We have a car. It’s not a very good car, it turns out it was a car that was once submerged in a flood (I didn’t know that when we bought it from a family member). As a result of it’s “not goodness,” I don’t much trust it. It does the job for local runs and the occasional drive into DC, but I’m not comfortable taking it more than 40 miles or so from home. It just seems like a bad idea.
Recommend this product?
Every once in a while, we get a wild hair and decide to head up to Philly or down to Virginia Beach. When we do, we rent a car. We used to be dedicated Hertz people, mostly because of the AAA discount. Since we ditched our AAA last year, there really isn’t a price advantage anymore. In fact, Hertz comes out a bit pricier than Enterprise in these parts. Plus, Enterprise is closer to our home AND picks us up.
Our first experience with Enterprise was for a quick, two-day jaunt to Virginia Beach for an air show in September of 2011. The car was a Nissan Sentra, which was clean, drove very nicely, and they picked us up and dropped us off again when we turned the car in. The staff was polite, friendly, and professional,.
Our second rental with Enterprise (in October of 2011) was actually on my husband’s employer’s dime. See, he had a meeting/conference he had to attend in West Virginia, and his employer was providing the rental car. This was in September of 2011, and the car was a Dodge Charger. Again, friendly staff arrived to pick us up exactly when they said they would. The car ran well, was clean, and presented no mechanical problems.
Our third rental was a tiny little thing—a Nissan Versa. We went that small because we wanted that cheap—we paid $66.00 for three days. Of course, the rates vary with location and date of rental, but $66.00 was definitely in our range. The car was, once again, clean and ran well, though it was a bit gutless on hills—not surprising with that small a car. Again, we were picked up on time, and the staff was friendly and professional.
Now, we actually video cars when we pick them up. Since we can’t afford any nasty surprises, we make sure there are none by thoroughly documenting any dings, dents, scratches, or other problems, inside and out. We video BEFORE we take possession of the car, with an Enterprise employee present. I’m not saying that we think Enterprise, in particular, will rip us off otherwise. No, I’m saying that such a thing is always a danger with any car rental company, and we refuse to run the risk. We’ve never had any surprise charges from Enterprise (or Hertz, for that matter)—no insurance riders we’d opted out of, no false accident or damage claims. We’ve always gotten our little 100 dollar ding on the credit card refunded with no problems. That said, we have also always vacuumed and otherwise cleaned out the car before returning it. We are especially careful to get out any pet hairs we might leave, as I’ve heard Enterprise can tack on a cleaning fee for pet hairs.
Speaking of pets, Enterprise does allow pets in their cars. I had a bear of a time finding that information on Enterprise's site, but I finally did find the page that states domesticated pets are allowed. It is, however, made quite clear that pet hair, soilage, etc. will result in cleaning fees. We kept Charlie in his car-carrier with a blanket folded beneath to keep things clean in case of emergency/pet accident.
We have dealt with Enterprise’s staff both in person and on the phone (as well as making reservations online). We’ve yet to have a glitch or problem (though we’ve also never gotten a free upgrade, something Hertz threw our way more than once). Understand, our experience is limited to a single location near Washington DC, and may not be representative of every location. With that in mind, we are certainly willing to give other locations a try, provided the rates at those other locations are better than Hertz’s.
And that’s that. Our experiences with Enterprise have been good. We’ve been smacked with no hidden charges or surprise fees, the cars we’ve rented have been in good shape and well maintained, and the staff has been friendly and helpful. Next time we rent a car, I’m sure we’ll call Enterprise.
One small caveat, which knocks Enterprise down from five to four stars? They are brutal and unforgiving on the time of rental return. While we haven't been hit with this (we've always had the car back a little early), their site details very steep hourly rates for each hour a car is late coming back. Being a little over an hour late with an economy/sub-compact can deliver a thirty dollar smack. Imagine if you missed a ferry on your way back and wound up five hours late? So be careful--get that car back on time.
Read more product reviews on Enterprise
Write a Review