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Discussion: Experiences Renting a Tesla Model 3 / Y from various companies

I have just come back from Florida where I rented a Model Y from AVIS from Orlando Airport. Here's what I thought about it all... I have a MY at home.

To start, I was surprised they were doing Teslas at all - I know Hertz do, but now AVIS as well it seems. I saw several MY's there and maybe a M3 too. The car had 92 miles when I picked it up, and I did around 700 miles during my stay.

All did not go well - although that is the subject of another post later on.

But in general:

You get one card-key in a relatively big clear plastic case. I did not get access through a phone and I could not assign my phone to be a key, so I was stuck with the card-key.

This means.... No walk-away locking, no auto-unlock, no pre-cool on climate, have to use the card-key every time to 'start' the card. Most annoying, but no different to a gas car I guess. How spoiled we are.

Supercharging was great... I guess Avis will bill me for it eventually!

Popped into Disney Springs one night, overjoyed to see some ChargePoint chargers... but they were CCS, so no joy there :-(

Avis do not have Premium connectivity, so no Satellite view, no streaming. Gah! And yes, I did connect to my phone as a hotspot to get around that, see my other posting in a few days.

Given that these cars are new, there are no ultrasonice sensors, which I found annoying, as I have them on my 2022 MY. It did have the trunk cover to keep things a bit more hidden and cool, so that was good.

Car came with the standard J1772 adaptor. No FSD obviously, and AutoSteer was disabled to start with.

Overall..... Good to drive 'the same' car as I own.....but annoyed to be back to 'basic' and having to set the car up as I wanted it.

So... thinking outside the box.... What does this look like for AVIS and Tesla? I think that Tesla and Avis need to do something about this 'basic' level of support and no App-access. It turns the Tesla from a tech-leader to an annoying expeience, which might put off future buyers. Avis probably don't want us using our phones as we can't then un-associate the phone, which is a security risk, but maybe Tesla needs to do something in this area for rentals?

There was (obvuously) no manual there - yes - I know why ! Not a problem for me as I have a MY... but what's a first-time Tesla renter supposed to do? It's not really a good experience, and that can hurt both Tesla and Avis. For the newbies, maybe a slip of paper saying 'Press here and here to see the manual'. If you know... you know.... if you don't... it's well hidden.

I don't know what Hertz do that's different, as I am Avis President's Club and so brand loyalty and all that.

Would I rent a MY or M3 from Avis again - yes! Great to get into a car that's almost identical to your own and drive through the night after a long journey. Discuss ;-)


50392324647_d962d9f395_b.jpg

"IMG_0765" by Robert T Bell is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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Wow, people sure have high expectations for a rental car for driving for less than a week - app access? premium connectivity? personalized profiles?

Admittedly I stopped renting cars on business trips a few years back once COVID hit, but for a higher price for those 2-4 midweek business trip rentals for more than folks pay for weeklong leisure rentals, from any of these major agencies, my typical expectation for the random car I was given was:
-a big-ass plastic thing attached to the keyfob ring to make it extra awkward to carry in your pocket
-no power seat adjustments, frequently no steering wheel adjustment other than basic tilt
-SiriusXM receiver built-in but no subscription so just the test/demo channel with ads to subscribe every two minutes
-sometimes GPS navigation controls and presumably receiver built-in, but disabled so they can rent you their 10-year old overpriced portable GPS unit
-CD player slot - who brings CD's on a trip?
-all the radio presets tuned to the local mariachi stations
-three minutes to figure out which side of the car has the gas cap, if the little triangle pointer isn't there next to the gas gauge., cause I'm too proud to get out of the car once I'm at the gas station. followed by
-10 minutes trying figure out where the gas cap door release button/lever is for this brand of vehicle

One thing though, I do find that 90% of the US rental cars do in fact have the full automobile manual in the glove compartment, should one wish to peruse, and have had to consult when I occasionally fail at that last bullet item...
I do not agree that “people have high expectations for a rental car”, but rather people have high expectations from TESLA because we all know what is possible. I travelled for work for several years, always renting cars, multiple times each month. I almost never took the time to set up Bluetooth connectivity so that I could place calls hands-free. Why? Because every car is different, and this is often not an intuitive process within the vehicle’s interface just to be able to place calls hands-free. If it were a TESLA, I would absolutely take the time to connect my iPhone via Bluetooth because of how many more benefits are attached to doing so. (i.e. Driver profile; music selection; etc.)
 
