A late hotel cancellation for a trip to Crawley South of London in May 2022 caused me a lot of trouble. One cause was that the situation now required a rental car to get to the hotel and around. The ordinary rental car prices at the time of booking were ridiculously high, so that I finally went to try out Hertz 24/7 car sharing. Here is my review, including my experience to register to the program and using the car in practice.
Hertz 24/7 London – The Rental
My original booking was a Fiat 500 Mild Hybrid, located close to Brunel University in London. The car would have had a daily rate of 53.49 EUR and an hourly fee of some 7 EUR for the partial third day. A mileage fee of 0.30 GBP applied as well. The location of the car is very good, as it is right next to a U3 bus stop, which is connecting to/from Heathrow Airport. However, when tried to start the car I found out that the battery was absolutely empty (which is quite remarkable for a car with a mileage of a few thousand miles. Customer service could finally only help me out by voiding the booking and naming me the next car available, which was some four bus stops away at a slightly less convenient place.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which I booked instead, comes with a higher daily price of some 77 EUR per day. At the time of writing, I haven’t asked Hertz for compensation yet. The car again came with a mileage rate of .30 GBP per mile. The currencies might be a bit of confusing, as I booked the car with a German account in the U.K.
Hertz 24/7 London – Registration and Renting The Car
The registration in Germany went very smoothly. Apart from the typical data you need to provide, you also need a credit card or another payment method, which is processing the payments. In order to finally become a member, you also needed to provide scans or photos of your ID card and drivers licence and a picture which shows you and the ID. The confirmation of my German membership took some 15 minutes.
Registering the car for the rental works with the Hertz 24/7 app or website. Both have equivalent processes and are very transparent, also in regards of costs. 15 minutes before the rental is starting, Hertz sends you a six digit numeric code which you can use to open the car. Alternatively, you can open the car by the app. What I really liked is that the car had an updated damage and car protocol, including the mileage at the point of rental.
Hertz 24/7 London – Driving and Returning The Car
One very special rule at Hertz 24/7 is that the key is never leaving the car. The Fiat 500, for example, had keys, but these were fastened with a strip in the car. You open and close the car with the app or by pressing the 0 key on the keypad for some three seconds. This worked very well – apart from when I opened the car just for sitting in it and working inside. In that case, you have to first try to close the car with the app and then with the keypad. The good thing: whenever there is an error, the car is giving a beep, so that even if it is re-opening the doors, you recognize it.
One thing which has been a bit of bothering was the refueling. You have to return the car at least with 1/4 of fuel. There is a petrol station card in the car and the small display (which may also connect you to the service) is giving you the PIN code for it. However, the card is limited to 30 GBP (for cars, trucks 50 GBP) and only valid at Shell stations. The closest Shell station to the pickup was some three miles away and the density of the brand is not too good as well. Please note that in Germany, Hertz 24/7 operates a full/full policy, i.e. you have to refuel the car at own expense.
Hertz 24/7 is a traditional car sharing franchise. This especially means that you have to return the car at the same spot where you grabbed it. After you have parked and closed the car, you simply finish your rental with the app. What I really liked is that during your reservation period, you may even re-activate the rental for a short period. This might be handy if you for example forgot something in the car.
The Car – Toyota Corolla Hybrid
The Toyota Corlla Hybrid I finally rented has almost been brand-new. It just came with a few thousand miles and had no damages. The GPS navigation worked very well, which was very helpful. Overall, I really enjoyed the car, also as it offered automatic transmission.
Hertz 24/7 London – My View
Trying out Hertz 24/7 was really a nice experience. The overall process was really good. The key thing I did not like was definitely the fueling process, which is too complicated. Nonetheless, I am really glad I tried them out and definitely feel that this could become a very handy addition to my options while travel planning.
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