Advantage Car Rental

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1.5 out of 5, based on 13 ratings and
34 reviews & complaints.

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Pleasantly Surprised
Posted by on
Rating: 4/51
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- This was the first time that I rented from Advantage, and it was a pretty good experience compared to what I have read here.

We arrived at LAX, got our bags and went to the curbside pickup to wait for the shuttle. We only had to wait about 10 minutes for the shuttle and while I did see numerous shuttles for the other rental car companies drive by, 10 minutes was an acceptable time to wait to be picked up. The shuttle was clean, the driver was friendly and the air conditioning worked well.

With traffic at LAX, it took about 15-20 minutes to get to the Advantage facility. Granted it is not the cleanest or newest rental facility that I have gone into, but it was still a 6 out of 10.

When we got there at around 6:00pm, there was no line and we were able to walk right up and get an agent. The agent was friendly and did not have an attitude like I have read other reviewers have experienced. The only problem that I had was at first they tried to just assign us a car and not give us a choice. When I asked if there were options available, the agent provided me with a few to choose from. All-in-all, they had 5 or 6 different full-size cars to choose from and we ended up with a loaded 2013 Toyota Camry with only 15k miles on it. The car was clean inside and out and had just a few minor scratches on the bumper.

After choosing the car we wanted, checkout was a breeze. The agent offered the additional insurance and gas options, but once I denied them, he didn't try to persuade me to buy it again. He was patient and didn't get an attitude when we took about 15 or 20 minutes to look at the different cars that were available and choose one that was a different one than what was originally selected for us, so that was pretty impressive. The guard at the exit was friendly and asked me how my day was and seemed interested in my response. He looked over the indications on my slip as to the minor scratches and signed off on it and we were on our way.

Returning the car was even easier than getting it. We pulled right up and an agent came right out and did a quick spot check on the vehicle, joked around with us a little bit about getting a black car and returning a white car (because she said we went Tokyo drifting with it) and gave us our receipt. Before she was done checking the car back in, the shuttle driver had come over to use with a bag cart, loaded up our suitcases for us and walked us to the shuttle to get us started on our way back to the airport.

We got on the shuttle and within 20 minutes of pulling into the lot to return the car, we arrived at our airlines entrance at the airport with plenty of time ahead of our flight.

Additionally, the $200 that was put on hold on my credit card was returned to me within 2 days of returning the car, which again was more than I expected.

Four stars instead of five due to the limited amount of car selections, but otherwise the service was really good. I will definitely use Advantage if/when I return to LAX.
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Beware of their online
Posted by on
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Amazingly disappointing experience - Have been a long time renter and this was the first time to see such an absurd scam to rip off the poor customers - BEWARE OF ADVANTAGE CAR RENTAL (Specially if you're smart enough to shop around and use search engines for best rates).

As always, we used for best rates for a 3-day trip to Dallas, and Advantage came out with a $90 rate to pick up at 10 am on Nov 15 and drop by 5 pm on Nov 17. Our flight was departing around 3 pm, but we always rent for a few extra hours to avoid any possible late fees due to delay, etc. Anyway, we dropped the car with full tank and everything around 1 pm and were shocked to see that they are charging us for more than $120!!! The reason: "YOU RETURNED THE CARE EARLY!" (like 4 hours early!!) and they charged us based on a totally different rate schedule (2 days plus 1 hour extra at an outrageously high rate) and came up with the $120 figure. When we complained to the so-called "manager" (which of course was very rude and even tried to grab and destroy our initial receipt showing the estimated $90 cost with our pick-up and drop-off times), he said that basically that's what they do and there is no thing we could do.

I asked him that the receipt says the car should be dropped "by 5" not "at 5" and hence, we were being charged extra, he said that it should be "At 5", and when I asked him to define how soon is considered "early" for them to use it as a pretext to rip off the customers, he refused to explain. I guess even if we were to return the car at "4:59", they were going to consider it "early" since it wasn't 5 sharp!!

Very disappointed. Surely the last time I do business with them and will advise everyone against doing business with them too.

Just beware of the prices they claim to lure the customers to their business and away from other car rentals. Then, when you have made the grave mistake of getting into their trap, they will charge you way more than what they initially claimed as bait and much more than others. Just beware!!

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FoggyOne on 2007-11-18:
From their Website: Some discount rate plans may have special terms and conditions related to car class, date/time of pickup, date/time of return or location.

