National Review

National is a cost-effective car rental solution for domestic and international travelers alike. Their simple booking process and advanced mobile tools make them appealing to busy individuals who want to make changes quickly while on the go.

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The Good

Book reservations quickly

In order to book a National rental car, you start by selecting the place and time you plan to pick up and drop off the vehicle. If you’re picking your car up at the airport, you can also enter in your flight information, which is always a good idea so National is apprised of any delays and continues to hold your reservation. After that, you’re brought to a list of the cars available for rental at that particular location. You can view the vehicle’s features and how much it’ll cost you for the entire trip. Then you can add any extras you want, like insurance or a GPS device. Once you’re all set, just enter in your some basic personal information and National will send you a reservation confirmation via email.

Low late fee

National car rental has a grace period of 29 minutes so, if you return the car within a half hour of your scheduled return time, you won’t be charged any extra fees. Returning your rental vehicle after the half hour is up will cost you, but not as much as you might think. As long as you get the car back within 2.5 hours of your designated drop-off time, you’ll only be charged hourly rates. It isn’t until you pass the 2.5 hour mark that you start getting charged by the day. This is similar to how many other car rental companies operate, but most start charging you for a full day after just 1.5 to 2 hours. If you’re running a little behind schedule, choosing a company with a more lenient late fee policy like National could end up saving you quite a bit of money.

Highly rated mobile app

National’s mobile app is available for iPhone and Android phones and is one of the highest-rated apps in the car rental industry. With this app, you can book a reservation and change or cancel reservations you’ve already made. You can also access your profile and check out the latest special offers. If you run into trouble while out on the road, you can use your app to quickly contact National and request roadside assistance. In addition, the mobile app helps you find the nearest National rental facility and gives you directions on how to get there. Mobile tools like this are extremely valuable when you’re not near a computer and are of great use to frequent National customers.

Discounts for international travelers

Travelers headed out of the country, particularly those headed to Europe, can save as much as 20% on their National car rental thanks to their international special offers. In order to take advantage of these offers, you have to rent a vehicle for at least three days. If you’d rather forgo the discounted rate when traveling abroad, you then have the option to upgrade a car class for free. This means you can choose a larger vehicle, like a mid-size car or SUV, but pay the same price as you would for a smaller car. These discounts are definitely something to think about because traveling abroad is expensive as it is. This is an easy way to save quite a bit of money while still getting a quality rental car to enjoy on your trip.

The Bad

Limited help when car's in for repairs

National doesn’t offer any pickup services. While this may not be a big deal if you’re just picking up the car at an airport, it’s another story if your car has to go in for repairs. You may need to get back on the road quickly and not have another way to get over to the rental car location. Several other companies, including National’s sister company Enterprise, help make these situations a little easier by coming to get you and driving you to your replacement vehicle. They also bill your insurance company directly for the costs, which is another service National doesn’t offer.

Can't pay when booking

National is one of the few companies that doesn’t offer discounts to their customers who pay when they book their reservations. As it stands, you have to wait until you arrive at the check-in counter to present your credit card and pay for your rental car. This isn’t likely to be a major issue for most people, but it is something you should be aware of before selecting a car rental company.

The Details

General Info

  • Age Requirement: 21 (18 in NY and MI)
  • States Available: 50

Fees

  • Additional Driver Fee: $10/day
  • Early Return Fee: None
  • Late Return Fee: Hourly rate for 2.5 hours, then full day rate
  • No Show Fee: None
  • Underage Driver Fee: $25/day

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