Welcome! Log in or Register

Alamo Rent-A-Car

  • image
16 Reviews
  • Short line
  • Terrible Customer Service
  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    16 Reviews
    Sort by:
    • More +
      03.07.2014 15:14
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Not recommended, to much hassle and no communication

      I have mixed views on Alamo.We are from the UK and hired a car in San Francisco to travel down the west coast of California to LA. The good points were that the car was in good condition, clean and made our journey enjoyable. These were far outweighed by bad points though. We were due to collect our car from their depot at 12.00, we arrived minuted before and joined a queue. The queue did not seem huge but for some reason it never moved! I went to investigate and found the office was very small and was not just home to Alamo but also another car hire company. So we were all trying to queue to get inside what seemed to be a very small space. We must have queued for 90+ minutes before we even got anywhere near to seeing anyone! We had already got what we needed ready to receive the car so when we actually got to the desk we were in and out of the office fast. We were not actually told where to go or what to do after that though, all the people that were before us were also lost and wandering around. Roughly 15 minutes after actually signing for the car etc and wandering around aimlessly a lady came and took us all down to an underground car park. She did not, however, direct us to anywhere or anyone just left us to stand around! Which we did for maybe another 45 minutes. Nobody knew what they were doing, or who was hiring which car. There was no staff around to conduct operations or direct customers. I would highly recommend using another hire car provider if you do not want disruptions on your holiday

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      29.06.2014 04:57
      Not Helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      • "Terrible Customer Service "
      • "Terrible Service"
      • " long wait"
      • "Short line"

      Don't use Alamo/Europcar from CDG

      I rented a car from Alamo at CDG in France. I was the worst experience ever. If I had not prepaid I would have gone to any other company. With only 6 people in front of me (then 1 left) I waited 1 1/2 hours to get a car. The service was terrible the one guy had no clue what he was doing and with waits as long as they were they left him there alone to help people for over 1/2 hour. They also give you know instructions on returning the car. You are just to take keys back to the counter you waited at forever to get the car. I called customer service when I returned to the states only to be told they couldn''t help me and I had to call France. NEVER AGAIN.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      07.11.2013 08:39

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      So not use these guys they will try and rob you!!

      This is a warning, for the sake of your pocket please do not use this company. They will try and find ways to charge you, they will take advantage of your good nature or inexperience when renting a car and they do not care.

      I returned my vehicle with no additional damage 6 week later received a bill for £600 yes that's right £600! Of course all of us have that spare in our back pockets. Well your thinking he must have damaged the car, maybe an accident? Maybe he dented or scratched it? No, a mark on the inside of the boot that was already there that would disappear with polish and another that frankly you can't even see. £600

      My company organised the rental so maybe they think they are fleecing the company for this money however it has been passed on to me so I am passing this knowledge in to you. Tell your friends. Do not rent from Alamo.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      20.06.2012 22:01
      Not Helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Overall Best Performance

      Presently i am happy with these services. But a main thing is that study your lease contract and take a look at the rates if you will lease the car for two, three or four years. A good rule to apply is that the shorter the period, the better the rates. Also, if you will lease the car for more than two years, the vehicle might be susceptible to engine problems which you would want to avoid. This is harder to predict since there is no factory-set sticker price on used cars, and the residual percentage is very much pegged to a subjective current retail value.

      Alamo-rent-car can also be beneficial because you will not be limited to companies that are just in your immediate area. Alamo-rent-car and http://www.leasingacar.biz/ usually have information regarding leasing companies outside the surrounding area. This could prove very useful when looking for a lease as you may be able to find a better deal with a company that is not in your local area.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      10.10.2011 16:25
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Good service on a key factor for our driving holiday.

      We booked a car through Alamo as part of a package provided by Trailfinders for our trip to the west coast of the USA.

      The initial arrangement was made by Trailfinders themselves so I couldn't comment on this, and seemed to have unwittingly dodged a bullet after reading some of the other reviews online.
      When we arrived at the Alamo car depot in central LA (Airport blvd) we had to wait in line for about an hour. Maybe we were unlucky with the timing but there didn't seem to be enough operatives for customers. This was about 9am local time on a Saturday, although as the depot is near the LA Hilton there is probably lots of tourists renting.

