car rental curbside delivery

In a big hurry to return your rental car and get to the airport? Got a lot of luggage to schlep? If you have a bit of time to plan ahead, you might want to consider a curbside delivery program.

First, let's be clear about what curbside delivery is not. "Pick Enterprise, We'll Pick You Up" has been a tagline for over 20 years. Enterprise, and even some neighborhood-based Budget and Hertz agencies, will come to your home or business and bring you back to the rental station to sign a rental contract, pick up a car and be on your way. But that's not curbside delivery.

Curbside delivery is available at several dozen major airports to help renters at the tail end of a rental.

 

Avis Curbside Delivery

 

With the Avis Curbside Delivery program, Avis will pick you up from the car return location and drop you off at the airport terminal, allowing you to bypass the shuttle bus. But is avoiding the shuttle bus worth the extra cost?

Curbside delivery is an optional add-on available at 35 airports so far. With the Avis app, you can pre-schedule a ride directly to the airport terminal upon returning your rental car. This service is available to any renter willing to pay for and schedule the service at a participating location.

There are two ways to book this this service: via the app or by text message. After booking, just drive to the Avis return aisle and an Avis staff member will take you and your possessions to the airport terminal's departure area.

The value proposition is that it's a time saver. You still need to return the car to the Avis location, but you can eliminate the shuttle bus (and waiting for the shuttle bus), so you will shave off valuable minutes. The service can also be handy if you or someone in your party has mobility issues.

Curbside delivery is also convenient if you're traveling with children or have a lot of luggage or golf clubs. It saves the hassle of dragging all of your stuff out of the car, into the shuttle bus, and back off again. So if you're not traveling light, this might be a great option.

This service isn't exactly new. About six months ago, we received a special offer to pay $25 at Nashville International Airport for a service called Curbside Drop Off instead of Curbside Delivery. Since the rental car facility is adjacent to the terminal, we thought the $25 fee was more than a bit excessive.

 

Limitations of Avis Curbside Delivery

 

Curbside Delivery seems like a great convenience but it's a costly option. There are three major limitations to the service:

  • A renter can't simply drive to the airport terminal. You need to elect the service on a qualifying rental, drive to the rental car location, get picked up by a staff member, then get driven to the airport to unload.
  • Curbside Delivery is only valid when returning a rental vehicle at one of the participating locations.
  • The cost for Curbside Delivery is in addition to any rental car surcharge, state and local taxes and fees mandated by the local airport authority.

 

Discontinued Hertz Curbside Delivery Service

 

Hertz no longer offers a curbside service, though one was previously available to members at the Hertz Platinum tier. Members of that service paid a hefty annual fee and could receive what Hertz called Drive Back Service to the airport terminal. Today that fourth tier of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is invitation-only.

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