Renting a Tesla Model Y From Hertz
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We were flying into Los Angeles Airport (LAX) for Memorial Day weekend and needed a car. On March 31, after making the flight and hotel reservations, I looked to Hertz for a 4-day rental. I booked a cheapish car (Medium Sedan Group C) and kept my fingers crossed that my Hertz Five Star status would provide me a nice upgrade upon arrival.
When we landed at LAX, we hopped on the Hertz shuttle bus and headed for the rental car center. Upon arrival, my name was on the board (as expected), however, I was listed as President's Circle (Hertz's highest tier), rather than my actual Five Star status. I walked up to the woman at the board, Karen, pointing to my name and asking for the President's Circle lot. Karen directed me to stalls to the right noting the "President Circle" signage overhead.
I walked through the three rows of cars, looking for a hybrid vehicle. This was California, the land where gas prices were exceeding $7. Our plans had us driving 130 miles to our destination in the San Jacinto mountains, and a hybrid car would help us stretch every gas dollar. As I walked I noticed several rows of Tesla Model 3s and Model Ys, which jogged my memory of Hertz electrifying it's fleet. After not finding any hybrid vehicles on the lot, Kenny started searching for which car, in the three rows of "Presidential Circle" vehicles had the best gas mileage, while I walked back over to Karen for some help.
I approached Karen and asked if there were any hybrid cars on the lot, not in "President's Circle". She stated they had several yesterday and told me to walk with her while she tried to find us one. After walking the Five Star and Gold member rows, Karen sheepishly stated "there were so many yesterday, we were just giving them away". She started to walk back to the office to check the inventory when I asked "how much to rent the Tesla", to which she responded "$150". Karen did not append the statement with "per day" or "for your total rental period", so I knew more questions were necessary.
When we arrived at the stand located outside the office, Karen asked Annie "she wants to know how much to rent a Tesla?" to which Annie responded "$40 a day".
Karen followed up with "any model" to which Annie responded "for her, yes, any model".
I quickly called Kenny who was still searching best gas mileage to see if he was ok with the upgrade. Kenny was onboard & we started the process.
Karen started walking back to the Tesla stalls and I followed closely. She asked, "do you want a Model 3 or a Model Y"?
I responded "I am not sure"
Karen stated "OK, get the Model Y, it has better range"
I said "ok"
Karen inquired "what color do you want, red, blue, white?"
I responded "red" while whipping my hair to show my fire engine red tips.
Karen walked back to Annie and told her "she wants the Red Model Y in 222".
I gave Annie my driver's license and she started typing on the computer. Annie yelled for Karen, who had walked into the office, "check to make sure 222 is a Model Y". Karen emerged with two bottles of water, handed them to me saying "take these for the drive" and then walked off to check that stall 222 was indeed a red Model Y. Moments later she returned confirming that 222 was a red Model Y.
I started to pull out my credit card to hand to Annie for the charge. She scoffed and stated "don't need it, credit card information is in your account." Moments later I received a text alert from my credit card about the charge and laughed saying to Annie "ah, yup, the charge just came in."
By this point, I had texted Kenny to come over and he was standing behind me. After Annie handed me the reservation booklet, Karen walked us over to the car.
She helped us put our luggage in the trunk and asked "who's driving?"
I raised my hand, and she asked "have you ever driven a Tesla", and we both responded "no".
Karen ushered me into the driver's seat and then for the next 10 minutes, provided us a walkthrough of the vehicle. She walked through the steps on how to access the charge port and showed us where the charging cables were in the car and how to use them. She then went through the car functionality: how to change gears, how to unlock and lock the vehicle, how to control the car's AC output, how to adjust the sound volume, and the many screens available including navigation. I felt so confident after and was in amazement that she dedicated so much time to us to ensure we knew how to operate the vehicle. Before she bid us farewell, Karen told us that we only had to bring the car back at a 20% state of charge and then walked away.
When we drove off the lot, the car was at 89% state of charge. We drove to Smoke and Fire Social for lunch, before heading up the mountain. After the 130-mile journey, we arrived at the Grand Idyllwild Lodge with a 26% state of charge. Prior to arrival, I confirmed that the Lodge had a charge point charging station. After unpacking the car, we hooked it up to the charger and it noted a 14-hour 40 minute charge time. In the morning, 12 hours later, we checked and the car was at 88% state of charge.
We drove the car around the mountain town for three days before returning it to LAX, not having to charge again. Upon return, the car was at 52% state of charge.
I have been renting from Hertz for several years and this was by far the best experience to date. The staff was phenomenal and the upgrade was unheard of, for $75 a day we were able to rent a Red Tesla Model Y and we enjoyed every moment of it.