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National Car Rental is a car rental company that serves all frequent airport travelers, but especially business travelers through their Emerald Club member program. The company has locations both nationally and internationally

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The Good

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Available at most airports
  • Instant return

States Available

National car locations live up to its name with locations in all 50 states. Many of their competitors have fewer locations. With a location in every state, it makes planning for a trip out of town easier, knowing a National branch will be there.

Airports Locations

National's rental counters are at most major-and some minor-airports throughout North America. For the most part, they cannot be found outside of the airports, except in New York City, for example. Local residents may find it difficult to rent cars at major airports when competing with out of town customers.

Instant Return

National offers instant return if you are enrolled in their Emerald Club membership. It is called their "Drop and Go" feature. You get convenient email receipts and can just drop off your car and leave (if your car has not been damaged during the rental). If you're not an Emerald Club member or if your car has been damaged, you have to drop the car and keys off in person. Most companies do not offer this convenient feature.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance is offered 24/7 at $4.99 a day. This is a lower price than most rental companies, who charge at least $1-3 dollars more per day. Customers can sign up for roadside assistance online while making their reservation.

Toll Prepay Option

National lets customers order toll passes through their website during the reservation process to make their commute easier. Their toll pass device is $3.95 per day. This guarantees a toll pass is available when you arrive to pick up your vehicle. Some places make you order toll passes at time of check-in.

The Bad

  • High rental prices
  • Lack of transparency with their cancellation policy
  • No online check-in options

Economy Price Range

Economy prices with National are much higher than the industry average. National's price doesn't include additional add-ons like GPS and roadside assistance, so the overall price is much higher for economy customers.

On-Site Fuel Discount

National does not offer an on-site fuel discount, and it appears best to fuel your car on your own. On-site gas, depending on the National location and current gas prices, may end up costing you more.

Cancellation Policies

National's cancellation policy is undisclosed. This is unusual for a car rental company. Typically car rental companies promote their cancellation policy on their website. The cancellation policy is an important factor to consider when renting a car or making an online reservation, so customers having to contact the company to ask about their policy is not appropriate. All the necessary rental policy information should be available without having to contact the company.

Online Check-In

There is no online check-in option at this time. You can provide your driver information when you are using the online reservation tool, but there is still a check-in process at the counter with National Car Rental.

The Bottom Line

National can be found in most airport locations, and is upfront about the total price of the rental when making a reservation. Economy car renters are recommended to look at other rental options, as National's prices are significantly higher. The company has a number of customer complaints as well, which potential customers may want to consider before doing business with them. Customers may also want to consider joining National's Emerald Club to enjoy the benefits of their instant return.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

3.7
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10 Reviews

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Jeremy Balls
June 13th, 2019 Kaysville, UT DETAILS
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I have had nothing but good experiences with National. Their cars are clean, fully fueled, and don't stink of smoke. I would use them again.

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Reese
May 17th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I have used National Car Rental many times and I usually go through a travel site that pulls up comparisons and National Car is the lowest price many times and they also provide quality cars that are easy to pick up and drop off. I usually choose based on price, but even at the lowest price they treat me like I'm their best customer and thanks.

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Ron Durfey
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Loved National. Unfortunately when I switched employers I was forced to use Avis. I like Avis but really like the option from National of picking my car and going.

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Kris
August 23rd, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

We use national Rent-A-Car when we arrived in Orlando Florida. We only had one agent helping but it went fairly quickly getting the car we needed. The car was clean and efficient .

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Lesa Burgess
August 21st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I'm an executive elite member for national and have been for 4 years now. It is my 1st choice of rental cars when I do travel, which is a lot. I love the counter bypass & the car availability for us elite members. The ability to reserve and then cancel cars free of charge is one of my favorite features of being an executive elite member. As a person who travels a lot, I also cancel a lot of trips as well, so it is very convenient to not be charged when I have to change my travel. The National mobile app is also very helpful. Very easy to book, cancel & edit my reservations right from it.

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Allen Filson
August 20th, 2018 West Palm Beach, FL DETAILS
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It is with dismay that I must take my business elsewhere. I made a recent rental in Erie, Pennsylvania only to arrive on an American Airline flight to find no car. I had made the reservation two months earlier. When I called the “Customer Support” number I was told, “Sorry there is nothing we can do for you.” When I asked to speak to a supervisor I received the same response. I rent over 40 days a year with National and you could care less that you stranded me and my wife at the airport. I walked to the Avis counter and found myself a car, and while I was there signed up for their preferred program, and will take all of my business to them. It is sad that your “customer service” is not really service at all. It would have been easy for you to arrange a car for me had you cared about the situation you placed me and my wife in. Your lack of caring, your lake of response to multiple phone calls, and your overall lack of customer service has cost you my business. I am only one person, but I suspect there are many more out there that you have shown the same lack of concern towards. In a service industry, customer service should be the focus of what you do; rather you choose to ignore customers who you have put in bad situations. It is for this reason I happily take my business elsewhere.

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Karen Nelson
July 30th, 2018 Alpine, UT

National is a solid company with a great reputation. We have never had any problems with this company. It is a very well-oiled machine." They have well-trained employees.

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Dale Ash
December 19th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
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Although I no longer travel for business, I continue to utilize National whenever possible. I love their Emerald Aisle service. Frequently, because I was an Emerald Club member, I could upgrade to a bigger car without extra cost. The service was quick and effective. Just go out to the lot with your luggage, pick the car you like the best, and drive out after checking in with the attendant. I very rarely had to stand in line. They had attendants with mini-computers check us in during drop off. For a busy traveler, this was time saving and stress reducing! National won me over for life!

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Chuck Stiggins
December 13th, 2017 Provo, UT DETAILS
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Price is a little high, the facility is always clean and organized!

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Sylvia Herriman
March 18th, 2016

hi my name is Tom, I am giving you a rating o .you charged us $1000 for vehicle damage, which was untrue. A cleaning fee of $250.00. concession recoup fee of $702.06 unbeleivable that this is how you run your bussiness. WE tell everyone we see and tell them to stay away from you