About National Car Rental
The name might be National, but this company is internationally recognized, especially in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean. National, Alamo and Enterprise Rent a Car are all subsidiaries owned by Enterprise Holdings.
National’s footprint spans 1,500 locations in the United States, including airport and neighborhood locations. Unfortunately, the neighborhood locations don’t offer a pickup option. This service is quite useful when you need to be collected from your home or hotel and taken to the car rental office where you need to complete your checkout.
In 2018, National won three prestigious industry awards, namely:
- Highest Customer Experience Among Car Rental Companies, TemkinExperience Ratings, 2018
- Highest Car Rental Rating from Business Travel News’ Car Rental Brand and Ground Transportation Survey, 2018
- The World’s Best Car Rental Company, Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards, 2018
These customer experience awards can most certainly be attributed to the convenience they offer to their clients. After all, when you are in a hurry and make an advance reservation with National, they will let you choose your own vehicle from the selected class and simply drive away.
National Car Rental’s Emerald Club
National also offers a comprehensive frequent renter program, known as the Emerald Club that helps you save on rentals. The club does not give points per dollar spent, but rather a credit for each eligible rental. Once you earn seven credits, you can redeem them in the form of a free rental. There are pros and cons to this type of rewards system. Short term rentals cost less with points based rewards, but it does take longer to accumulate sufficient points to earn a free rental. With the Emerald Club, you can quickly turn frequent short-term or even one-day rentals into sufficient value to earn a free rental.
Another benefit of the Emerald Club, like other rewards programs, is that being a member means you get to bypass the regular line. Club members use a dedicated line and you get to choose a car from the select Emerald Club row, before completing your checkout at the exit booth.
National Car Rental Pricing
National’s daily and weekly pricing can be quite high, but with the rewards program and customer service awards, you may be happy to pay a little extra. Also, you could make use of their deals. At the time of printing, they offered the following deals:
- $20 off weekend base rates on compact, full size, minivan, SUV and convertible rentals.
- $20 off weekly base rates for economy through to full size cars.
- Base rates starting from $9.99 for one-way travel between airport and nearby downtown locations.
- Up to $75 off base rates for any size cars. That means $10 off base rates of $100 or more, $15 off base rates of $125 or more, $30 off base rates of $180 or more, and $75 off base rates of over $600.
The company also offers frequent last minute specials at participating locations.
Car rental options
National offers twenty-four car classes, namely:
Economy Cars – Mitsubishi Mirage or similar with 4 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Compact Cars – Nissan Versa or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Compact Convertible Cars – Mazda Miata RF or similar with 2 seatbelts and space for 1 piece of luggage.
Intermediate Convertible Cars – Mini Cooper Convertible or similar with 4 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Midsize Cars – Hyundai Elantra or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 3 pieces of luggage.
Standard Cars – VW Jetta or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Full Size Cars – Ford Fusion or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Premium Cars – Nissan Maxima or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Premium Special Cars – Chrysler 300 or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 5 pieces of luggage.
Luxury Cars – Cadillac XTS or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Convertible Cars – Ford Mustang or similar with 4 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Standard Elite – Mercedes Benz CLA or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Full Size Elite – Infiniti Q50 or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 5 pieces of luggage.
Standard Hybrid Cars – Toyota Prius or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 3 pieces of luggage.
Full Size Hybrid Cars – Ford Fusion Hybrid or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 3 pieces of luggage.
Sporty Cars – Dodge Challenger or similar with 2 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Midsize Electric Car – Nissan LEAF or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Premium Elite Special – BMW 5 Series or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Super Sport Cars – Aston Martin Vantage with 2 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Luxury Elite Special Cars – Mercedes Benz S450 or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Luxury Convertible Cars – BMW 4 Series or similar with 2 seatbelts and space for 2 pieces of luggage.
Luxury Elite Cars – Maserati Ghibli or similar with 4 seatbelts and space for 3 pieces of luggage.
Exotic Sport Cars – Tesla Model S or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Luxury Elite Electric – Tesla Model S or similar with 5 seatbelts and space for 4 pieces of luggage.
Other categories on offer at National Car Rental include:
- Trucks – Small pickups such as Nissan Frontier or similar, and Ford F150 or similar.
- SUVs – 12 Classes, ranging from Compact to Midsize, Standard, Fullsize, Premium, Luxury, Standard Elite, Premium Elite, Jeep 2 Door, Jeep 4 Door, Luxury SUV, and Large Executive Luxury SUV.
- And Vans – 8 classes, including minivans, 12 passenger vans, 15 passenger vans, cargo vans, 12-passenger high roof vans, 15 passenger high roof vans and compact cargo vans.
National Car Rental Requirements
In order to rent a car, you must:
- Meet the minimum age requirement of the rental location.
- Present a valid driver’s license.
- Present a credit card with your name and available credit for the cost of the rental and additional funds, or you must meet the requirements of the deposit type.
When renting a car from National, you must present a valid (for the duration of the rental period), unexpired government-issued photo driver’s licence. If you are a member of the armed forces who is on active duty, you may present an expired license from your home state, provided you can also present your Active Military ID and you are in compliance with your military extension policy.
A few choices are available when it comes to paying for fuel for your National car rental. When you receive the car, the fuel tank will usually be full.
You may opt to refuel the vehicle to the same level you received it before returning it.
Alternatively, you could pay for a fuel tank of fuel when you rent the car, and return it empty. Note that you will not receive a refund for any unused gas.
Finally, you may opt to pay for fuel upon returning the car. With this option, you can pay a small service fee as well as for the cost of the gas used but not replaced.
One-Way Car Rentals from National
National Car Rental does offer discretionary one-way rentals. One-way rentals mean that you can collect the car from one location and return it to another. This is handy if you need to go from Point A to Point B and don’t want to waste mileage on driving back to the rental location. In some cases, one way rentals can cost more than taking it to a new location.
Certain rules apply with regard to where you can go in your rental car, so it is important to discuss your needs upfront. Also, this option is not always available from all locations. When you take a one-way rental, you may pay an inner-city fee or a drop charge, or mileage.
Additional Equipment from Nationwide
If you will be needing additional equipment, you should notify Nationwide Car Rental when you make your reservation. The add-ons section of the website contains the available equipment and rates. The cost of additional items will be added to your final bill due when you return the vehicle. A maximum charge of 30 days may be applicable for additional items. If your rental exceeds thirty days, the estimated total will be based on the full reservation period.
Some of the additional equipment you may hire include:
- Child safety seats
- GPS units
- Ski racks
- Mobility devices
- And more.
Fast Service with Drop & Go
National Car Rental has two more tools to make renting a car quicker and more convenient. Firstly, they have a mobile app, which you can use to select your rental and reserve it online. As a member of the Emerald Club, you get to use the dedicated VIP line.
When you rent a car from National, you can also make use or Drop & Go, which means that you can return your vehicle faster than before. Now you don’t have to wait in line for your receipts. Simply return your undamaged vehicle and keys, and National will handle the paperwork and email your receipt to you.
Have you already rented a car with National Car Rental Review? leave a review in the comments section down below about your experience