We recently returned from a long weekend trip to Texas Hill Country visiting Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio. While we usually fly into Austin airport, this trip it made more sense for price and schedule to fly into San Antonio. It had been several years since we’d visited and I’m happy to report there have been many positive changes, at least when it comes to renting a car there.
I checked Autoslash and found the best price for our rental to be with Sixt Rent A Car. I was familiar with the company because they have locations in Orlando around Disney World but I had never rented from them before. The main reason for that was their locations were usually off-airport, requiring a shuttle bus to and from the rental car location. The only time I’ll use an off-airport rental is when there are no on site rental locations.
In San Antonio, that’s no longer a problem.
In January 2018, San Antonio opened a on-site Consolidated Rental Car Facility. This five level garage houses the car rental companies on the top three levels and provides parking on the bottom two floors. A sky bridge links the facility to the main terminal. While the walk to these facilities can be a bit long, they are a huge improvement over previous system of having to take a shuttle bus to your rental company location.
The opening of the new Rental Car Facility brought a new company to San Antonio Airport, Sixt Rent A Car. Sixt brands themselves as the world’s premier affordable luxury car rental service and they deliver on that promise offering cars such as Mercedes Benz, Range Rover and Volvo. The Sixt counter is at the very far end of the building, all the way to the left as you enter from the sky walk from the terminal.
While several of the other counters had lines, the Sixt counter was empty. As I walked up the associate immediately started to check me in.
Here’s some details about the rental. As I mentioned above, Sixt was the cheapest price of any available car in San Antonio. I made the reservation two months out and the price never dropped; in fact the prices kept rising right up to the day of the rental. I booked a full size car, which they said would be a Toyota Camry, Chevy Malibu or Chrysler 300. Since we had four people in our travel group, I wanted a car with enough room for all of us. I signed up for the Sixt Express Card program and applied for my platinum status upgrade because I have a MasterCard World Elite card. I also installed the Sixt iPhone app and linked my Express Card account.
At the counter, the associate immediately thanked me for being a platinum customer. Um, sure. You’re welcome, I guess? He found the car I rented and then said he would check to see what car they could get me into since one of the perks of platinum status is a free double upgrade on a space-available basis. I also learned platinum members get deeply discounted rates on luxury car upgrades. He offered me a Mercedes, which I declined. He also said they had a Volvo XC90 and just out of curiosity I asked how much that would be. $20 extra per day.
For a moment, I was tempted. Really tempted. But I remembered this rental was already costing me more than I wanted it to. We were also splitting the charge with another couple so I said it was a good offer but I’d just stick with the car I rented. He then said those were only the paid upgrades. He’d look to see what free upgrades were available. He said they had a F150 pickup, Nope, not with luggage. How about a Chevy Tahoe. Hmm. Four people, plenty of luggage. Sounds great!
He asked if I wanted to get the insurance but I said I already had coverage. He asked what insurance company I had, which I told him but I also mentioned I get primary LDW coverage with my Sapphire Reserve card. He also asked if I wanted to buy the gas option, which I denied. The last question was if I was going to be driving to Austin or Houston because if so I might want to get the toll option. I asked where there are tolls in Austin as we’d never been on a toll road. He said if you’re going on a toll road, you’d know it and where we were going we’d be fine.
We finished up the paperwork, which included a thorough listing of all of the preexisting damage to the car.
When we got to the garage, a different employee was waiting for us. He had the keys and walked us to the car. I quickly noticed our rental wasn’t a base model Tahoe. It has a full Media Package with Sirius XM & DVD player in back seats, collision warning system, wireless hot spot and fully automatic everything (including push button folding down of the third row seats which was so cool!). The Sixt employee went over all the functions of the car (including the buttons for the wipers, gas cap, radio, thermostat, power steering wheel adjustment, windows, etc.). He even pulled the car out of the parking spot so it was easier for us to load the car. I’m glad he did because I shortly learned driving a Tahoe is, as one of my co-workers put it, like steering the Eiffel Tower. 🙂
At the end of our stay in Texas, the same agent in the garage that showed us the car was there to process the return. He asked how we liked the car and how everything went. The charge went right to my card and I received an email confirmation a few hours later. It took 1-2 days for me to get the final invoice, which at first showed up in German and then switched to English (Sixt was founded in Germany).
Our group were all impressed with the rental from Sixt. Even though I had to go through all of the questions at the counter, there was no pressure or hard selling techniques. Now that I’ve rented from them already, I’m supposed to be able to go right to the garage. You can select your car directly from the iPhone app, which also gives a countdown clock of when you need to return the car. I’d certainly rent from them again.
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