Hertz vs. Enterprise - A Review of Rental Car Companies

In the last two months I have rented a car three times - once for a business trip and twice for family visits. The first two times I rented from Enterprise in Christiansburg and overall the experience was acceptable.

Enterprise - The Pros

The cars are delivered in immaculate condition. They wash them on the spot before they give it to you and clean the inside - it’s like you are driving a brand new car off the lot. The employees at the Christiansburg office are friendly and competent.

Enterprise - The Cons

While having the car washed and cleaned is great, it takes forever to get the car for which you made a reservation. Both times I rented it took at least 25 minutes from the time I spoke with someone to the time I got to drive away. That’s entirely too long. I made a reservation so please have the car ready.

Also, there is only unlimited mileage in a few neighboring states and if you travel outside of that territory, they charge a ridiculous 44 cents per mile after a “free” 150 miles a day. Lastly, they are a bit overpriced and if you order online, be careful because I ordered an intermediate and at the store, they gave me a economy - turns out, they consider them the same thing, so you have to be specific about the type and size of car you want.

For what it’s worth, I drove a Saturn and a Ford. The Saturn was incredible! The Ford … not so much. No power windows and no cruise control, which was a pretty big deal considering I was driving seven hours to Tennessee. No rental car should come without cruise control.

Hertz - The Pros

The service was very fast when I arrived to pick up the car. I drove a Mazda 6 and it was a pretty nice ride that included a six-disk CD changers - very handy for a 14-hour drive.

The price was extremely affordable - $187 for the week and unlimited mileage to anywhere. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes.

When I returned the car, they were a little short-handed (someone called in sick) so it took about 15 minutes to actually meet with the only rep in the Salem office, but once she got to me, the check-in process went quickly. The car didn’t have any windshield wiper fluid and when I pointed this out, she apologized and knocked off $25. I had the car for eight days and paid $165. I rented from Enterprise for three days and it cost $140.

Hertz - The Cons

The car was relatively clean, but there was a stale smell inside, but nothing obscene or foul. As I mentioned above, there was no windshield wipe fluid in the car, but it saved me $25, so it was worth it. I could have bought some and put it in myself, but it was the principal of the matter I suppose.

Summary

Overall, I will definitely choose Hertz over Enterprise even if it means driving an extra 40 minutes out of my way to Salem. The service was good, the car drove like a dream and you can’t beat the price.

If you decide to rent from Hertz in Salem, give Heather Nilsson, Location Manager, a call at (540) 387-0539, or e-mail her at hnilsson@hertz.com.