I do not agree that “people have high expectations for a rental car”, but rather people have high expectations from TESLA because we all know what is possible. I travelled for work for several years, always renting cars, multiple times each month. I almost never took the time to set up Bluetooth connectivity so that I could place calls hands-free. Why? Because every car is different, and this is often not an intuitive process within the vehicle’s interface just to be able to place calls hands-free. If it were a TESLA, I would absolutely take the time to connect my iPhone via Bluetooth because of how many more benefits are attached to doing so. (i.e. Driver profile; music selection; etc.)
Not to mention, Tesla is theoretically already building the infrastructure for a seamless loaner car experience. I know of no other OEM widely available in the rental car sphere with this ability. I don't think the expectation here is unwarranted when we know there is the ability for all of this to be handled for us, especially when we're paying a luxury car rate to drive these with these rental car agencies.
 
I was in Florida this weekend and rented an M3 for a day from Hertz. Overall, a good experience, with one little glitch at the end...
  • Lots of pre-rental communication (links to getting-started guides, charging tips, links to a few videos...) - great to see this
  • A hangtag in the car with a QR code pointing to an EV quick-start guide
  • ~90% charge upon pickup, with about 35K miles on the car (and it rode fine)
  • Auto-pilot and Sentry initially disabled - I enabled both, and both worked fine
  • Fairly old 2022.x software build. I helped them out and updated the software to 2023.2.12 for them, via wifi at the place I was staying
As for the glitch: In the rental agreement fine print for EVs, Hertz makes it clear that, if you don't buy the $35 Charge Purchase Option, and if initial SoC at pickup is >= 75%, you need to return your rental with minimum 70%, or you incur a $35 fee (additional $25 on top of that if it's below 10%):

1678204678667.png


I returned the car with 74% (which should have been fine), yet I was assessed a $25 fee on my final bill:

1678204830254.png


I called customer service this morning and had the charge reversed.

Tl;dr advice for Hertz EV rentals: Be sure to pay attention to charge-level when returning your vehicle (or pay $35 ahead of time and live stress-free). I was unable to get an immediate receipt when dropping off the car, due to running late for a flight (and there were a lot of cars and only one person working returns at FLL at the time I arrived), but this would have been easily dealt with, had I stayed around until someone was able to finish my return in-person.
 
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bblack627

New Member
Feb 28, 2023
2
6
Ohio
Monthly business travel renter and use Avis. I will usually swipe through to see what other vehicles I can get after landing. February trip in Houston offered a M3. I’ve never been in one or driven a EV but was curious, so I took it. Obviously Hertz is better than Avis because I had no instructions. Didn’t even know how to open the door! Sat there for a while watching YT to figure things out! Got on the road and really enjoyed it! Freaked out when battery dropped to 70% by the time I got close to my destination. Stopped at Buc-ee’s in Katy to charge because my brain was telling me I’d be screwed in the morning driving back into Houston in traffic. Again, had to YT the charging process. Also…thought people just wanted space when parked for charging. Didn’t know the etiquette regarding that! 😂 Next day, talking with coworkers, I realized I had “range anxiety“ and only charged one time before turning the vehicle in. I haven’t seen any additional charges from Avis for my charging adventures. And I enjoyed it so much, we ordered a MYLR to replace my Volvo XC60 that the lease is ending in May. Just got notification today for pick up in Cleveland next week! 🤞
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
18,130
24,620
Riverside Co. CA
(moderator note)

It has been suggested that this thread should be a sticky thread, and have a different name, to discuss general experiences with renting teslas as that is the direction the thread is taking on.