But I agree 100% with Mazy. It is stupid to charge because the vehicle is returned early. That only means they can clean it and get it rented again before it was to be returned originally. Sounds like a real scam to watch for at Advantage.
Ponie on 2007-11-18:
Although I think it's a dippy way of doing business, I think FoggyOne explained it by quoting from their website. They getcha comin' and goin'.' I think it's ridiculous, but anything to play gotcha.
Nohandle on 2007-11-18:
Who would have thought one would be penalized for an early return? You weren’t expecting some sort of compensation for unused days. It's the first I've heard of this. In addition to taking photos of the car to prove no damage on our part and filling the tank I suppose we need to hire a driver to drop us off at the airport and return the car on the dot. Oops, forgot you are the only one allowed to operate the vehicle, so forget that one. Thanks for the heads up.
Mazy on 2007-11-18:
Thanks for the comments guys. Just one thing that I can say in response to their policy on date/time of return and rates:
If you rent a car for, say, a week at a special rate of $140 (I.e. $20 per day) and return the car early on the 6th day, you can't ask the rental company to charge you for 6x20= $120. We all understand this and it makes sense. However, if you return the car on the 6th day, you should still be able to pay the pre-agreed $140 without any issues. This is the global practice of all reputable care rentals. The clause on early returns is valid as long as it is applying to this situation, but if you return the car on the date it was supposed to be returned but only a few hours earlier, it shouldn't frist and foremost be considered an early return, and even if so, it shouldn't be used as a pretext to violate the initial agreement and charge using another (un-advertized) rates. The whole idea behind early returns for special rates is that no matter how early you drop the car, you are going to pay the whole amount agreed upon earlier, not less. In fact, many times I needed a car for only 4-5 days and car rental staff themselves suggested me to rent for the whole week and just return the car on the 4th or 5th day to save more money...
Again, while my experience with Advantage might have been an isolated incidence, I consider this a very serious issue. I am a very careful customer and I don't usually fall for all sorts of marketing or business traps. I always shop around and check the ratings. I read all the contracts and try my best to get all the details before commititng myself to anything. If, then, I was ripped off like this, then I'm afraid, there are a whole lot of people out there that are being constantly ripped off by Advantage car rental all the time, without even knowing it! Just be careful out there...
tanque on 2009-01-14:
It is not a rip off if you're aware of the issue beforehand and still sign the contract and if you were not aware of this in advance, ignorance on the part of a customer is of no importance to a company. When you complain to a company about an extra charge, the "I didn't know I would be charged for that" line, doesn't fly often or at all for that matter with many companies. The simple fact of the matter is that when you make a reservation for a certain amount of days, at times you may be given what's considered a "special rate" that applies only to the dates entered at the time of booking. By meeting certain criteria that "special rate" only applies to the days entered at the time of confirmation and each contract clearly states, not in fine print, that the "special rate" only applies if the vehicle is kept for "x" amount of days. If the vehicle is returned early or kept past "x" amount of days then the daily rate which at times may be a much higher rate than the "special rate", will be charged. This information is clearly printed on the same rental agreement that each customer signs. Neglet on the customers part to read terms of aggrement before signing a legal binding contract is not ripping off customers, it's ignorance on the customers part. Furthermore, I understand plans may change that require a customer to return their vehicle early, however, if a company can rent a vehicle at a higher rate to customer A who request (3) days at $30 plus tax per day but offered customer B who request (6) days at $20 plus tax per day because customer B requested more days on rental then customer B decided to bring vehicle in after only 3 days on rent and the company still only charges the customer $20 per day, then the company would lose out because they may have very well rented to customer A @ $30 per day for the same 3 days. If this is the case then everyone would book for a week and be offered a "special rate" and then return early. This is common business practice not only with Advantage Rent a Car but in the car rental business, period. As a matter of fact, Hotel Industry works very similarly. When you're offered a WEEKLY rate, companies do not divide the WEEKLY rate by seven and figure that amount as your daily rate, the daily rate is usually higher than the weekly rate, however, you are given that special rate for renting on a "WEEKLY" basis. Kind of like buying in bulk, you know, shopping at COSTCO or SAMS club, you are given special prices for buying in bulk. Special rates for weekly rentals but if you buy/rent individually you're usually charged more per item/day... Understand what I am trying to say?

