Sponsored by National Car Rental
There were some odd, low points in my household during the first year of the pandemic that I’m only now able to laugh at.
One time was when I got mad at my brave, masked and gloved-for-protection husband for stopping at the car wash on his way home from picking up our curbside grocery order.
It wasn’t that our car didn’t need a cleaning – it did. And it wasn’t that the car wash was a dangerous place to go. It was the fact that after months of being stuck indoors and going nowhere, my husband enjoyed an excursion, while I had missed the chance for an ‘adventure.’
The marriage survived and over the past few months, we have cautiously traveled to more exciting destinations. We went on a short road trip and while I obsessed about how best to clean all the possible touchpoints, I doubt we did a thorough enough job.
The next two trips were farther from home, so, we rented cars. We rented first at a small airport in California and then at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Both rentals were with National Car Rental, and a few things stood out.
Service was top-notch. With our first rental, we were enjoying our adventure so much that we lost track of time. As we were debating squeezing in one more stop, we got a courtesy call from the National Car Rental counter agent who graciously adjusted our vehicle return date. It made all the difference on our first real trip since lockdown and reminded us that we’re a bit rusty on our travel planning and may need to relearn a few tips.
In addition, the cars were very clean, which gave me peace of mind. Before our trip, I was aware of cleaning protocols developed by National Car Rental and other companies in response to the pandemic, but I hadn’t experienced these programs firsthand.
Our rental cars from National Car Rental were cleaned and sanitized in places I’d never even thought to clean in my car such as the instrument panel and areas between the seats and doorjambs (I checked the list). There was also a disinfecting wipe provided, with instructions to use it only on the vehicle’s high-touch, hard non-porous surfaces.
Now, as I get ready to head out for more adventures, it’s reassuring to know that National Car Rental will continue prioritizing the safety of customers. Patsy Rey, Director of Loyalty for National Car Rental states, “At National, we never stop looking for ways to enhance cleanliness and safety. Each of our vehicles is thoroughly cleaned between every rental and backed with the Complete Clean Pledge. This includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading health authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points.”
For reference, and in case you want to try super cleaning your own car, those touchpoints are:
- Key/key fob
- Steering wheel
- Steering column
- Seat belts
- Center console
- Door interiors
- Door pockets
- Interior door handles
- Exterior door handles
- Seat pockets/seat surfaces
- Areas between seats & consoles
- Areas between seats & doorjambs
- Instrument panel
- Accessory panel/touchscreen
- Rearview mirror/side mirrors
- Visors/visor mirrors
- Dashboard /vents
- Gear stick /gear shift
- Trunk release
As travel rebounds, and spring break and summer travel plans fall into place, the demand for rental car vehicles will no doubt increase. At times, it may be more difficult or more expensive than expected to reserve a rental car in certain cities. Rey offers the following advice:
“We recommend reserving your vehicle as early as possible and consider using the Emerald Club loyalty benefit of Emerald Reserve Service to reserve a specific car class…providing flexible travel dates can also help increase your options.”
In addition to its handy app, National Car Rental has numerous other tools that can make renting cars easier.
The Emerald Club loyalty program is free to join. Emerald Club members can bypass the counter and access National’s “Emerald Aisle,” a section where members select any vehicle, as long as they’ve reserved a midsize car. Emerald Club members also have access to benefits such as premier selection, priority services and Emerald Club Counter Service, which expedites the rental process.
Also, to acknowledge that the pandemic kept many travelers off the road, National has once again extended elite tiers and free days. Executive and Executive Elite tier status with an expiration date of February 28, 2022, were automatically extended to February 28, 2023. In addition, Emerald Club Free Days which had an expiration date of December 31, 2021, were extended to December 31, 2022.
When planning for your next adventure, I encourage you to join National Car Rental’s Emerald Club to make your car rental experience faster and more convenient.
This post is sponsored by National Car Rental