Hertz My Car will offer the daily rental company's range of cars, trucks and SUVs for a pretty penny per month.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Rental car juggernaut Hertz is getting into the car subscription business. The new offering, called Hertz My Car, is being rolled out as a pilot program in Atlanta, Georgia and Austin, Texas, and will cost subscribers between $999 and $1,399 per month depending on which of the two vehicle packages is selected.
Traditional daily rental car companies like Hertz, Avis, and Dollar Thrifty have felt the heat from technological solutions. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have risen to prominence, as well as car-sharing services like Turo. Increasingly, traditional rental companies have explored new business models to combat customer defections and meet evolving consumer demands. Arch rival Enterprise Rent-A-Car itself detailed plans to start its own subscription pilot program back in April.
Bumping up to Tier 2 status ($1,399 per month plus tax) includes access to all of the aforementioned Tier 1 vehicles, plus "regular SUVs" like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Infiniti QX60, full-size trucks like the Ford F-150 and larger luxury sedans like the
. Sadly, the limited-edition Hertz 100th Anniversary
announced last summer will not be part of the program -- they've already exited the fleets and are now for sale through the company's used car arm.
Regardless of which tier is chosen, Hertz My Car comes complete with insurance, roadside assist and all maintenance costs included, along with SiriusXM satellite radio service. Upon approval, a one-time enrollment fee of $250 applies.
In regard to the insurance, Hertz provides a Loss Damage Waiver with a $1,000 deductible. The coverage itself includes up to $100,000 of coverage per person for bodily injury or death; up to $300,000 for each accident and up to $50,000 in property damage.
A Hertz spokesperson told Roadshow that there are six participating locations in Atlanta and five in Austin -- all are off-airport for the moment. Vehicles must be picked up and dropped off at these locations, but the vehicles themselves can be driven anywhere within the US (international travel is prohibited) with unlimited mileage. The spokesperson also noted, "there is no cap on the [program's] number of subscribers. We may refine the program from what we learn in Atlanta and Austin before rolling out to other markets."
While some, more expensive automaker-based subscription services allow for more frequent vehicle swapping as needs dictate (e.g. full-size sedan for workday use, convertible for weekend use, SUVs for family trips), Hertz My Car is limited to just two swaps per month. This could potentially limit the program's appeal, especially as a monthly outlay of $999 to $1,399 a month could easily pay for two vehicle leases in most markets. However, insurance costs vary, and there are other intangibles like the cost and convenience of parking multiple vehicles to consider, as well.