Hope this information will help clarify things for everyone and help you all understand the way these types of businesses work. It is not a scam if the information is printed on legal binding contracts that are signed by you, the customer. It may not seem right but you always still have the option to rent or not to rent. My advice to all, READ BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING. This not only goes for renting a vehicle but IN LIFE. Commone sense folks
Mazy on 2009-01-28:
Dear Tangue, unfortunately, it seems that you ignored to read my post carefully. I did business with them once and that was it. I just wanted to give others heads-up to avoid being ripped off by them.
Please go back to my post and read it carefully before talking about ignorance and not reading the fine prints. I am fully aware that special rates are for the specified terms and duration. However, what you are ignoring is that you can always (apparently unless you are dealing with Advantage Car Rental) rent a car for a weekly rate, return it sooner, and pay the full weekly rate. This is the reasonable and conventional practice of the car rental business. I can tell from my personal experience that I have done it with a dozen car rentals (both big, nationwide and small, local ones) with no problem whatsoever.
What you are saying is wrong: I never said that one should go and get a car for a special weekly rate (say $140) and then return the car on the 5th day and expect to only pay $100 (5x20), as you are suggesting. What I was saying (and it's happening everyday with reputable rentals) is that you go and rent a car for the $140 weekly rate, return it on the 5th day, and pay the full $140, which is perfectly fine and acceptable. The phrase about the duration of the rental exists on all rental agreements, and the purpose of it is to prevent people from pro rating a special package. I firmly stand by my opinion that interpreting this phrase the way Advantage Car Rental did is wrong and it constitutes a rip-off. Please go back and read my post before making baseless comments.
Unfortunately, it seems that when dealing with Advantage Care Rental, even if you read the fine print (as I did), you won't be protected yet, as you still will be left at the mercy of the deceitful staff with their own interpretation of the agreement. Obviously, they can continue doing so since nobody has the time to bring a court case against them to force them to either stop their interpretation of the agreement, or write out their own interpretation in the agreement with clear words, but it doesn't change the fact that what they did was wrong and miles away from good business practice.
I repeat myself time and again that the best way to protect yourself against their deceitful practice is to avoid them at all, until they change and correct it.

bruce2954 on 2014-02-25:
If the paperwork said that the car had to be returned by 5 and they're legally obligated to honor it. If it was supposed to say at 5, but didn't, they're stuck with it.
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It Should Be Called Disadvantage
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT, FLORIDA -- We made a reservation to rent a car at Ft. Lauderdale airport last week. We only needed the car to get us to my brother's house and back to the airport. there were 2 cars at the house waiting for us, so we didn't need much. I had reserved a mid-size. When we got to the counter we had to wait for the agent to finish with someone ahead of us. When we got to the counter, he told us he had logged out and the person taking over ran to the restroom. It was late at night and we waited a good 5 minutes for him to return. When he returned, he suggested we upgrade for $10 to an Impala. We said we would upgrade but did not want an Impala.

My dad drove an Impala and had passed away 2 years before that very week, I just didn't want an Impala. At which point, the agent said he did not have a car for us. He said I should have prepaid if I wanted a specific car. I told him I tried to pre-pay but was told it wasn't an option. He called Payless and told us to go upstairs and rent from them. We went upstairs and did rent from Payless and the first car they gave us had a tire problem, so we had to go back to the counter for another car. We had our 2 kids with us and it was late and it took 1 1/2 hours to get a car. The Payless car was fine and we did use it during our stay.

I called Advantage to complain and to be honest they could not have cared less. They said we should have been given an apology coupon and they would have someone contact me and I never heard from them. It is great to have the internet to warn others to avoid Advantage, so they are not at a disadvantage too.
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FoDaddy19 on 2014-02-24:
Did they not have the original mid-sized car you reserved? The way I'm reading this it sounds like they had two cars available. The mid-sized car you reserved and the Impala. In which case they would've had two cars for you to choose from, which is what they were supposed to have in the first place. I don't see how they could've foreseen your aversion to the Impala, and therefore you can't really hold that against them.
Cwazychicken on 2014-02-26:
In that case, I would've just taken a taxi instead of a rent a car both ways (depending on distance though) or had family help get me there and a cars are in it to sucker people it seems.....I would never use one..
Aline on 2014-05-04:
Advantage: stay away from them. The amount for the rental was a total of 238. which included taxes in Boston. They wanted extra $200. Now we are up to 438.How will you pay for this, I said debit card. Oh that another $350. On top of 438. Now we are up to over $700. I asked all kinds of questions. Not a true answer. They kept saying you will get all back when you return the car. My mind said this is not good.
This was in Boston the day Bruins Stanley Cup. Both men behind the counter said you will not be able to rent a car from others because of the Stanley Cup. I told them keep your car. Walked away.
I walked to National in tears. They gave me a car at the price I was given on Obitz.

I walked by Advantage counter, heard others screening about these extra cost. I walked over to counter and announce that National and Thrifty has cars. walked off.