      Eventually we spoke to a very nice man called Bob who successfully upsold us a satnav and an upgrade on our car. We ended up paying nearly double what we agreed with Trailfinders but both upgrades paid for themselves, especially the satnav. Bob took my credit card details but no deposit or anything was deducted, it was in case we had an accident we weren't covered for. He also explained how our insurance worked and even gave us a few pointers about our journey, recommending places he'd stayed at along the coast.

      We were told to pick a car from the lot and we chose the Toyota Camry (brilliant car) and drove it away. Apart from the hour in the queue it took us about twenty minutes until we could drive out.

      The car itself was in excellent condition with the bodywork looking like new and the interior also valeted and smelling like a new car. It was missing the manual though and I would have liked to have checked the tire pressure and familiarise myself with the engine for regular oil, coolant and steering/brake fluid checks during our drive. Without a reference for all this I was a bit blind and nervous, but it was all right.

      The car successfully got us several thousand miles around California and Nevada, even surviving Death Valley although a warning light did come on. I think this was engine overheating and the coolant evaporating which is acceptable considering it's the hottest place on the planet.

      Returning the car was similarly efficient. You just park up, give the keys to an attendant and remove your bags. There is a regular free shuttle to LAX airport you can get on in the depot itself.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        02.02.2010 20:44
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Alamo are not to be trusted under any circumstances

        never hire a car from Alamo, we went to Florida on a fly drive, when we got to the alamo desk their employee told me they didnt have the vehicle we ordered with fuel, so we would have to take the next size up, this lie from their employee cost us an additional $2779.77. when i rang to complain when i got my credit card bill their costomer relations person told me the employee couldnt have told me that because all their hire cars come with a full tank of fuel, if that had of been the case we wouldnt have needed to upgrade so be very careful, they will tell you anything to get you to upgrade then charge you an extorsanate amout, their employee behind the desk told us bare faced lies so this company is not to be trusted under any circumstances, please be warned and take your business to another car hire company

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          27.02.2009 17:42
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          2 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          Terrible. They illegally took money from me. AVOID

          Avoid this company

          I rented a Vauxhall Astra from Alamo in the North West for 3 days. For a car that had done just over 2000 miles, it was in a terrible state. There were scuffs and scratches all over the place. But I thought that as long as I had a signature stating the damage was already there, I would be protected. They asked me to pay a £70 fuel deposit, returnable if the car came back with a full tank.

          I brought the car back at the end of the rental period and was served by a different employee. The lady took the keys and went outside to check the car, then came back in and gave me the 'all clear'. She handed me the receipt telling me that no charges would be taken from my credit card, and told me the fuel charge had been refunded.

          A few days later, I checked my online credit card statement and found that Alamo had taken over £200 from my card - without my consent! Obviously not pleased about this, I called them up. They told me that 'someone had made a mistake. It looks like you may have been charged for some damage' and that I should call back with the rental number so that it could be sorted out. I sincerely hope they give me my money back.

          Feeling they may have broken the law, I called my bank, who confirmed that Alamo had indeed broken the law by deducting money from my account without my consent. Obviously if the woman had asked me about the damage at the time, I would have disputed her claims, and had proof the damage was pre-existing. This could all have been sorted out there and then. But she waited until I was gone, used my credit card and stole money from me. I am very displeased with the way I have been treated.

          It also makes me wonder - do they ever even fix the damage their vehicles sustain? They tried to rent that car to me with 3 seperate unlisted items they just referred to as 'new damage'. Luckily, I got them to record these items on the sheet before I took the keys from them. But it makes you wonder how many people trust a large company like this to record damage properly and just take the keys without checking the car. Without proof they can then be charged for anything they didn't sign off against, whether they did it or not - a nice little money spinner for Alamo.

          Avoid this company at all costs - don't be attracted by their cheap prices

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            06.01.2009 15:19

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Its one of the worst company I have come across with.They take the deposit immediately and take months to return it back eventhough there is nothing worng. If some thing happened to the car, you may have to wait for life time and spend money on 0845 numbers ect. its a big hassle.they are not really bothered about these reviews. as they think they are the market leaders.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            15.04.2008 21:25

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Must be better companioes out there

            Because we inadvertently booked on their US site, when collecting the car we had to pay an unreassonable high insurance. However, my main issue with this company is that they have not replied to 4 emails outlining my complaint. While they may not be prepared to accept the complaint as valid, it is unacceptable to ignore it.

