2.7
75 reviews
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  • High: 5.0
National Car Rental

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National Car Rental
 
2.7

(based on 75 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (33)

41%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
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Most Liked Positive Review

 

Too High Expectations From Some Reviewers???

I rent from National almost every time I rent (which is about 4 or 5 times per year).  They always have newer cars with good selection, and their Emerald Club benefits are...Read complete review

I rent from National almost every time I rent (which is about 4 or 5 times per year).  They always have newer cars with good selection, and their Emerald Club benefits are much better than any other membership club (except maybe Hertz Gold, but I don't rent enough for that). 

My family and I have two priorities while traveling -- finding competitive prices and saving time instead of wasting it at a rental counter.  On most occasions, we are in our vehicle and on the road in 10 minutes or less, with little hassle and good service. 

Now, that is not to say that we haven't had issues in the past.  Once, a gate agent told us that an SUV we found on the Emerald Aisle was "not available for our reservation", and I had to agree to an up-charge before I could leave.  However, a quick call to the reservations department and an explanation resolved the issue.  Every company has new or bad employees, and it isn't fair to blame the company for one person's rude or inept behavior.  A common complaint seems to be about agent's trying to sell extras or upgrades.  All rental companies try to get you to take extras -- that's the nature of the business.  It is up to the buyer to know their rights before they step up to the counter.  For example, if asked to purchase an upgrade (which only seems to happen to me when they don't have any cars in my reserved class), my answer is always "No thank you, but you are welcome to upgrade me for free if you don't have my reserved car class available".  In most cases, if you demonstrate that you know the game, they will leave you alone and move on to the next guy.

Overall, National seems to have the best program going in the rental car business with the Emerald Club and Emerald Aisle program.  Hertz, Avis and Budget always seem higher, and Alamo, Dollar, Budget and Thrifty don't provide the service that National provides.   If you are looking, you can always find a way to join Emerald Club for free (several sites offer links to do so), and every 7 rentals earn you a free day. 

In my opinion, National offers the best mix of time savings, reliable vehicles and competitive pricing.  Just be sure that your expectations aren't too high and that you know the rules before you rent with anyone.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Rip-off!

I rented a one way rental.  When I got to the drop off location at my stated drop off time, the location was closed (an hour earlier than the website...Read complete review

I rented a one way rental.  When I got to the drop off location at my stated drop off time, the location was closed (an hour earlier than the website stated).  After calling National's customer service hotline, they gave me a 2nd drop off location that's suppose to be open.  Upon arrival, this location was also closed!  After calling National's customer service hotline again and the location from which I originally picked up the car, no one can provide any assistance other than to keep the car until the next day when someone is working at the drop off location!  The next day, going to the 2nd drop off location provided, they took the car.  However, they charged me for the extra day that I kept it, plus a $75 fee for not dropping it off at my originally stated location.  When I complained, they said that they are only responsible for collecting the fees.  I'll have to take up any charge discrepancies with the place I originally rented the car from.  Well, after 3 calls to the original rental location, I've received only the runaround and no resolution or refund of the charges!  I will never rent from them again and recommend to everyone to not do so either!

Reviewed by 75 customers

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1.0

Thanks for starting our vacation off on the wrong foot!!

By 

from PA

Comments about National Car Rental:

I would never recommend for anyone to rent from this company period. After flying 2000 miles I'm told our flight was,early so our car wasn't ready. The truth was our flight was late so our car should have been there. Had to wait an hour and they finally called and said the car was there. In filling out the paperwork I was told to initial that the car would not be driven on gravel roads. Hello this is Montana for gods sakes a third of their roads are gravel. Then told the car had to look exactly on the inside as it did when we took it. First off the windows were filthy on the inside we had to clean them. We travel alot and have never been told any these things. The lady at the desk acted like a drill sergeant!!!. When we returned the car and spoke about no gravel roads, that was when we were given an explanation about the rule. But because it wasn't explained when we got the car, we avoided restaurants, and other business with gravel parking lots. And was always thinking about this for 10 days of vacation. Then we called about a stone chip on the windshield, we were told it was our responsibility to get it fixed. NOT!!!! We have traveled a lot and the only 2 times we rented from National, there has been problems! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!

 
1.0

Look before you rent from National Car Rental

By 

from Philadelphia Airport and St Louis Airpt

Comments about National Car Rental:

I'm a contractor that travels 100%. My contract has an account with National Car rental in St Louis Airport and Philadelphia airport. Im an Executive Elite status.
Many times the cars in the Executive ailse are not clean. Founs cigs, crumbs, pictures, used tissues, etc....

They allow you to rent the car without looking at your reservation. Then charge you full prices when you reserve with a free rental or use a coupon.

Ive also rented car with gas not full and didnt notice until i was out of the lot. I know it my fault for not looking but everyone expect the car should be full. Especially in an Executive member.

I can go on but rent Avis. I had some issues with Avis but National experience was the worst. Good luck on your next rental.

  • Affiliation:
  • I received a sample
 
1.0

Absolute terrible service

By 

from Plano, TX

Comments about National Car Rental:

I am an Executive Elite Member with National, have been one for 18 years, and just experienced something that I wouldn't wish on my worst friend. I purchased the prepaid fuel option, and found out later that there was only half-a-tank of gas when I rented the car. After two calls of trying to get the fuel option payment removed from my account --including a conversation with a supervisor -- I gave up. YOU WIN NATIONAL. Thanks for treating your Executive Elite Members like they don't matter!!! Isn't the very idea of opening your doors is to keep your customers happy? Especially a very loyal customer?