I do not have feelings one way or the other about this, so am asking people currently participating in this thread the following questions.

1. Should the name of this thread be changed to denote a more general Tesla rental discussion? If so, Any suggestions? My own suggestion, if I were to change the name, would be something like: "Discussion: Experiences Renting Tesla Model Y from rental companies

2. Should this thread be a sticky thread?
 
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1. Should the name of this thread be changed to denote a more general Tesla rental discussion? If so, Any suggestions? My own suggestion, if I were to change the name, would be something like: "Discussion: Experiences Renting Tesla Model Y from rental companies
Given how new (ok relatively new) Tesla EV rentals are as a normal rental option, I think this thread has value across both 3 and Y rentals, and across different rental companies. I think it's worthy of a more generic title (I'm good with the suggested name)
2. Should this thread be a sticky thread?
"Yes" vote from me.
 

israndy

Supercharger Hunter
Mar 31, 2016
5,492
6,432
Alameda, CA
Always thought the NON-specific issues for Teslas should be moved out of the Model SEXY portion of the forum and into a general forum that doesn't currently exist. Frankly the most frustrating part of TMC, the answer I am looking for is on the board, but in the Model Y User Interface thread and I drive a Model 3. Sheesh
 
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avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,436
1,314
PacNW
-a big-ass plastic thing attached to the keyfob ring to make it extra awkward to carry in your pocket
There were several rentals, where not only did they have the giant plastic thing, they gave you BOTH keyfobs, and they were connected together with a metal wire that was crimped together, so you were forced to put the whole dang thing in your pocket.
 

avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,436
1,314
PacNW
Always 🤣. I was trying to figure out how they could screw up the Tesla key cards…like hole punch and connect two and make it almost impossible to lay flat behind the cup holder 😂
How do they give you the keycard anyways? I know with other rentals, that giant plastic thing has things like the barcode, the make/model/color/plate#, etc... How do they convey this info with a Tesla?
 
How do they give you the keycard anyways? I know with other rentals, that giant plastic thing has things like the barcode, the make/model/color/plate#, etc... How do they convey this info with a Tesla?
It's in a slotted clearish-plastic badge-holder with the Tesla card inside. Adds a bit of bulk, but protects the card from getting damaged.

One downside: the driver-side side pillar, where the sensor is, gets a bit scratched up, as people keep pressing/sliding the plastic case against the car surface.
 
Isn't the user's manual available on the center screen of the car?
The manual is hidden under the Service menu; not really obvious for a 1st-time Tesla driver. And then, even if they did find it, they now have to take the time to read through it before driving off, which could take a while, to find info on general operation.

This is why the Hertz approach (sending doc links / getting-started links / video links several days in advance, along with a rapid-access QR-Code hangtag which leads directly to the getting-started videos...) really helps.

FYI - the Hertz hangtag...

IMG_2421.jpg
 
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Avis includes unlimited supercharging with the rental

I just reserved a Tesla with Avis using Costco. The Avis site has this language:


TERMS AND CONDITIONS


  • One-way rentals are not permitted.
  • Your EV must be returned to Avis with a battery charge level of at least 70%. If returned at less than 70%, you will incur a charging fee.
  • If you require roadside service because you depleted your EV’s batteries, your EV will be towed to your renting location and the towing expense will be assessed to you.
  • If you rented a Tesla EV, you will be able to access Tesla Superchargers to recharge Tesla vehicles without any cost to you provided, however: 1) any Tesla “idle fees”, as defined and charged by Tesla, shall be your responsibility (see Tesla’s website for details Supercharger Idle Fee); and 2) the provisions of “Battery Charging Levels at Vehicle Return” shall apply to you.
  • TESLA VEHICLES MAY NOT BE WASHED AT AN AUTOMATIC CAR WASH. ANY DAMAGE CASUSED BY AN AUTOMATIC CAR WASH SHALL BE ASSESSED TO YOU PURSUANT TO THE “DAMAGE/LOSS TO THE CAR” PROVISIONS OF YOUR RENTAL TERMS AND WILL NOT BE COVERED BY LDW. IF YOU DO NOT PURCHASE LDW AND RELY ON YOUR PERSONAL INSURANCE TO COVER YOUR DAMAGE TO THE EV, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOU INSURANCE PROVIDES COVERAGE FOR EV’S AND/OR EV COMPONENTS.