            Their Customer Services staff are helpful on the phone and promise to sort it out immediately. But, of course, nothing happens.
            The car itself was fine but I find it very hard to understand how any company can simply ignore a compliant whatever they think of it's merits.
            I find it impossible to recommend Alamo even though they appear to often be a little cheaper than the competition. Once they have your maney they do not appear to be in the least interested in customer service.

            I shall not be using them again

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            03.09.2007 22:31
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            7 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Staff were great but company not so hot

            ***Background***

            Our honeymoon adventure could only be done if we had a reliable car to drive round a total of four different States in the USA. Luckily our travel agent was able to arrange all this for us and suggested that we go with a company called Alamo. I had vaguely heard of them but since I have never had to hire a car before, I was a bit in the dark so advice was gratefully accepted.

            We reckoned that we would only need a compact car, since there was only the two of us and that this would be sufficient for our luggage requirements too. We were told it would be a comfortable car with all the basics that you get over there such as full air conditioning, CD player and automatic transmission.

            ***The Company***

            Alamo do have a website, where you can book directly from, so I did have a wee look before we went to see what they offer. I found out that they do car hire in countries all over the world with various pick up/drop off points in major cities, including central locations and airports.

            They have a wide range of cars available, which differs depending on which country you are in at the time. There are also different packages available but it was recommended that we sign up for the gold package, which means that we could both drive the car fully insured and covered for any legal expenses that occurred for any accidents. It also meant that we got a free tank of petrol too although as we found out, gas is somewhat cheaper over in the USA and a gallon will only cost you around £1.50 at the moment as opposed to spending around 94p per litre. Quite a saving when you think there are four and a half litres in a gallon.

            The only thing that costs extra is the optional roadside service, which we took out when we arrived at our pick up point in San Francisco. This cost us the equivalent of roughly £2.50 a day for 13 days hire but it was worth it for the peace of mind if anything should go wrong.

            We arranged to drop off our car at Los Angeles International Airport at 3pm as our flight was at 6pm from that location.

            ***The Pick Up Point***

            We have never been to San Francisco before and we weren’t aware that there were three central pick up points available. Staying in Union Square, we were directed to the one allocated for that area, which was on Bush Street. Now on the map it looks like a gentle stroll a couple of blocks away from the square but in reality, those couple of blocks are up very steep hills and even with the wheels on our luggage we found it hard going and had to stop a couple of times on the way up.

            Finally we found the place and were stunned to see quite a long queue winding it’s way out of the office doors that they shared with National Car Hire. The office was situated in a valet car parking facility and was dark and fume filled as cars made there way up and down the ramps. It also felt quite cold in the area too and we were glad to have jackets handy after the warm morning temperatures which were already hitting the low 80s.

            Realising that we were not going to go anywhere for quite some time, we discussed our journey and talked about what we hoped to see as we headed through Yosemite and on to Mammoth Lakes. Two hours later we were still waiting and we couldn’t figure out what was taking so long. By this time we were starting to get a bit peckish and we were pleased we had thought to buy some drinks.

            Finally we reached the front of the queue, exhausted by standing so long, as there were no seats available for waiting. We immediately asked why it had taken so long when we were supposed to have a car at 10am, only to be told that this happened all the time. They apologised and I have to say the man on the desk was working extremely hard but the problem was quite simply, that most people drop off cars at the airport and it takes quite some time to get them back into town and cleaned before they can be hired out again. Most people were picking up 4 x 4s and it was another 20 minutes before we were finally told that they had a car waiting for us downstairs.

            We were starting to worry a little bit, as we knew we had a long drive ahead of us so we went gratefully underground to the parking area for the hire cars. Ours was just being washed and polished and it wasn’t long before we were handed the keys.

