Avis and Hertz have gone head-to-head with the almost simultaneous launch of a mobile global-positioning system (GPS). Two T+L editors set out to determine which program leads the pack.
Avis Vs. Hertz
Avis Avis’s portable Where2 by Garmin units incorporate 3D maps, play MP3’s, and are Bluetooth compatible. The system uses weather, traffic, and construction updates from Clear Channel to estimate arrival times.
Hertz In addition to map and direction features found on earlier versions, the latest Hertz NeverLost includes more than 10 million gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and other destinations located in North America.
Avis Where2 units can be rented at 160 locations in North America.
Hertz NeverLost is available at over 400 locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Display and Directions
Avis Assistant editor Darrell Hartman found the touch screen easy to navigate, though the basic map displays "could be more impressive."
Hertz The bright 3.5-inch displays are clear, but "the controls are unwieldy," says senior editor Nina Willdorf.
Avis $9.95 a day.
Hertz $9.95 a day in North America and $12 in Europe.
Avis For an additional $10.95 per day, drivers can also rent a Wi-Fi unit, allowing Internet use in the car. This service, however, is available only in major metropolitan areas.
Hertz Hertz doesn’t offer Wi-Fi units for use in cars, but high-speed service is available at its rental counters and in the #1 Club Gold parking areas at 50 airports.
Avis "The GPS system was miraculous," says Hartman, "because it took into account what happened en route. When we were looking for a gas station on a more remote road, however, we were totally misled."
Hertz Best suited to city driving, the units were spottier on country lanes, leading Willdorf to a dead end. "It is handy as a supplement, she says, but she and Hartman still recommend an old-fashioned map, just in case.