Why are our reviews different?
Writing a review on RentalCarReviews.com is slightly different to any other site that we know of who provide reviews for Car Hire and Car Rental. Let me explain how our site is set up, why it was done this way and what steps you need to take to write a review.
We ask for reviews of individual locations to provide greater clarity for future renters and for the car rental companies being reviewed. We currently have over 23,000 locations globally available to be reviewed.
What this means that when you submit a review on RentalCarReviews.com, you are not writing one (for example) for Avis, or for Avis USA or even for Avis Florida. You are writing a review for the Avis location at Orlando Airport specifically.
Why have we set it up this way?
Not all locations are the same. Hertz might be fantastic at London Heathrow Airport but understaffed with long wait times and agitated staff at Edinburgh Airport. Therefore you might find by reading the reviews that Hertz is a good options for you at Heathrow however if you are flying to Edinburgh, you may find that you would be more comfortable and confident booking your car rental with a different company at that particular location.
By the same token, Budget Car Rental (again just for example - could be any brand) don’t necessarily provide the same quality of cars, locations and service in one country as they do in another. For virtually all of the major brands, the vast majority of countries that they operate in are actually franchisee operations, they are not owned or directly operated by the parent company. This doesn't mean that they are bad, I know of countries where it could be argued that the franchisee actually runs a more professional and consistent service than the brand that they represent. Either way, location level reviews provide renters with complete clarity.
In addition, we display both Verified Renter Reviews and Unverified Renter Reviews. More on this later.
A Step by Step Guide
The first step is to find the location that you want to review. The easiest way to do this is from our Home page.
In the search box under “Begin Your Journey Here” (shown right), simply type the brand/company that you rented with and the city or airport. For example, you could type Hertz Barcelona, Avis London Heathrow or Goldcar Mallorca. A list of locations matching your query will appear and you can select the correct one.
Alternatively, you can search on a map for a city or address and find the relevant location using that method if you wish.
Once on the location page, simply click on the “Write Review” button and away you go.
You will be asked to enter your name, a username on the site (this is the name that will be displayed with your review) and your email address. We respect your privacy and will not rent or sell your email address. Once you have submitted your review, you will receive a welcome email from us and activation link to activate your account. There are a number of features available once you activate your account.
Most importantly, the owner of the car rental location can reply to your review either publicly on the site or they have the ability to send you a private message if they wish (this is through the sites messaging system - they do not have access to your email address or any other details other than what you included in your review). You can then respond again either publicly or privately if you wish. You will also be able to add comments throughout the site and ask and answer questions in the dediciated Car Rental Forum.
Next, enter a Title for your review. Something short and descriptive works best. For example "Great Car", "Hard Up-Sell", "Fantastic Staff" or "Old Cars".
Next we ask for you to rate 5 different quality elements on a 5 star scale as follows:
- Miles/Kilometres on Pickup – this highlights the quality/age of the car you were given. Low miles = new car = high rating, high miles = old car = low rating. We provide a guide on how to rate this criteria as follows:
- 0 --> 10,000 miles/km = 5 stars
- 10,001 --> 20,000 = 4.5 stars
- 20,001 --> 30,000 = 4 stars
- 30,001 --> 40,000 = 3.5 stars
- 40,001 --> 50,000 = 3 stars
- 50,001 --> 60,000 = 2.5 stars
- 60,001 --> 70,000 = 2 stars
- 70,001 --> 80,000 = 1.5 stars
- 80,001 --> 90,000 = 1 star
- 90,001 + = 0.5 stars
2. Location Convenience – Some ideas of what to consider when rating this section:
- Was the location easy to find to pick up your car?
- Was it easy to find to return the car?
- Did you have to walk a long way to the location?
- Was the desk far away from where the car was parked?
- Was there a shuttle bus to the location and if so, was it regular and easy to find and use or did you need to jump through hoops, for example call them when you arrived at the airport so that they could come and pick you up?
3. Staff / Quality of Service – consider:
- Hard sell of extra items like additional insurance / deceptive practices.
- General attitude towards you and other customers.
- Language skills if renting in a foreign country.
4. Vehicle Condition – Outside - consider:
- Overall body condition – scratches and dents.
- Safety issues – tyre wear, loose parts, broken lights for example.
5. Vehicle Condition – Inside – consider:
- General condition – upholstery for example.
- Odor – was it unpleasant, for example smelled of cigarette smoke.
We also provide an optional section where you can name individual staff and write a comment outlining how they went out of their way to help you or alternatively, how they treated you poorly.
In my opinion this is the most important element of any review. When it comes down to it, at major locations like airports you will usually find a number of companies all in the same location with the same cars. What sets one company apart from the others is the quality of their staff.
Connecting You with your Car Rental Company
Staff at Car Rental locations are the unsung heroes or villains that have the ability to make your car hire experience either fantastic or awful. The problem is that you don’t know before booking which companies have helpful staff and which ones don’t.
Now you will be able to see how the staff from different companies at the same location treat their customers before you book. Companies with staff who are rude or pushy when it comes to selling you additional products like insurance for example will be clear for all to see as will those companies with great people. RentalCarReviews.com provides a platform where you as their customer can thank them publicly.
It is incredibly empowering for counter or car park staff to see their name up in lights for providing great service and it encourages others to emulate the service level.
Our hope is that service over time will improve for everyone now that there is a place for transparency over how car rental customers are treated by different companies.
We offer the Station Manager or other brand representative access to our site as the owner of their location/s free of charge. The second that you submit a review, the location owner is notified via email providing them with the opportunity to respond to you.
The last key difference between us and other review sites that I would like you to be aware of is the difference between a Verified and an Un Verified Renter Review.
Have your review listed as a Verified Renter Review
All reviews are Unverified by default when they are submitted. They will always be shown on RentalCarReviews.com however they do not carry the same weight as Verified Renter Reviews.
To have your review listed as a Verified Renter Review, we ask that you provide us with some proof that your rental actually took place. We have tried to make the verification process as easy for you as we can whilst ensuring your privacy.
You have a number of options relating to documents that you can email to us to verify your rental. Anything that you send us is used only to verify that your rental took place by our staff, it will never be displayed publicly on RentalCarReviews.com and will not be shared with your car rental company. If they wish to contact you to follow up on your review, they can do so as outlined above. It is then up to you whether you would like to respond or send them further information if requested.
To have your review Verified, simply email one of the documents below to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can check and then convert your review to Verified status. You can send us any of the following:
- Forward the email confirmation that you received from the rental company when you originally booked your car.
- Take a photo (with your smart phone for example) of your rental contract and email it to us.
- Take a photo of your return receipt (you should get one of these when you return the car) and email it to us.
From us to you - Thank You
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for considering writing a review. We appreciate it a great deal as will future renters searching for advice and information about their car rental options.
Believe it or not, the Car Rental companies will also thank you – they crave feedback as it allows them to identify areas where improvement is required and to respond to problems. It also provides them with valuable insight that they have a hard time getting otherwise, allowing them to reward the staff members who are truly brand ambassadors, those who go above and beyond to assist the customers of their company.
The more customers who donate a few minutes of their time to provide honest feedback through RentalCarReviews.com, the greater the chance that consistent, high quality service will be the norm for all future renters.