            At last, we could start our journey on the open roads, or so we thought. We weren’t shown how to operate any of the functions in the car and with it being an automatic, my bloke started to check it all out. Everything seemed fine until he looked for the lever to pull his seat forward like I had done when I jumped in the passenger side. When he couldn’t find a lever, he asked how it worked and was grumpily told that there was a button, as it was electronic. Despite pressing the button, nothing happened and there was no way that he could drive it safely with the position it was in.

            After much deliberation between staff members, they didn’t seem to have any back up plans, we were told that another compact was due in soon. After another half hour I lost it a little bit and said that it wasn’t good enough and that if they didn’t hurry up and get us a car within the next ten minutes, we were going to demand compensation. At the threat of this they immediately got on the phone and told us that there was a car available at another site in the city.

            This was a relief especially after saying that they would drive us over there too. After all we had been standing waiting for nearly 3 hours by this time and we knew our destination of Mammoth Lakes would not be reached. The only good thing was that we had not booked our accommodation ahead of time so didn’t lose any money there.

            The other office we were taken to was on Folsom & 3rd Streets. We were directed into a comfortable office and asked to sit down. This office was much nicer and we noticed straight away that we were the only people there. We were informed that as there had been such delays and because we were on our honeymoon, they would give us an upgrade to a full size car, which had more features and would be more comfortable for us.

            The staff in this office explained that all the travel companies sent their clients to the office in Bush Street for 10am and it was always chaotic there. They said that the offices on both Folsom and O’Farrell Street were always quieter and they had more cars available because of this.

            It seems really stupid to me that the company does not let the travel agencies know of this, especially when the other offices were both within easy walking distances of Union Square and did not have any big hills to climb up either.

            Anyway, we were finally escorted to our car and given the keys. We were then asked if there was anything we needed to know and the gentleman gave us clear directions to the Bay Bridge as well as maps for San Diego and LA, which we would need when in those cities.

            ***The Car***

            We couldn’t have asked for a better car. Driving around in a Pontiac Grand Prix was amazing and it coped with both city roads and small dirt tracks extremely well. We tested it to the max going up steep and curvy mountains and found that it didn’t falter at all.

            The car was fully automatic, with cruise control for helping keep at the speed limits on the freeways. It had all the safety equipment you need including air bags and power locking windows and doors. As soon as the car was taken out of park (our version would be handbrake off), the doors locked so no one could try to get into the car.

            The car was extremely comfortable with loads of legroom and soft leather seats. The only problem with leather seats of course, is when it gets too hot and you are wearing shorts but that’s another story. Air conditioning was great and well needed as the temperatures soared to 116 degrees in some areas of Death Valley and Vegas. Of course it didn’t help when you couldn’t park the car in the shade and getting in it felt like an oven but then again that can’t be helped and once we had the engine on, the beauty of good air-con was certainly felt.

            As for mileage, it seemed to work out pretty well. The computerised system told us that we were getting on average 38 miles to the gallon and that was often on slower roads so we were quite happy with that especially as it was only costing us around £20 to fill up. So much cheaper than over here. The computer also told us when gas was getting low and how many miles we should have left before we ran dry. This was really useful as some of the places we visited were quite remote.

            I didn’t drive the car, mainly because my hubby wouldn’t budge out of the driving seat, he loved the car so much. He did say it was very easy to drive what with the cruise control and automatic transmission. The only thing that got him to start with was positioning in the road but with a left hand drive it does take a bit of getting used to.

            ***The Drop Off***

            By the time we dropped the car off we had done around 2800 miles in total and of course the amount didn’t matter at all as we had unlimited mileage on our package.

            Finding the Alamo drop off point at LAX was very easy. We had the map of course but as we reached the airport area, there were clear signs for the various car hire sites. Sadly they didn’t let us keep the car as a wedding gift so I wasn’t able to have it shipped over. We said goodbye to it reluctantly as we took the luggage out. Following a quick check for any damage and a quick signature from us, we left it behind.

            Alamo offer a shuttle bus service to the terminal you need for your flight so there is no struggling with luggage and trying to find a taxi. The driver on the bus was extremely helpful and made sure he lifted everyone’s luggage on and off, as well as giving a reassuring arm for those that were in need of extra assistance.

            ***My Thoughts***

            Although we had a big delay at the start of our dealings with Alamo, I have to say that they did treat us quite well in the end and the upgrade was most welcome and the Pontiac was much more comfortable than the Chevrolet we were first given.

