Enterprise Rent A Car

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Enterprise Rent A Car

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61% positive

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Review of "Enterprise Rent A Car"

published 25/02/2017 | RICHADA
Member since : 20/06/2004
Reviews : 371
Members who trust : 609
About me :
If my reviews entertain, amuse or brighten your moment in any way, then my task is done! ++ Sadly - Nobody has asked me for £100 yet, I'm not in the habit of giving away money! ++
Pro Economical. Efficient. Polite. Slick.
Cons Cold waiting room! No Car Handbook
Type of car rented
Available selection
Customer Service
Vehicle Quality
Value for Money


Enterprise Rent A Car - their site in Eastbourne with my returned Focus outside it.

Enterprise Rent A Car - their site in Eastbourne with my returned Focus outside it.


Well no actually, and if you believe that in order to review a subject you have to have paid for it, stop reading now……

……This story begins when, having been told by Caffyns Eastbourne Volvo; ‘yes, they all do that, sir, we’ll need your car in for two days to fix it’, come the day before the fix, they had no loan car for me. Very generously – well, being a warranty claim the bill was being passed on to Volvo after all - the receptionist rang me to say that they had arranged a hire car from Enterprise next door, but it would not be ready until 11.00am.

I dropped my car at the Volvo dealership in eager anticipation of a new review subject to drive, the receptionist walking me through the showroom and into the adjacent Enterprise premises.

The Enterprise advertising boast is that they offer “UK car hire with US customer service”, I have never been on the receiving end of their “US customers service”, but the review should reveal all.


Enterprise Rent a Car are headquartered in Clayton, Missouri, United States and operate in a total of sixty-six countries world wide. Here they have hundreds of locations covering all of the UK, not only at airports and major population centres but in what they describe as “neighbourhood locations” too. You really are never all that far away from an Enterprise office. My experience, and therefore this review, is entirely based on their Eastbourne site.

Whilst their premises are right next door to Caffyns swanky, modern, Volvo premises on Lottbridge Drove, the Enterprise site, by road, is approached through the scruffier surroundings of Hawthorn Road, effectively a small industrial estate comprising of large, shed type, units.

There is absolutely nothing smart or glamorous about either the location or premises of Entrprise’s Eastbourne site – indeed all the signs here are of a cut price operation. I was also rather surprised to find a distinct lack of cars around the site.

Although the welcome from the three staff members present was warm and friendly, the interior of the premises was not, a barn like waiting room, barely heated in early February, the staff wearing outdoor coats at their desks. There was also a lack of anything whatsoever to do in this waiting area, not even a magazine to read – thank heavens for a smartphone!

This is quite a large industrial unit and to the side and rear of the waiting room are located vehicle preparation and cleaning areas, I was pleased to be able to watch “my” car being prepared through a window in the side wall of the waiting room.


When I walked into the Enterprise office at 11.00am, it transpired that they had not one single car on site to loan me. In a bit of a flap, I enquired as to how long I would be waiting – I was due back at work 25 miles away. The answer came back not more than fifteen minutes and that proved to be the reality.

My allocated car had been collected from a local customer’s premises by an Enterprise staff member, it was pressure washed and vacuumed all within ten minutes. I was also pleased to see the oil level and screenwash being checked, a good sign that Enterprise actually care for their large fleet of vehicles.

OK, it was not presented in the immaculate condition that would have been the case had I hand washed the car myself, but then I require about three hours to properly clean, inside and out, one of our cars. This was however teamwork at its very best and I stood in awe of the whole well-oiled performance here and the fact that just ten minutes after it arriving I was sitting in a five month old top of the range Ford Focus was genuinely impressive.


I was also more than impressed at the speed and efficiency that my details were processed, indeed all I required was to hand over my photo driving license card as proof of ID. Rather than my having to obtain a code from the DVLA to check, the Enterprise manager did the whole process online in about two minutes flat – they are well practiced at this routine, unlike myself and the majority who rent their cars!

There is a secondary issue of paperwork after you have inspected the car and agreed any damage already present on it with the Enterprise representative. Both bodywork and tyres are inspected, although he explained that they take a laid back approach to curbed alloy wheels. My black, 10,000 mile, five month old Focus Titanium X was, apart from a chip on the rear hatchback, in perfect condition, inside and out – indeed, I was surprised that on 18” wheels and ultra-low profile tyres that none of the wheels had been damaged, maybe the modern car is so well built that it can survive life in the hands of multiple drivers who do not own or care for it.