 
2.0

Customer Service is lacking

By 

from Columbus, OH

Comments about National Car Rental:

I have been using National for many years now due to work requiring sole use of National. I had a National car die on me and the inconvenience of this instance is ongoing. I was told I would need to ride back with the tow truck driver to a service location to get another car....why wouldn't they send one? Luckily, the car died as I pulled into my hotel parking lot. However, I had a business dinner that evening. I was told and hour for the tow. The driver didn't come until after 3 hours later. By this time I was well into the middle of the business dinner. I was not leaving to ride with a 3rd party tow truck driver to who knows where. I told him to take the car. I was unable to get anyone from National to call me back about this incident and still have a charge for a full day+ everything else on my corporate card....$156. National has eliminated their e-mail account where you can send customer inquiries, and don't make it easy to get to an English speaking customer service rep to handle your situations. Also, generally speaking, depending on the location try and grab a car from their Emerald aisles, the pickings can be slim. I never seem to end up with the class of car I originally reserved.

  • Affiliation:
  • I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand
 
1.0

Worst rental experience evah!

By 

from Fort-de-France, Martinique

Comments about National Car Rental:

I recently made a car reservation online with National for a vacation in Martinique (international rental). When I arrived, I was told "no car", and "no reservation". I had a copy of the e-mail with my reservation, but they refused to look it up. I asked them to call National in the US and verify to which I was told - "They are unable to make international calls". So, I stepped outside the airport terminal to get a cell signal and called the international reservations/support number myself. They verified I had a reservation. And, get this, they can't make an international call to Martinique to talk to the office/agents there. They made a new reservation for me (2 days later), and assured me I would have a car. I arrived back at the airport 2 days later and guess what - NO CAR, NO RESERVATION in the system. Really???
I was able to speak with the local manager and he found me a car at another rental company, and drove me 1 hour to pick it up. The problem is when I returned to the airport at the end of my vacation, the National office was closed - and the other rental car company doesn't have a location at the airport. They refuse to refund my $650/euro deposit. I've been dealing with National customer service for over 6 weeks with no progress and no resolution. They have been horrendous. I do not recommend making an international reservation with National because if you have any issues they can not make an international call to help you out - you are on your own. Do not rent from them.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

LGA National Car Rental Manager Great!

By 

from LGA, NY, NY.

Comments about National Car Rental:

I arrived at National/Alamo car rental on Thanksgiving Day and as you can imagine it was quite busy. I only waited for a few moments and then the manager Joel Lieber was able to assist me. I have never checked a car out so quickly (& I even added insurance on the spot). He had all my paperwork streamlined and even walked me out to the lot to find a car. Everything that I asked for when I made my reservations was in the notes and Jeff made sure I got everything very timely and his customer service support was excellent. Its definitely worth renting there. When I came back, the woman who helped me got me out of there just as fast and it was the best experience I've had renting a car in awhile. Thank you very much for your service, National/Alamo did it right!!!

  • Affiliation:
  • I received a sample
 
1.0

Poor service

By 

from Livonia, MI

Comments about National Car Rental:

National car rental has lost their class. I have been an Emerald Club Executive member for many years and their service is poor. In Detroit you have to place a $500 deposit to rent a car if you live in the state. If you want to extend your rental you need to go through customer service, which puts you on hold and then you get disconnected. Also, you need to watch your free rentals because they disappear, even when not expired.
You will get a lot of people that are difficult to understand and really cannot solve a simple problem.

 
2.0

POOR service

By 

from milwaukee,wi

Comments about National Car Rental:

We rented a midsize car at Maui airport a couple weeks ago. Piece of brown material Sabaru with 20K miles.
Dirty, bad brakes, radio didn`t work for first 2 days....poor A/C and little room for 3 adults.
They would not consider letting me chose another car in that vehicle class. RENT from anyone else!

 
5.0

Deserves a 10 Plus!

By 

from USA

Comments about National Car Rental:

OK, this car rental company deserves 10 stars! We rent cars every 2-3 weeks at the Ontario airport and switched to National (Emerald ) from Dollar about a year ago . What a difference in the condition of the cars, the attendants and the efficiency! I'm compelled to write this ESPECIALLY due to one outstanding employee named
Ron C. This employee took National from 5 stars to a 10 Plus!! Not only was he helpful and pleasant even in the rain, but after turning our car in, I went into the rental terminal and tried to buy a hot chocolate from the vending machine. Somehow, my credit card wasn't working. Mr Ron C. saw me struggling, and after I gave up, he placed four quarters in the machine for me and said "here, your hot chocolate is on the house" . Oh my God... since when has an attendant used his own money to promote a huge corporation? I hope National realizes that employees like Mr Ron C. make them successful!

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1.0

Mandatory Insurance on Rentals (Lexington KY airport)

By 

from USA

Comments about National Car Rental:

Be verrrrry wary of National Rental Car at the LEX airport. Unlike anyone else industry-wide, their default setting for renting is with LDW. If you don't know what that means, you'll find out when you pay an additional *50% PER DAY* on your car: it's insurance. With National you have to specifically decline insurance in order for it not to be added. This even happened with a Hotwire reservation! If you don't have any issue with this, you're good. If you do have an issue, be prepared to speak to the rudest, most combative people you've ever dealt with and for nothing to be resolved. Also know that those people won't actually work at the specific rental place- no one at the Lexington office can be reached or returns calls.

Customer Service
The worst customer service. If by miracle you speak to someone, they will apologetically and patronizingly tell you they aren't interested in helping you. Otherwise it's a lot of unanswered voicemails and promises to call you right back.

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