            I can’t help but feeling that there is obviously a big gap in communications between travel agencies and the company and the staff working at the Bush Street office deserve a medal for some of the abuse they had to take when they were obviously working very hard on the phones to get cars brought over. If only we had known about the other sites in advance, we would have been able to get on the road sooner.

            Luckily this slightly shaky start didn’t ruin our plans too much, although we did have to spend a night in the car that first night, as we arrived in the town too late to get accommodation. However, it was quite a comfortable car to sleep in and we felt very safe in it. The heated seats meant that if we got a bit chilly in the night, we could warm up quickly and in the morning it was all worth it when we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over Mono Lake at Lee Vining, a little bit short of our original destination of Mammoth Lakes. We also saw a wonderful sunset in Yosemite so we reckon that fate was looking after us too.

            ***The Price***

            Our hire costs were included in the total cost of the holiday but I have been looking online and doing a similar price check to give you all an idea of it. For 13 days hire with the gold package, picking up in San Francisco and dropping off at LAX, a compact car would cost around £260. If we had booked the full size model like the Pontiac we were given it would have been about another £70 so we did get quite a good deal in the end.

            With the website you can choose to pay in GBP or in the currency of the country you are picking up the car in. It is worth remembering that depending on the rates at the time of booking, you may be cheaper buying from abroad. As some credit cards such as the Post Office one, don’t charge commission it might be worthwhile doing this. It would certainly have saved us a bit at the time when the dollar was reaching $2 for every £1.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              17.08.2007 07:27
              3 Comments

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Not happy with their lack of transparency.

              I recently hired a car fron Alamo, and upon inspection found it to be clean. However after i returned the car the same lady that inspected the car on the outset did so on my return and said nothing. A few days later i was informed by letter that the bumper had a small scratch on it and how did i want to pay for it? To say the least i was shocked as i felt that she would have said something there and then, no, she just smiled and said everything was fine? My concern is this, was the scratch done whilst they moved the car from the front of their building to the rear or by a pedestrian.
              My biggest issue is that i feel this can be a licence to make money, adding bumps and scrapes after the customer has left and then making on them!!!
              Has anyone else had this experience, and can you tell me if they have any recource of action once i have left the premisis?
              wayne.peacock1@ntlworld.com

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • More +
                05.10.2006 21:14
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                1 Comment

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                Don;t use this company if you can help it

                EASY CAR

                We rented a car for a recent trip to France and although we booked with Easy Car (www.easycar.com) we had to collect the car from Alamo at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris.

                COST

                We really only wanted to use the car for three days and initially wanted to collect it outside of Paris and then return it to the airport. This was going to cost around 33 GBP per day. It was therefore going to be cheaper to hire the car for four days at a cost of around 22 GBP per day, so we decided to go for that option.

                CAR RANGES

                The cars on offer ranged from a small car, such as a Micra, up to luxurious Mercedes models. We opted for a five door medium sized car, such as a Vauxhall Astra. These were the makes mentioned on the Easy Car website by the way.

                BOOKING

                Booking was very easy, we did the transaction online, paid by credit card, and received confirmation within minutes, a further e mail was received with the voucher which we had to take with us to collect the car. The information on the voucher was “Supplier 1, CDG airport” and indicated the local supplier would be Alamo.

                ALAMO DESK

                Our flight arrived at terminal 3 at the airport and we located the Alamo desk but it was unmanned and looked really untidy with empty food containers littering the top and a few other pieces of litter. It looked really scruffy and we could not see any notice telling us what to do if the desk was unstaffed.

                We did eventually find amongst the litter, a scruffy sheet of paper stating that if the desk was unmanned to either use a telephone in the airport or go to Terminal One.

                Trailing our luggage with us, we had a long walk to the shuttle bus (one of the members of our party was disabled) but eventually took the bus to Terminal One where we located the Alamo desk.

                THE HIRE CAR

                The girl on the desk did not speak very good English and asked if “gizelle” would be acceptable. We were not sure what this meant, but assumed it to be perhaps a model of car (in Europe many of the cars have different model names to the UK) so agreed. When she gave us the keys she explained that the car would be more economical because it was “gizelle” and not “petrol”. We then realised that she had meant “diesel”, which we did not have a problem with. However, she then told us the car we had been allocated was a Toyota Yaris. I knew this is a small car so told her we had not ordered this, to which she replied we had ordered a five door compact and that was the Yaris.