Stay away from them. They don't return the money they come up with excuses to keep it.
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Minor Booking Problem Fixed Fast! WRONG UPDATE
Posted by on
Rating: 4/51
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- I thought I had fixed my problem with my booking BOY WAS I WRONG! I had given them the benefit of the doubt boy was that a wrong thing to do Now even though they have admitted it was their mistake they refuse to cancel the booking unless I PAY A $50 FEE..."just read the contract" ....."that is why you should never pay with us in advance"..."the people in Sacramento will fix it if not, pick up the car and call us again".... "Don't worry about this we have noted it in your account we will try to reimburse you OR credit you on your next rental"....these are all the excuses I have gotten from customer service and customer relation What they did not know until after the conseervation started was I am recording.Going from the East coast to the West coast looked for best car rate ADVANTAGE won by over $90 everywhere! They also offer corporate discounts and VETERANS. Only problem I had is the code that they gave me for vets did not work, customer service tried and tried but not able to help referred me to location for discount. Called Sacramento Air Port customer that answered offered me a vehicle for OVER $100 more than the web site. Went back to website and booked a car for 6 days at $184 plus tax ($225).

The following day I received an E-mail for corporate (evidently customer service went the extra mile to notify them!) and was supplied with another code, an apology stating that they are in the middle of a computer code change over. I went back and entered the new code car price dropped to $162 TOTAL including insurance.
Now all that sound good but be aware that if you like I use the prepay system there is "supposed" to be a $50 refund charge but because of the growing pains they waved the charge, refunded my credit card and the re charged at the new price. That is service as it should be. I will follow up with a post on my final experience when I pick up the vehicle on July 16, 2013, but so far outstanding!!
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Advantage Is The Worst Car Rental
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DENVER, COLORADO -- DO NOT RENT A CAR FROM ADVANTAGE!!!! I wish there was a negative rating because this company doesn't even deserve one star.

First, they never tell you when you make the reservation that you need an extra $200 deposit. I originally made the reservation online which was $32. After arriving at Advantage in Denver, the clerk told me that an additional $200 deposit would need to be taken off this card. Well, because they hadn't given me any warning, I didn't have an extra $200 on that card. After asking if they could put it on a different card, the clerk and supervisor told me they are unable to split charges after you prepay on an online reservation. Umm WHAT?!?!?!?!

Since it was 8:00 pm on a Saturday, and I was 800 miles from home I had no way to put more money in that account. After sitting in the waiting room for 30 minutes trying to figure something out I went back and asked to be given the number of the public transportation. The clerk told me that I could cancel the reservation and make a new one so that all charges would be on one card. I unfortunately made this decision and got my car. After returning it and calling the 1-800 number the clerk gave me for the reservation, the agent, who was most likely from India, told me that they couldn't refund my original reservation because I had canceled within the 24 hour period of when the reservation was. WHAT? I ONLY CANCELED BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T CHARGE MY OTHER CARD!!!!! This blew my mind because not only did the clerk tell me this was a foul proof way, but the agent actually told me I should have read the Terms and Conditions when making the reservation because it was all explained there.

I was livid at this point and demanded to talk with a supervisor who apologized and said that he would forward the issue to corporate and they would call me within 4 business days to discuss the refund. It is now 15 days later and after calling back twice I still have not received any type of refund!!! This is by far the worst car rental company and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy! How can you have such a faulty system that does not allow customers to split the charges and then have employees scam me out of a refund? Not to mention how much the taxes are and everything else they throw on last minute.
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Soaring Consumer on 2013-05-22:
I suggest filing a dispute with your credit card as a double billing complaint.
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False Reports of Car Damage From Advantage
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- On 01/13/12 we rented a car from Advantage in Charlotte, NC. Had reserved online but when we arrived they tried to charge more than the reservation quote. I insisted that we would pay the reserved costs and was given an upgrade and the correct price. We returned the car on 01/15/012 with 33 miles put on. We had our inspection done and was given the receipt. About 6 wks later we received a call stating that there was damaged done all along the right side and the entire right panels had to be replaced.

When we said we had been checked at the time of return and there was no damage the person thanked us and hung up. In May of 2012 we received a packet in the mail with colored picture, reports and paperwork stating there was a claim for damage of $807 that needed paying immediately. Also in the packet was an incident report that had hand written on the bottom "did not want to sign damage report". THIS WAS A BLATANT LIE. No such thing happened.