A standard form is presented and you sign in multiple places, on the same form, for the condition of the car, and that you are responsible for any speeding or parking fines during your hire period. There are also disclaimers to sign over damage waivers and insurance, I actually paid a £50 deposit against a full Damage Waiver – charged to my debit card at £6.99 per day – when I returned the car; the same Enterprise representative actually admitted that he had failed to charge me the £6.99 and would refund the full £50 which I thought generous.

The car had a full tank of diesel and I was asked to return it full, I would highly recommend doing so as Enterprise currently charge diesel at £1.46 per litre to re-fill, that being about 20% above the local supermarket price.


Here I, well Volvo, actually did rather well; the Ford Focus Titanium X is, according to Enterprises’ issued paperwork, a “Band D” class car, which, being the only car available was charged out at a Class “A” rate – that being £16.66 + VAT per day, call it £20!

The class bandings are fairly obvious, starting at A with a tiny, three cylinder Toyota Aygo, or similar, progressing up through a “Corsa class” car at band “B”, although both C and D show a “Focus type” car – I am guessing that my top of the range Titanium X model probably costs more to hire than a standard Focus thus the higher banding. From there you progress to Intermediate (Skoda Octavia for example) and Standard (Ford Mondeo), then a compact executive saloon, C-Class Mercedes or similar. There are a total of 12 vehicle classes, including MPV’s and vans, until reaching the “Exotic Collection” at the top of the Enterprise tree.


How about blowing £300 a day on a Porsche 911 (yes please!) or £350 for a top of the range Panamera (no thanks!)? If Italian Exotica are more the cars of your dreams (they aren’t mine!) then a Ferrari California can be yours for £900 during the week / £2,700 per weekend day, or a Lamborghini Huracan for £1100 a day.

Enterprise’s Exotic range actually offers a fabulous choice of both sports cars and up market saloons and MPV’s, from Bentleys, through Mercedes to Range Rovers, possibly worth a thought for a special birthday or anniversary treat for a loved one?


Hire car companies policies vary considerably, I remember many years ago it being an “in-joke” that a colleague always did fly-drive trips with “Thrifty Rental”, in those days hire cars were labelled, if you were following a Hertz rental car down the road, you knew about it! I was very happy to drive away in the completely un-marked Enterprise Focus, without so much as even a label on the number plate. After all, we pay to hire a car, not advertise the hire car company whilst we do so.

The car itself, apart from having a slightly odd feeling gear change / box was free of fault, everything on it worked exactly as it should have done, to the extent that I was able to use it as review subject in its own right.

With such new cars making up their fleet, it would be very unusual for a mechanical problem to manifest itself, however were it to do so, or should you be involved in an accident, clear contact details are provided on the back of the paperwork given to you when you sign for the car, both in order to contact Enterprise, or to obtain roadside assistance.

Only one, tiny criticism on my part was the absence of a Car Handbook in the glove box. I can understand them not leaving it in there - some people will lift anything - but on the Titanium X Focus there were several features that would have needed clarification prior to use, prime among them the automatic parking system, which I found unfathomable without instructions.

I returned the Focus, without incident, prior to 11.00am the following day and was asked to take a seat whilst the Enterprise manager inspected the car, checked the fuel level and then refunded my £50 deposit.


The fact that trusted friends of mine here on Ciao have successfully used this company from entirely different geographical locations, combined with my own experiences in Eastbourne, mean that, as a car hire company, I have no reason at all not to unhesitatingly recommend Enterprise Rent a Car. Their staff are helpful, most obliging and just, simply, nice people to have contact with – making the hiring of a car a pleasure rather than a chore.

The fact that the whole organisation appears to run like a well oiled machine indicates that yes, they are very enterprising indeed!


Enterprise Rent a Car are an international organisation and I would suggest keying in the website address below in order to locate your nearest branch.

The contact details for the Eastbourne site as reviewed here:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
18 Hawthorn Road
BN23 6QA

Tel: 01323 642420



Weekdays 08:00 to 18:00
Saturday: 09:00 to 12:00

(c) RICHADA / CIAO – 25.2.2017

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Comments on this review

  • chrisandmark_is_here published 18/05/2017
    Ack, I'm out of Es - please take an honorary one x
  • siberian-queen published 06/04/2017
    i have never rented a car!
  • torr published 11/03/2017
    Not one I've ever used, but your experience does sound good.
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Product Information : Enterprise Rent A Car

Manufacturer's product description


Listed on Ciao since: 11/08/2001