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Rental Car Experiences?



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "After that, I don't think I'll ever not get the damage waiver"

    That's just what they want you to conclude. Apparently, that is one of the highest-profit items they sell, and the representatives behind the counter get a commission for selling it to you.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    that is one of the highest-profit items they sell

    I calculated the daily rate they quoted me once and it was something like over $4,000 per year. There's no way I'm going to pay that kind of money for something that's already covered by my personal car insurance and credit card company, when I use that card to rent the car.

    And I don't mind standing in a line for a few extra minutes at Dollar if it means saving a wad of cash. ;)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    Oh, they tried to pull the same stunt on my girlfriend about a ding in the right front passenger door of a Mitsubishi Galant until we found some paperwork left in the car that suggested they tried the same stunt with the previous renter. My girlfriend's insurance company was also wise to this scam. She got out of it and didn't have to pay the $500 after vociferously complaining to Enterprise corporate headquarters. Girlfriend refuses to ever rent a car from Enterprise again.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "Girlfriend refuses to ever rent a car from Enterprise again."

    Good for her! If we all let our dollars do the talking and boycotted some of the low-cost, fairly sleazy car rental companies (National and Thrifty come to mind), a few might even do everyone a favor and go out of business.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Unfortunately that won't happen as too many people use Orbitz,, etc. to find the lowest prices when traveling. Cost is the priority, quality is a distand second.

    Personally, I have an account setup with Enterprise. Never had a problem that went unresolved. They know I do not accept their insurance and I'm in and out in under 5 minutes. Heck sometimes they let me upgrade if they have unassigned cars in the parking lot. And they let me reserve specific cars if I like.

    Best advice is if you do rent quite a bit, join a rental companies frequent renters club. The service will be much better.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    Indeed, people get what they pay for.

    I rented from Enterprise twice last year. I had no problems and didn't get much of a hard sell on their add-ons. The first car I rented didn't have me thrilled - a Kia Spectra with over 25K on it, but it looked like it had 100K on it. Luckily I only had it for a day. The second car was a Focus ZX5 with under 10K on it, it was very clean and still smelled and drove like new. I got a decent deal on it too, something like $22/day.

    I had a good Hertz rental in Vegas. I enrolled in the 'number 1 club' online, which allowed me to check in at a dedicated line which had no waiting (as opposed to 20 people in front of me at the normal line). I rented a higher line car (A6) and after the 3 minute check in, was directed to the car which was in a covered garage immediately adjacent to the rental counter. Returning the car required no wait either, they checked it out immediately upon arrival and it was done. It was worth paying a little more for a nice car and an easier procedure.

    I don't plan to travel far enough to rent a car this year, but next year I probably will, and I will keep Hertz in mind.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    A few points to the last few posts:

    1) I have to admit that I occasionally go to one of those lousy car rental places when the majors are $40-50 higher for a weekend. We travel a lot on pleasure and sometimes, price is the difference between taking a long weekend or staying at hme.

    2) If you are renting with Hertz and can get the gold card (as with Avis), you will almost always get upgraded to a better vehicle than you ordered.

    3) Fintail - in Las Vegas, I prefer Alamo/National over Hertz/Avis. The reason is when you check in at the counter, they point you out to the canopy of the size of vehicle that you reserved, and you get to choose amoung the 5-20 models that are out there. if you are renting other than a compact (usually a Cobalt/Cavalier), that can give you some very interesting choices.

    4) I like Hertz and Avis a lot. However, the locations where they have not implemented the express service can be some of the slowest around.
  • I rented with Alamo/National in Phoenix, and they had the same deal as Vegas...

    The only problem? It took 15 minutes for me and my son to decide on a car... My wife was ready to jump in one and leave us... ;)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    That choosing the car idea would be pretty fun - especially somewhere like Vegas that seems to have a very diverse rental lineup.

