Crossing the Border from the U.S. to Canada in a Rental Car

US/Canada Border

Thinking of driving from the U.S. to Canada (or vice versa)? Whether the reason is for business or pleasure, it's much easier to find a rental that allows U.S. / Canada border crossings than a rental that allows U.S./Canada to Mexico border crossings. Like any other rental car policy, there are stumbling points -- it's much more difficult to find a rental that can be returned in the other country than finding a rental that can be driven across the border and then returned in the original country. 

Why did I want to drive a rental car to Canada? The short answer was to escape Tennessean summers and use my free 150th Anniversary Parks Canada pass while singing the Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Rather than putting thousands of miles on my personal car, I instead opted to put thousands of miles on Hertz's car (Canada, like the U.S., is a very big country).

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Sixt's Preferred Customer Tiers - A Few Moments Can Lead to Cost Savings and Upgrades

Sixt

We frequently remind AutoSlash users to join the membership programs of the companies they use. With the exception of Payless and their completely valueless Payless Perks program (their discounted rates are prepaid, while ours are not), these loyalty programs frequently provide benefits such as upgrades, free rentals, and other benefits.

Sixt has a fairly straightforward program when it comes to benefits and an easy way to advance in status with two downfalls (one small, one potentially very costly). Sixt is a very different type of company -- if you ever drive past one of their lots, you might see a few vehicles that are similar to your "standard" rental car company such as Chevrolets, Fords, and Nissans. You'll also see models like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz; the goal of the company is to provide a differentiated experience for consumers. Hertz's  idea of a premium car (Chevy Impala, Nissan Maxima or similar) is very different than Sixt's idea of a premium car (Mercedes-Benz CLA or similar). Sixt status can occasionally help a renter upgrade to a vehicle that wouldn't even be seen on the lots of other rental car companies — and without a fee

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Does Europcar Pay Staff a Bounty to Find Damage and Overcharge Customers?

Sixt

According to an article in The Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom Sunday, Europcar, one of the largest rental companies in Europe paid its staff a bounty of £4 each time they spotted damage on a rental vehicle that was returned, regardless of whether a repair was actually warranted according to a whistleblower. This latest article comes on the heels of other recent articles which claim that Europcar is accused of systematically overbilling well over half a million customers for repairs over many years, in what could become one of the biggest consumer overcharging scandals in recent UK history.

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Hertz Wants You To Sell Rental Car Insurance In Your Pajamas

Hertz Kiosk

Working from home is becoming mainstream, but I never expected that I could have done my old job from the comfort of my own home. Yet that's what Hertz recently announced openings for.

Hertz is hiring home-based video call center specialists. It's a pretty innovative solution to the problem of staffing for on-and-off cycles of rushes: rather than hiring extra agents that would sit around doing nothing after the line dies down, someone at another location can step in and help virtually. It actually works pretty well, though I think Hertz needs to do a better job putting it in front of people—I often see 50 people standing in a 30-minute line when there's an entire bank of kiosks waiting to be used just to the side.

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Tampa Bay Airport SkyConnect Trains Begin Testing

Tampa SkyConnect Train

The Tampa International Airport's originally 3-year, now 4-year effort to open a consolidated car rental facility took one step closer this week with the delivery of 12 SkyConnect trains that were lifted onto the guideway of the 1.4 mile $417M automated people mover system. More than 6,900 workers have been part of building SkyConnect and the consolidated rental car center since construction began in November 2014. The guideway structure was finished earlier this year.

The train cars built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. cost approximately $1.9M each and weigh 34,200 pounds. Each is designed to last 25 years. They will go through approximately six months of testing, with the goal of opening the system to the public early next year.

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