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Rental Car Options for Port Canaveral?


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Let me preface this by saying that I understand times are tough for travel and especially rental cars. Car shortages, labor shortages and more.  I get it.

We sailed out of Port Canaveral this last week and overall it went really, really well.  The one problem spot was rental car.  The drop off before embarkation was okay, but the pickup experience when we got back was bad.

We rented from Budget which is usually really good for us. Love the FastBreak when it's working correctly.  Anyway, got the the Port Canaveral location and it was chaos.  People waiting everywhere, a good size line to speak to someone and, when I got through all that... no cars.  Had to wait for a car to be returned and for my turn at that car to actually get something to drive.  We did get a car and did get where we needed to go.

So my question is... is there another rental company that's doing a better job right now?  Like cars in stock and reasonably quick service.  We have another cruise out of Port Canaveral in January and would like it to go smoother if possible.

Thanks in advance!

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We have only used Hertz to and from Port Canaveral.  The car, picked up at Orlando Airport, returned to the local Hertz facility in Cocoa Beach, the shuttle from there to the ship, and the process reversed when the cruises were over...Smooth as silk.

 

edited...

Apparently, Hertz is no longer the player it used to be in this market.  My experiences above may no longer be what I would experience today.🥴

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On 10/31/2022 at 3:35 PM, Christopher said:

Let me preface this by saying that I understand times are tough for travel and especially rental cars. Car shortages, labor shortages and more.  I get it.

We sailed out of Port Canaveral this last week and overall it went really, really well.  The one problem spot was rental car.  The drop off before embarkation was okay, but the pickup experience when we got back was bad.

We rented from Budget which is usually really good for us. Love the FastBreak when it's working correctly.  Anyway, got the the Port Canaveral location and it was chaos.  People waiting everywhere, a good size line to speak to someone and, when I got through all that... no cars.  Had to wait for a car to be returned and for my turn at that car to actually get something to drive.  We did get a car and did get where we needed to go.

So my question is... is there another rental company that's doing a better job right now?  Like cars in stock and reasonably quick service.  We have another cruise out of Port Canaveral in January and would like it to go smoother if possible.

Thanks in advance!

I have always used this Budget location but this past June it was a nightmare at drop off- just as you described.  Lines of people to drop off and pick up, only two workers, and no air conditioning.  They also tried to charge me insurance even though I had declined. The only positive was the great shuttle driver.  I am  comparing prices from Enterprise with Budget for next time.  Enterprise is actually closer to the Royal terminal but I have never used them.  I think they have odd times though--Maybe someone here has experience. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/1/2022 at 8:02 PM, Carlyn3 said:

I have always used this Budget location but this past June it was a nightmare at drop off- just as you described.  Lines of people to drop off and pick up, only two workers, and no air conditioning.  They also tried to charge me insurance even though I had declined. The only positive was the great shuttle driver.  I am  comparing prices from Enterprise with Budget for next time.  Enterprise is actually closer to the Royal terminal but I have never used them.  I think they have odd times though--Maybe someone here has experience. 

I'm having a hard time finding any alternatives to Budget and Avis. Avis is getting similar reviews.  Enterprise has stellar reviews for Port Canaveral, but they don't seen to be open or at least have any availability when we're there.

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2 hours ago, Christopher said:

I'm having a hard time finding any alternatives to Budget and Avis. Avis is getting similar reviews.  Enterprise has stellar reviews for Port Canaveral, but they don't seen to be open or at least have any availability when we're there.

Enterprise is always open when ships are in port coming and going there. That's there business. As for availability, how far out are you looking for? I never have any problem getting reservation with them.

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The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the car rental world I used to enjoy.  Not just in FL but in other states too. 

I recall in 2018 standing in line disembarking a ship in PCN and checking out the ride-share options to MLB airport.  I was inching along the line on the promenade deck outside the ship.  The ride-share were in surge pricing so really high, like $90 to $150 one way.   I was a frequent car renter so I opened the Hertz app and got a car for $35 one way from PCN to MLB.   Seconds later I scanned off the ship, through CBP and made my way to the car rental shuttle bus.  Ten minutes later I was at the Hertz counter with keys in hand.  The agent saw my short trip and gave me a car that had half a tank of gas and told me don't bother putting any gas in it.  I saved a lot and had no issues turning in the car at MLB airport.  It was literally a car reservation made minutes before I was collecting the car.    

Since Hertz declared bankruptcy in the pandemic they are now terrible.  The service at other airports I use is dreadful.  I won't use them anymore.  This past weekend flying somewhere I used Costco to book Budget. No issues and got an upgraded car while the Hertz counter had twenty in line.

Car renting has changed and not all rental companies are what they used to be.  Despite that there are some rental companies that are trying harder than others despite them all going through the same thing.  

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On 10/31/2022 at 3:39 PM, WAYNO said:

We have only used Hertz to and from Port Canaveral.  The car, picked up at Orlando Airport, returned to the local Hertz facility in Cocoa Beach, the shuttle from there to the ship, and the process reversed when the cruises were over...Smooth as silk.

Where is the Hertz location in Cocoa Beach? Google is only showing a Hertz in Cocoa, FL a full 15 minutes from the cruise terminal. The hertz website is also not showing any locations in Cocoa Beach

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21 minutes ago, micahd said:

Where is the Hertz location in Cocoa Beach? Google is only showing a Hertz in Cocoa, FL a full 15 minutes from the cruise terminal. The hertz website is also not showing any locations in Cocoa Beach

Hertz shut down in PCN.  Now an Exotic Car Rental outfit.  

Once Hertz filed for bankruptcy they became nothing like they used to be.  

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13 minutes ago, twangster said:

Hertz shut down in PCN.  Now an Exotic Car Rental outfit.  

Yep. that makes sense.

@Christopher

I had a similar experience at the Budget rental in February of 2020 (yeah, missed it by THAT much). They will continue to take reservations without any real awareness of the vehicles available. So they are waiting on departing passengers to return their cars before quickly cleaning them and renting them back out. The worst-case option they offered was using their shuttle to take people all the way to MCO. I think Enterprise has a better idea of their demand/inventory that's why their website will actually tell you "sold out".

We're trying Budget again in March, but pushing the pick-up as late as practical for us and just staying flexible. We'll see how it goes

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update... checked again today and... whammo, loads of options available. This makes me think my theory of a technical glitch was right.  0 cars in any class unavailable from three brands makes no sense to me unless the locations were closed.  Got my reservation and saved some money. Hoping that Alamo does better than Budget did for us last time.

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