- Avis ‘Preferred’: get one free rental day after 15 rental days, for any car class up to a full size;
- Enterprise ‘Plus’: earn one point for each $ spent, with rental days starting at 400 points;
- Europcar ‘Privilege’: earn one free rental day after 3 rentals made on ‘qualifying rates’;
- Hertz ‘Gold Plus’: earn one point for each $ spent, with rental days starting at 500 points;
Avis and Hertz have most well reviewed programs, partly because of the benefits at each tier as well as the earn & burn rates offered. As expected the ‘qualifying rates’ that enable Europcar redemptions are often much more expensive than you would ordinarily see during sales, third party sites etc.
How do I earn points / rental days?
With the exception of a few very niche exceptions, the only way to earn points in the above schemes is by renting with them.
What other benefits do you get?
There’s a few notable benefits beyond the ability to earn points and redeem for free rentals:
- Saving your rental preferences means no ‘hard sell’ at the airport, and consequently a smoother and quicker rental experience.
- Preferred lines exist at most airports for members of the car hires loyalty program (though are often restricted to a certain ‘tier’).
- Once you reach the higher tiers, you often earn more points for each $ spent, have the option for upgrades to better cars and have ‘grace’ periods if you’re late back to the rental office.
What’s the best approach?
For years I did what most people did for car hire, and simply put in the dates to a series of third party car hire sites and went for the cheapest car that suited my needs. This would mean that even if Hertz was £1 cheaper than Avis, I would go with Hertz! More recently I have been more tactical about (a) ensuring I book direct if I can get the same price, as it guarantees you get the points and (b) prioritising rentals into a couple of operators (namely Hertz and Avis). It means that every other rental I may end up paying an extra £1 or £2, but overall it gives me enough points to redeem for free rental days which more than offset that cost difference. Clearly if there’s a significant cost difference between your preferred providers and others, it’s not worth pointing spend towards your preferred car hire companies.
As ever, any questions just get in touch.