So does, "without any cost to you" mean free supercharging, or just Avis surcharge free supercharging? Cause it's difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea of actual free supercharging on an unlimited mileage rental!
 
I just reserved a Tesla with Avis using Costco. The Avis site has this language:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS


  • One-way rentals are not permitted.
  • Your EV must be returned to Avis with a battery charge level of at least 70%. If returned at less than 70%, you will incur a charging fee.
  • If you require roadside service because you depleted your EV’s batteries, your EV will be towed to your renting location and the towing expense will be assessed to you.
  • If you rented a Tesla EV, you will be able to access Tesla Superchargers to recharge Tesla vehicles without any cost to you provided, however: 1) any Tesla “idle fees”, as defined and charged by Tesla, shall be your responsibility (see Tesla’s website for details Supercharger Idle Fee); and 2) the provisions of “Battery Charging Levels at Vehicle Return” shall apply to you.
  • TESLA VEHICLES MAY NOT BE WASHED AT AN AUTOMATIC CAR WASH. ANY DAMAGE CASUSED BY AN AUTOMATIC CAR WASH SHALL BE ASSESSED TO YOU PURSUANT TO THE “DAMAGE/LOSS TO THE CAR” PROVISIONS OF YOUR RENTAL TERMS AND WILL NOT BE COVERED BY LDW. IF YOU DO NOT PURCHASE LDW AND RELY ON YOUR PERSONAL INSURANCE TO COVER YOUR DAMAGE TO THE EV, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOU INSURANCE PROVIDES COVERAGE FOR EV’S AND/OR EV COMPONENTS.

So does, "without any cost to you" mean free supercharging, or just Avis surcharge free supercharging? Cause it's difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea of actual free supercharging on an unlimited mileage rental!
If when charging it shows a dollar amount on the current session tab, then it’s Avis covering the cost, but if it shows $0, then it’s free charging.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
18,130
24,620
Riverside Co. CA
(moderator note)

It has been suggested that this thread should be a sticky thread, and have a different name, to discuss general experiences with renting teslas as that is the direction the thread is taking on.

I do not have feelings one way or the other about this, so am asking people currently participating in this thread the following questions.

1. Should the name of this thread be changed to denote a more general Tesla rental discussion? If so, Any suggestions? My own suggestion, if I were to change the name, would be something like: "Discussion: Experiences Renting Tesla Model Y from rental companies

2. Should this thread be a sticky thread?


(Moderator note - continued)

What I decided to do here is:

1. Re name the thread in the model Y subforum : Discussion: Experiences Renting a Tesla model 3/ Y from various companies
2. Sticky this thread in the model Y subforum.
3. Create a stickied thread in the model 3 subforum, with the same thread name
4. Merge newly created thread in model 3 subforum with this one. Sticky thread in model 3 subforum as well.

This sequence of events allows the main discussion thread on this topic to stay where it is now (model Y subforum) and creates a link for people in model 3 subforum to see the thread when browsing that subforum. When they click the thread, they will be re directed to this thread, which has the existing discussion.


I could have called it "Tesla" instead of Tesla 3/ Y, but the 3 /Y share many process flows, while the S/X only share those process flows on new / refreshed vehicles (things like phone as key, keycards, etc, exist for all 3/Y, but only "some" S/X. Additionally, the original experience / discussion is in model Y subforum. As previously pointed out, there is no Generic vehicle subforum here on TMC currently. That coupled with where the original experience was posted / discussion was being had, led me to do it this way.



 

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