    When I rented the A6, I was able to specify the model when I booked it online, as Hertz does for their higher line rentals. I was only worried about color, I didn't want white or black. Luckily, I got silver. I think it was like $84 or $88/day - not cheap, but it was a pretty nice car for a rental, and I only had it two days. I substituted driving around the area for gambling/eating...and was probably better for it :P
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    When renting in Vegas I always use Rent-a-Vette. Dont' let the name fool you - I've rented lots of cars and none of them was ever a Vette.

    If none of you have ever driven a Lotus Elise try one out for a few days there. It's entertaining enough just watching the valet attendant trying to get in it. :D

    However, I don't recommend the trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back in one like we did last year. :sick:
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    The only problem? It took 15 minutes for me and my son to decide on a car... My wife was ready to jump in one and leave us....

    My wife had the same feeling ... However, I will pick any car that has the Hertz Never-Lost and Serius Radio regardless of the model of the vehicle
  • My rental experience with AVIS was disastrous. I got duped when I picked up a rental car at FLL in Florida. At the counter I was asked if I wanted to pre-pay. I asked for an explanation of pre-pay. I was told that it is the cheapest and most convenient way to pay for the gas used. That turned out to be a complete lie. When I contacted AVIS customer service to complain I was told in a condescending way that I should have read the contract instead of relying on what the AVIS representative told me. No one told me that if I select pre-pay, I would be charged for a full tank of gas no matter how much gas was left in the tank when I returned it to the airport. That amounts to customer deception and is a complete scam. I was refused a $29 refund which was the amount charged for filling up a tank that was already full. :mad:
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    Yes, prepaying for gas and also the rental company optional insurance ridiculous rates are two of the biggest scams the car rental agencies have going. They like to quote per gallon lower than market prices for a full tank of fuel but most people do not consider the per gallon rate if they still have a lot of fuel left in the tank when they return it.

    I fill up the tank when I get within 5 miles or so of the airport on the return and my credit card company covers my rental insurance when I use their card to rent the car.
  • dturrdturr Posts: 70
    My company has a so called deal with Avis and every car in the last 12 months has been a clunker. The last car out of Miami was stinking had stained seats and over 36k miles. I complained and complained until I received to $25 vouchers. My son in law currently has a Dollar hire car that is over 30k miles he took back the first one which had no central locking and wind down windows and a huge noise in the brakes. Might as well go to "rent a wreck". !!
  • Avis Germany (Frankfurt) is scamming US renters at the price of $660 for a small cratch (under 1 inch) not caused by renter - by just charging it to your credit card and producing phony estimates. Stay clear of them!!
  • Like others, I was victimized by the Enterprise dent scam. Had a totally beat Mitsubishi Lancer, with a hole in the floor carpet where you rest your heel. Had the car one day and these losers found new dents on the roof and hood. The people at the regional office did not even have the good grace to return my calls or letters. Totally unsatisfying experience. Would have been much worse had I not had Amex rental car protection; I can't believe they just paid out. It would have been over $1000 to me. Will never rent from Enterprise again.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    My wife was victimized by the Enterprise dent scam as well, but on a Mitsubishi Galant. They claimed the right rear door had a new ding on it that wasn't there when she received the car. We caught them in a lie because we found the last renter's paperwork in the car from a month prior showing that dent was already there. The associate became all mush-mouthed and let her off the hook. These scumbags were going to hit her up for $550 for a tiny ding! Nowadays, we bring a digital camera and take pictures of the car from all angles while the car is still at the rental place to prevent this scam from happening to us again.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    My sister thinks she got scammed by Hertz in England in August. She was quoted rates in dollars then told to pay in pounds. Her bill was ~$200 more than she was quoted.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    I do the same thing - take photos, and maybe even a digital video. I suspect the rental employees get a commission for damage claims just as they do for upselling redundant insurance.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    Maybe she misread the website :shades: ...always good to make a printout of quotes like that.

    For foreign based sites, I find one can also get a far better deal if they use the native country/site vs the US or global site.
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