Car Rental Review – Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – Nissan Rogue

Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX)



2.6/5 Pros

  • Good car
  • Smooth processes at the station Cons

  • Too unclear signs for rental car shuttles at the airport
  • Terrible traffic situation at the Los Angeles Airport Terminals (LAX)
  • Rude driving by shuttle bus drivers.

For the eleven day travel around San Diego, Palm Springs and Las Vegas, starting in Los Angeles, my wife and I needed a rental car. We initially planned to stay at L.A. for one night and then grab a car at one of the local offices the next morning (which typically saves money…), but finally went for the (potentially) more convenient way and grab the car at their rental office at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) directly – which allowed us to arrive at the Homewood Suites San Diego – Liberty Station on the same night. Here is my review.


Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – The Rental

The rental we had with Hertz was an eleven day rental, kicking off on the evening of 22nd December. The total rate, including all insurance, for a full size car was 884.73 USD. On top of that, we had satellite radio, which added 54.89 USD (plus tax) to the invoice.


Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – Location & Office

There are no rental car offices at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). Most major providers have offices East of the Terminal. The Hertz office is at Airport Blvd. Without traffic, this would be a five to ten minute drive with the shuttle buses provided – however, there is heavy congestion typically (see below). There is little potential to reach the rental office from the airport in another way, as ride-share services and taxis are banned from the airport. You have to first take a shuttle to the central ride-share and taxi plaza and then find a driver who is doing the relatively short trip.

Please note that, depending from where you are coming, you need to take a detour to stop at a gas station before you head towards the Hertz Car Return.

Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – Receiving The Car

The rental car shuttle buses park at specific bays of Los Angeles Airport (LAX). There is no bay at the International Terminal, which is not too easy to see if you are not familiar with the airport. While we spotted some three Hertz shuttles when we went to the bay, we had to wait there for some 25 minutes until the next shuttle arrived. The driver of that shuttle (even though the bus was empty…) did not even want to stop at the bay and had to be stopped by some Asian passengers, who ran through the traffic and banged at the door of the bus.

Generally, you have to say two things about LAX Airport in that regard: the traffic situation is ridiculous. I absolutely cannot understand that you ban taxis and rideshare, but allow any kind of private drop-off. You have massive congestion. The trip from Terminal 3 rental car shuttle bay to the Hertz office easily took additional 20 minutes due to traffic. Secondly, both drivers, the outbound and the inbound ones, did not show a pleasing ride. How can you be on the very left lane of the airport loop, when you know that you have to / might have to stop on the very right side some 100 feet later? To me, the shuttle drivers are not victim, but part of the traffic issues at Los Angeles Airport (LAX)


Once arrived at the Terminal… A smooth Experience

As a Five Star status holder, I could select a car from a designated section. Overall, we arrived there some 1:15 hrs after we had passed immigration and got our luggage – this is far too long. The rental itself, including the check-out went smooth. The only thing I more and more wonder is that people at very major airports like this one struggle to deal with special letters in the name of the renter (I have a German umlaut in my surname, which does not exist in English….). I am sure that this is happening at these places daily.


Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – Returning The Car

The return of the car overall went quite smoothly. The volume of cars processed, at rental and return, by Hertz is massive. Based on that, they do a good job  We could also board the rental shuttle quickly. Apart from having congestion around the airport (not as bad as at rental), the ride would have been fine – if there wasn’t the driver. In contrast what has been told to us, the driver neither asked for the airline you are flying with nor announced the stop properly – so that there was a huge potential that you don’t get off at the right spot. This was absolutely poor service.


The Car – Nissan Rogue

We finally opted for a Nissan Rogue, which was an absolutely fine choice. The car just came with a mileage of some 10,000 miles at check-in and had a lot of space for luggage and travel equipment. The safety sensors were a bit too picky here and there, I felt. Unfortunately, when the car is slowing down at cruise control to maintain a safe distance, you don’t really get that. On the other hand, having a Sirius XM radio was an absolute treat, especially as we were driving quite some distances on desert roads.


Hertz Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – My View

You just cannot argue against it – the rental experience at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) has been relatively poor. Part of that bad experience is almost unavoidable for Hertz. The traffic situation at Los Angeles airport is ridiculous. I would go for an alternative next time, even if that leads to a transfer within the United States. I just don’t understand why there are no effective measures against it.

However, another part of the experience was the very weird frequency of shuttles at rental and the poor experience with both rental car shuttle drivers. The services at the office and the car itself were fine, though – and thus avoid a worse rating of my experience.


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