Hertz “Rent-A-Car” came to the Huntsville area circa 1957, and has been serving the Valley since then. Here in Athens, Eagle Automotive/Hertz, located at 22980 Hwy 72 is ready to “let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat.” The Athens location opened in 2007, and was reorganized late in 2013 as Eagle Automotive, LLC.
I had a chance to chat at length with Stacey Crow, the Operations Manager, and Mary Wimbs, the Director of Marketing for Eagle Automotive. Both women have a deep commitment to customer service and making the Hertz franchise the best in the Athens Limestone area. “We pride ourselves on treating our customers the way we want to be treated,” Stacey told me. Stacey was with Decatur Transit for 8 years, and though Eagle Automotive is a young company, their crew has a combined 30 years of experience in the car rental industry. “We are here to stay,” said Stacey. Additionally, she let me know that employees are encouraged to give back to the community. Under the Eagle Automotive umbrella, several positive changes have been made. Some have been technological, such as a more automated system, and service is more centralized.
“The fleet at this location is a sample of what is available for rent,” they told me, “and the rest is managed out of the Huntsville Airport location.” They have a wide variety of autos from which to choose, both domestic and foreign. They are especially proud of their full size, mid size and compact fleet. They also have “gone green” and have the Prius by Toyota available for those who prefer hybrids. The Ford models have Eco-boost, which improves mileage by 20%. Additionally, Eagle has a “fuel saver” option for customers. Eagle is committed to renting vehicles full of gas and the customer has the opportunity to purchase the first tank at a savings of 20% or more off local pump prices also saving the customer the time and inconvenience of refueling before returning the vehicle.
What else does Eagle Automotive do for its customers? “We will come and pick you up and bring you here to your car,” Stacey told me, “or, we’ll bring the car to you.” That can be especially helpful if someone needs a loaner while their car is being repaired, and the replacement/insurance part of Eagle Automotive/Hertz is the lion’s share of the business.
Eagle offers direct billing for insurance companies and body shops and Mary told me that they have an incentive program where “They have the potential to win free rentals locally and nationally, as well as the use of a brand new Corvette for a month.” You can contact either Stacey or Mary and let them give you all the details on this.
Eagle Automotive/Hertz has a number of other services and options for their customers, such as GPS and child/infant seats. In addition, the fact that their one way rental rates are more than 50 % less than other car rental companies really struck a chord with me. Over 20 years ago, I was a newly single mom and had been temporarily transferred from Seattle to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for my job. I needed to rent a minivan to get us there, and the additional fee for a one way rental was a hefty $300! That was a lot to contend with, and added significantly to the stress of the situation. I was glad to learn that Eagle Automotive/Hertz of Athens had taken steps to reduce that fee for local one way users.
There are special rates for weekends and holidays, and if I were to rent a car, there would be no charge to add my husband as a driver. During my time with Stacey and Mary, I learned that it is not at all uncommon amongst the competition to be promised a make or model of a car, and when you go to pick up your rental, it’s not available. “We are going to give you the car you want, in the class you want,” Stacey said firmly. They understand that the competition is interested in your business, and she continued, “I want people to know that I will do whatever it takes to make sure their car rental needs are met,” Stacey said, and of that I have no doubt. Come to Eagle Automotive/Hertz and let them prove it.
Eagle Automotive, LLC Hertz Car Rental
Stacey Crow, Operations Manager, Mary Wimbs, Director of Marketing, and Katie Defoe, Administrative Supervisor
22980 Hwy 72, Ste A
Athens, AL 35613
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner