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Before You Rent GPS With a Rental Car

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Most rental car companies offer in-car GPS as an option. These can help you make the most of your time, whether traveling for business or pleasure. Prices are fairly consistent, at about $12 per day, or $60 per week. In most cases, you specify that you would like the GPS option when you reserve the car, whether you book online or over the phone. See the summaries below for more specifics on major rental car company offerings. One note of caution: rental car companies will charge you an approximate $600 replacement cost if the GPS is lost or stolen.

Hertz NeverLost

Hertz takes its GPS services one step beyond other rental car companies with its "NeverLost" system. In addition to renting you a GPS receiver for $11.95 per day, Hertz offers an online trip planning utility that lets you plan and save trips online, then transfer your plan to a USB flash drive that you simply plug into your Hertz (made by Magellan) GPS. Your trip plan is then instantly in place in your rental GPS. Among the NeverLost features we like is a "Hertz airport return" command that will guide you directly back to the airport. A "favorites" utility lets you download national park guides, city guides and more.

Avis where2

Avis's where2 system uses Garmin GPS receivers that include hands-free calling capability if your phone has Bluetooth capability. Avis's Garmin units also feature text-to-speech, providing you with spoken directions to your destination. Avis has added MSN Direct services, including traffic tracking and avoidance, at select locations.

National

National offers rental GPS units based on the popular Garmin StreetPilot c330. This receiver features a simple touchscreen interface with automatic route calculation to any destination. Text-to-voice provides spoken directions. The navigator includes detailed maps including points of interest such as hotels, gas stations, restaurants, ATMs and tourist destinations. The receivers also include a one-touch rental return directions feature for easy car return.

Budget and Alamo

Budget uses the Garmin where2 system (same as Avis per above).
Alamo offers a Garmin StreetPilot from its airport locations only.

Enterprise

Enterprise has upgraded its GPS offering to a customized version of the Garmin 265W. This wide-screen (4.3-inch diagonal) GPS includes text-to-speech directions, and hands-free calling with wireless Bluetooth technology.
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