                PROBLEMS

                As we had gone to France to attend a funeral, in a town just outisde Paris, we were in no mood to dispute this with her so accepted the car. We then asked if we could have a map of the area, as is usual with the car hire companies we have used in the past. She told us the company do not issue maps. This meant we had to find somewhere to buy one, not easy on a Sunday afternoon in France as most shops are closed. Fortunately we knew the main road number we needed, but it would have been useful to have had some indication of how to reach this from the airport.

                The car was too small for our luggage, although we were only there for a few days and had only one small trolley case and a rucksack between us, the boot was too small for those and our coats. However, it did drive okay and there were no problems until we came to fill up with diesel – the filler cap would not budge, the guy at the service station tried to remove it but couldn’t. Fortunately we did not travel very far out of the city so only used half a tank and had to return it like that to the airport. But if we had needed to fill up for our travels it would have been a real problem.

                RETURNING THE CAR

                We returned the car to the airport and could not find a parking space in the Alamo section so had to leave it in another company’s space. (After returning the keys then another trek, with luggage, to Terminal 3 to catch our flight). This time it was a different receptionist and her English was very good, so we told her about the problems we had. She checked our booking and agreed we should have been given a larger car than the Yaris and told us that because we had paid for this, they would cancel the charge for the diesel.

                STRESSFUL

                I have e mailed Easy Car to tell them about the problems with the car we, supposedly, rented through their company and await their response. They managed to turn an already stressful trip into an even more stressful one.

                ADVICE

                Therefore I would advise anyone hiring a car with Alamo to think twice as, after reading some of the reviews on here, it is not the best car rental company.

                Or better still, take your own car and go on The Shuttle or the ferry! We have always done this in the past, but thought it would be quicker and less stressful to fly and hire a car on this occasion! How wrong can you be!

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • More +
                  26.08.2006 15:31
                  2 Comments

                  Advantages

                  Disadvantages

                  extra charges made several weeks after hire have not been refunded

                  I am currently (26 August)in a battle with Alamo/National to get a refund on an overcharge that they made by mistake to my credit card in mid March. The car hire had ended at start of January. The mistake was admitted in person in an Alamo office in the UK and supporting documentation was found. At this date, I have still not received the refund and I appear to be locked in endless communication with various parts of the organisation. Obviously the company keeps a note of the customer's credit card number. Then, if there is no recourse for any extra charges made by mistake ten weeks after the hire has finished, then this is clearly very dangerous.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • More +
                    26.01.2002 06:23
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    1 Comment

                    Advantages

                    Disadvantages

                    I've used Alamo a couple of times now (both occasions booking through Aspect Car Rental (see separate op). On both occasions I've found them to provide a great, efficient and friendly service. My most recent hire was over Christmas. I as hiring from Glasgow Airport and returning to Edinburgh Airport. The week before my rental, I decided that my plan to hire a small Fiat as perhaps a bit silly, and a larger car would be the best idea. I phoned Alamo, and was shocked to be told that upgrading to a Vauxhall Corsa would cost an extra £8.50 per day! That's almost 50% of my rental rate! An Astra or similar would have been £15 extra per day! So I resigned myself to driving a tiny Fiat around the country roads of Scotland - not a nice thought! On the 22nd of December I turned up at Glasgow Airport (an hour and a half late thanks to BA!). Locating the Alamo desk, I handed over my voucher. "Sir has quite a bit of luggage" said the delightful girl behind the desk. "Would a larger car be useful? We can offer a Ford Focus for an extra £2.50 per day". Oddly enough I agreed! The Focus is 2 levels up from the Fiat, and £2.5 is considerably less than the £15 extra for the similar Astra. Surely there must be a catch I thought. Sure enough, when I got out to the car lot, I didn't see a single Fiat in the Alamo area. I suspect that my booked Fiat was nowhere near Glasgow, and therefore by offering me a larger car at a great rate, they avoided giving me a free upgrade, and made me think I'd got a good deal! However I'm not complaining - the Focus was spotlessly clean, and ready to go. It drove well, and returning it to Edinburgh Airport was simplicity in itself. The advantage of using a full service firm (i.e. not Easycar!) is that they aren't quite so stalinist about damage or inspections. One week later I got my confirmation receipt, showing no additional c
                    harges. Plus you also get unlimited mileage, and a range of cars! I'd recommend Alamo to anyone looking for good service, great prices (via aspectcarrental.com) and a choice of vehicles.

