Why Alamo is My Number One for Car Rentals

The last time I rented a car with my Husband we rented from Hertz and it wasn’t a great experience.  So last year when I needed a rental car for a trip with my daughter, I got really worked up over which company to select.  (My Car Rental Dilemma) I ended up finding a good deal with Alamo and having a great rental experience with them.

 

Texas Trip 2018 Recap

Everything went super smooth.  The car rental desk is right inside DFW airport so it was easy to access when our flight landed.  The gentleman who checked us in was helpful and friendly.  We didn’t have any issues with the car we were issued and it suited the needs of our trip quite well.  The car return was super easy and fast too.

Alamo scored a lot of points with me on that trip.

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Portland Trip 2019 

For my recent trip to Portland, Oregon I was going to need a rental car from Saturday through Wednesday.  I wasn’t finding the rates I was looking for, so I gave Autoslash a try.  It worked great! I was able to find an Alamo Rental through Priceline for $75 for the entire trip!  I was super excited that I not only met my car rental budget but still got to use Alamo again.

When we landed at PDX in Portland, we had to take a shuttle to get to the Alamo Rental Office.  The shuttle driver offered us a helpful tip suggesting we use Waze not  Google Maps for our GPS directions back to the car returns at Alamo since Googles directions were often glitchy.

Several of us arrived at the rental office at the same time.  There was only 1 Agent working the desk at that time, so it moved a bit slow.  The Desk Agent who checked us in was not what I would call friendly but he did move us through without any difficulties.  Because we were coming in later in the day, there was only 1 compact car left on the lot.  It was a Ford Fiesta.

 

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Maggie and I had both overpacked for this trip because we had a very loose itinerary that could have went in a lot of directions.  We covered all those possibilities with the mountains of outfit choices we packed, lol.  But we fit all of it into the little trunk of that Ford Fiesta and away we went.

What I didn’t know when renting this car is how wonderful my choice of a compact car would be when visiting Portland.  Portland is all about parking.  Parking garages, parallel parking and wonky street parking. I couldn’t have done it with a bigger car!  We also found ourselves on some very narrow streets while there which also made me glad for the tiny car.

I always go for Unlimited Mileage when renting a car.  When my daughter and I travel together, we really use them too.  On this trip we made both a 7 hour round trip from Portland out to Oregon’s Pacific coast and back on one day and toured the Scenic Colombia River Hwy waterfalls all day on another.  All together we put around 500 miles on the car over the 4 days we were there.  More great news the car got around 40 miles to the gallon so we spent less than $50 on gas and returned it full.

When we returned the car it was a snap.  It only took about 5 minutes to return the car to the Agent and a shuttle was right there waiting to take us to the airport.  Seamless!  The best part for me was that Alamo didn’t play any of the car rental games, there were no surprises or hidden fees and my bill was exactly what I expected.

 

Price Is Important But Loyalty is Golden

Price is always important to me when renting a car.  As a budget minded traveler, I like to keep the big costs down so I can spend more on the fun stuff.  Thats why I am a member of the Loyalty program with Alamo.  I find that Alamo is usually in the middle of the pack for prices.  A little more than the scary car rental companies but less than the fancy places.  That makes them just right for me. 

They run the typical deals and specials, but it may sometimes be an even better deal for me to book with them by using my AAA discount, the Autoslash program or an aggregator like Priceline (or a combination).

 

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Now having had 2 consecutive great car rental experiences in a row with Alamo, it really secures them as my gold standard choice for car rentals. This means even if they aren’t the cheapest, if their price is anywhere at all close to the lowest competitors, I will still choose Alamo.  There is something to be said about the comfort of being confident in knowing that you are going to have a smooth experience and no surprises on your bill!