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Why I Like Alamo Better Than Other Rental Cars

I hear a lot of love for Avis, Silvercar and National.  But despite my status with National, Alamo is actually my favorite rental car company.  And here’s why.

1. They tend to have cheaper rates than most of the big players.

Advantage might have better rates than Alamo, but for the most part, Alamo has better rates than most of the big players–Avis, National, Enterprise.

It comes up regularly on the rates as much less than the others–sometimes half-price.

I think this has something to do with all its self-service options.  But I see them as benefits, not negatives.

2. You can choose your car off the lot

Alamo is pretty strict about the class of car you book into.  But once you do, you can choose any car you want off the lot.  I’m sure this helps them save money, but it’s also a benefit.  I tend to choose a Hyundai like the car we own, so I’m already used to driving it.

car hyundai

3. You can check in on the kiosk

Rental car companies = long lines.  And I have status with National, but I can’t justify the cost of their rentals to skip the lines.

But Alamo has check in kiosks and they usually have no lines.  In fact, I’ve walked up to an Alamo counter before with really long lines but zero people waiting on line for their 3 check-in kiosks.

The added benefit to that is you don’t have to listen to someone up-selling you.

4. Gas prices are so much cheaper

I don’t worry about bringing a car back to Alamo with not enough gas in it.  There’s no significant up-charge to it.

I tried calling around to multiple car rental agencies but most wouldn’t give me a quote on gas without a rental.

The Avis places that would give me a quote admitted there is a fee for refueling (without telling me the fee), and that the rate would be a little less than $10 a gallon.

The Alamo places that answered said they though the gas prices were a little more than 5% more than the going gas rate.  I’ve found them to be a little more than that, but not significantly so.  To the point where I don’t go out of my way to refuel when returning to Alamo.

One time, they waived my entire gas refuel fee because I kept the car clean during a snow storm.  (I stored it indoors).

 

I also found their customer service is really easy to work with, but I can’t compare that with other companies because I rent with Alamo much more often.

But my tl/dr is that it’s usually on the cheaper end, has low refuel rates, and has low waiting times in airports.  Not bad at all!

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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4 comments

  1. I also really love Alamo – they are my go-to rental company when all else is equal (unless my husband is driving – he’s a National guy). Customer service at both Alamo/National (same parent company) is great…also had good experiences with Avis & Sixt and bad experiences with pretty much everyone else.

  2. What if I leave my car at the terminal with the blinkers flashing? Any charges for that? (late for my flight)

  3. …and here is where we disagree, Jeanne:

    “As for me, I have avoided using Alamo Rent a Car for many years since they reneged on the terms of a deal I contracted with them; and they would not relent. It appears as though I have not really missed anything…”

    http://www.flyertalk.com/the-gate/blog/29010-alamo-drops-free-additional-driver-cuts-member-discount-in-half.html

  4. I always thought I was the only one to recognise all this because I never saw anything like this mentioned before. You are right on the mark.

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