I saw this article on the USA Today website where Hertz is planning to purchase Dollar /Thrifty if approved by the Federal Trade Commission. While Hertz is my preferred car rental company I am a little disappointed by the news. I have found in quite a few markets that Hertz is a bit higher than the competition and I usually then go to Thrifty which usually has much lower rental prices and a free frequent customer program (Blue Chip) which is similar to the benefits of Hertz's Gold Member program. I'm afraid that if Thrifty is purchased by Hertz then their rates may increase.
Your concern is the same here with me. I too use Hertz and hope their rates don't have an impactful rise with this merger since they will now become the leading renter at airport locations. I now find that renting in Neighborhood locales is much cheaper then the airport rates (because of all the gov't fees and other fees they have added over the past few years).
As an aside, I always try the Marriott, AAA and airline discount codes when booking with Hertz. I find it makes a big difference.
Tef, I agree. Car rental rates are ridiculous at most airports. We try to rent at other locations if at all possible. Sometimes you can return the car at the airport and the charge is the same as returning it to the neighborhood location. I have enjoyed using the Hertz vouchers that I got with gift card purchases earlier this year. Right now, the offer is for a third day free if you buy a Marriott gift card.
I have been getting some really good rates through hotwire.com though they are not available every week.
For my MI trips I was able to get a car for ~$13-15/day on the weekend.
The only time I have experience excessively high rates is Xmas weekend, and I had to rent offsite. Interestingly enough Enterprise does let you rent offsite and return to the airport. Probably works out good for them to have more cars at the airport where they charge more and they don't have to pay staff to deliver them.
Not sure which is worse, the consolidation of car rental companies, or our company travel rates that focus all our business through one rental car company regardless of price.
I wonder if corporate contracts have influenced these mergers?
That plus the bad economy where everyone is encouraged to video teleconfernce over travel.