After reading the paperwork and looking at the pictures of the odometer, I noticed that the odometer had 35 more miles than when we returned the car. After pointing this out to the person in the claims dept, I was told that they must have needed the car so rented it out before having the repairs made. Lo and behold, after I produced my Advantage check out slip (car returned-no damage) the claimed was closed! I just wonder how many more people does this happen to??? Needless to say, we will never use Advantage again
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trmn8r on 2012-05-30:
Interesting. "Panels replaced along the right side" to me should cost more than $807.

This story has a happy ending, as I read it. You showed proof of a satisfactory inspection. Most excellent!

The next time I rent a car from anyone, I'm going to be triple-dog careful to have evidence of satisfactory return.
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I love Advantage Rental Car!!
Posted by on
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I made a reservation online for car rental for the best price of $181 for 10 days for an economy car. I copied what I thought was the most pertinent information and printed it out, when I should have printed out exactly what Advantage gave me online and in email. When I printed out my own truncated version, I did not realize that I did not put the name, logo or phone number. I realize how dumb that was of me later.

When we got to our destination at McCarran airport in Las Vegas, we took the free shuttle to the rent a cars place. Lo and behold there were several rent a car places, and when I looked at my printout, I didn't have on there which one I was supposed to go to. So I decided to go to Dollar rent a car.

When I arrived at Dollar counter, I asked if my reservation was with them. They said no, but they can accommodate me with an economy car. They said it would be $350 for 10 days. I said "what? the quote I have from this company is $181!" The Dollar representative said "Well $350 is a good price. I can give you a free upgrade if you like." What do I need a free upgrade for? to pay more gas? So I declined. Then I decided to just check my email and found out it was Advantage who sent me my itinerary.

So I went to the Advantage line, and they had quite a lot of customers in line compared to the other places. I waited in line, and was helped by a very professional and helpful lady. She explained everything to me, asked me if I wanted to pay additional $20 up front so that I don't have to refill the tank when I turn it in. I said OK. (Plus, paying the $20 extra is cheaper than having to pay for a full tank of gas at the end, and I don't have to have the hassle of worrying about filling the tank.)

The Toyota economy car they gave me was beautiful! We had an awesome vacation, beautiful ride, and turning it back in was easy. So the total charge (including the full tank of gas) was about $200 for 10 days rental.

I had such a great experience with Advantage from the ease of making reservation, helpfulness and friendliness of employees from checking out to checking in, and the great price!

I definitely plan to use Advantage again when I need to rent a car, and I will recommend them to everybody!
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Anonymous on 2010-12-10:
I am happy to hear you had a great experience, and welcome back, btw.
kim on 2013-06-04:
I had the same experience and their loss damage waiver is the cheapest in that facility. I'm happy to hear many ppl are having the same result.
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The Guy at the Counter Was Crook
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- First off, I made the reservation online. When I got there, he said he could not find it . I showed my email confirmation and he said he did not see it, but what he can do is give me a car at different rates which would be $40 .00 more. I said no. I took his business card and said I was going to call their office and he quickly checked the computer and said, "Yes, here is your reservation sometimes it takes while to get our system."

Also, I have known car rental companies putting a hold on your credit card but these guys actually charge you everything upfront and you will have to wait until they refund you the money, which I was told it can take up to 21 days .
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Advantage Did Not Honor My Reservation
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I made a reservation on July 24 for a mid sized car to be picked up on August 2 at Dallas Love Field. When I arrived at the Advantage counter the person told me all he had was a mini van. I told him that I did not really want a mini van. He told me that if I did not take it he would just give it to the next person in line and I would not have a car. He was very rude and condescending. He was a complete jerk.

When I called customer service, the person implied that it was my fault. Why make a reservation if they are not going to honor it. I’m sure Advantage will stay in business without me, but I will never rent from them again and urge other to not do business with them. I went to the only other open rental counter and rented a car for almost double what I had been quoted by Advantage. I did rent from Enterprise and they were absolutely wonderful, they will have my business in the future.
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Very Incompetent Staff, Undisclosed Extra Fees
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT, CALIFORNIA -- We will not use Advantage again. Although we preordered and prepaid on-line, it took us 1 1/4 hours to get our car. The desk agents had wrongly entered the information for the two customers before us and did not know how to correct their mistakes. We waited while they did a lot of talking without much action. Two days after we rented the car, we received a call from an Advantage representative asking what car we were driving. He stated he was trying to figure out the renters of 19 cars rented that particular day! Our on-line order stated all taxes and fees included. It turned out that $20 more in taxes was included in the final bill with a response of "those are the taxes."

The car itself, a Dodge Avenger, was fine. Our relatives on vacation with us used Enterprise. None of them had any problems and were processed very timely.
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