies, with more than 3,700 locations in the U.S. and rental offices in 150 countries. One advantage of such a large company is the option to rent away from airports. Airport rental locations are highly convenient, but they charge concession fees that add as much as 10 percent to your rental cost. Car rentals are taxed by state and city governments, so take advantage of any opportunity to avoid another fee.
If you book in advance from a non-airport location, Hertz sends a car to pick you up and bring you to the office to finalize the rental. This is a great time-saver that will spare you the logistical hassle of arranging transportation to the office.
Another advantage of choosing a larger rental company is avoiding the risk of low inventory. With some smaller companies we found that if we booked closer to the rental date, cars were sold out or we had fewer options, but Hertz was always well stocked.