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • More +
                      27.11.2001 03:25
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)

                      Advantages

                      Disadvantages

                      We have been to the States several times and have used Dollar once and Alamo quite a few times. I believe Alamo are the better company as they don't hassle you to upgrade your car like Dollar do. Even though we always upgrade the car before we actually get there, Dollar still tried to upgrade us even more, what to next I asked, a Limo? My wife Binnie, always books the holidays for us, I'm hopeless you see. She booked a car for us at our local travel agent and asked for a three door Intermediate Car, that's normally two stages upgraded. I think they start at a budget car, then it's an Economy, then intermediate. Well that's what it is with Dollar anyway. She asked for something similar. We always find the USA cars very good, normally something largish, very clean and best of all I can cruise control down the freeway, yee ha! We Paid £199 which was for one week and we had included in that price, fully comp insurance. Sometimes we had paid just that for the insurance only with Dollar. Sorry to keep mentioning Dollar but I wouldn't use them again ever. I thought it was safer to get the fully comp insurance as you know what the Americans are like for suing you for almost anything. Even though I have drove several times in the states and have never had a bump, I didn't want to risk not being covered. Later on in the year though, Belinda's parents and friends decided to join us on our holiday, and we decided to get a larger car to house all six of us. We asked the travel agent to find a car for us all. We didn't really want a mini bus, I wouldn't have been too keen to drive one of those to be honest. They told us that it would cost another £120, Belinda's parents paid that. We were expecting a Buick or something similar. We once had hired a car that fit six people in before so we knew it could be done. Well the day came and we arrived at LAX airport,
                      (Los Angeles) and we were taken to the Alamo base by shuttle. We only queued for several minutes, and the girl there greeted us with a smile and some crazy sayings. She was quite over the top, but we didn't mind as it was better than being unfriendly. I did all the paperwork, I had to show my drivers licence, they checked my passport, they took an imprint of my credit card, which if we didn't do any damage then it would get torn up. We were handed a key and told where the car would be. We grabbed a trolley for our luggage and off we popped. Simple as that, we thought!!. Arriving at the car, we peered inside and noticed that it would only fit about five in, there was only two seat belts in the back and two seats in the front. Normally to fit six in, there was an extra seat in the front and three in the back. We had evidence of this as we had hired one before. We then went back to the hire centre and saw the same girl. She said she thought six would have fit in. We didn't want to risk it especially for the insurance side. We were then given another car, which when we went to it was exactly the same car but in a different spot. This time Belinda went back on her own, to tell the member of staff. She is the firm one so I left her to it. She then gave her another key to a car which she promised would fit us all in. We found the car and guess what, it was smaller than ever. By then we were loosing our patience, it doesn't normally happen this way when we've been to Alamo before. I went back and lost it a bit, I wasn't nasty or anything, but I said it was getting beyond a joke now. The only thing left was , Guess what? A blooming Mini-Bus, type thing. In the end we settled for the 8 seater bus, it looked more like an oversized four wheel drive. The snag was, it cost us another $77.00 dollars, I must admit I wasn't very pleased as we had already paid the ex
                      tra £120 at the travel agent and told them exactly what we wanted. The girl really wanted another $120, but I said I'm not paying it. Luckily Belinda's parents and friends paid the extra, they said it was because of them coming, that we had had the mucking around. To cap it all, I didn't actually mind driving the bus around, it was sometimes hard to get us all in, especially the ones at the back, the doors only went so far back and you had to climb in at an angle. But next time, there will only be the two of us and back to the normal Intermediate car for me. I think normally Alamo are a good car hire place, it's just been this last time we had a trying experience. The staff are polite, the place is clean and normally very reasonable except on this occasion. I would still use them again though.

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments