I rented a car for nine days while I was in Florida and here I will review my Alamo car rental experience. I flew with British Airway on BA2167 which I searched for using Skyscanner – luckily my flight landed on time. After a swift passage through security I was out in about half an hour, ready to pick up my car.
I walked across the road to the car rental center. It was the Spring Break so the queue was massive. I had to wait about half an hour to see a representative. Net Flights offered zero excess at no extra cost so I booked with them. I used to rent with Argus Car Hire but they only offer the zero excess at an added cost. What’s more, I’ve discovered that Netflights is far cheaper and offers the same flexibility. This was the second time I rented with them, the first time I picked up a car from Boston – again Alamo.
Anyhow, the receptionist was very helpful and offered some driving advice in Florida. He even looked at upgrading my car at a small cost but they were sold out. So I stuck with my Hyundai Accent. It was a little nifty car, when I put the pedal down the car sped up pretty fast – no complaints. I once previously rented a Ford Mustang in Houston from Avis and another Mustang in California from Alamo plus a Jeep Cherokee in Vancouver from Hertz. Those were far bigger cars with various added extras but I still enjoyed driving this smaller car. Not to mention the fuel costs were also far lower. In Boston I rented a Nissan mid-range car from Alamo, that was also pretty good. I also made sure to rent full-to-full as I’ve got stung a couple of times in Spain renting full-to-empty unknowingly.
The Flapping Plastic
What I didn’t like is that as soon as I drove away I noticed there was something wrong with the front left wheel. The moment I drove faster than 40 miles the car started to make a weird clunking noise. I thought maybe some small rock was inside the tire and wondered if it would ever fall out.
Well it didn’t and I didn’t want to get on the freeway with that noise so pulled over to check. It turned out the plastic guard around the wheel came loose and it was flapping when the wind got stronger! So I had to turn around and swap the car. Luckily I had zero excess so they simply swapped my car but it added nearly an hour to my trip. I was on my way to the synagogue for the evening Purim service so I got there 15 minutes late because of this.
Lessons for Novices
- Always have zero excess insurance!
- Rent full-to-full
- Always walk around the car before driving off
- Check underneath the car too
- From now on I will also check the mudguards!
- Use Skyscanner to search for the best flight deals