Brilliant Marketing: Car Rental Company Rents Hot Wheels To Kids

Brilliant Marketing: Car Rental Company Rents Hot Wheels To Kids

When families go on vacation, parents get to drive around a shiny and different vehicle, but what do kids get to drive? Nothing! It happened that toy-maker Mattel and car-renter Europcar are clients of the same ad agency, and they formed an interesting idea: what if there were a counter where children could rent cars, too? Pocket-sized cars, that is. Hot Wheels. [More]

(paul.malon)

Learn From My Stupid Mistake: Ask For Total If Hertz Offers You An Upgrade

Jon made a Hertz reservation through Hotwire.com, and his grand total was to be $110. At the counter, they offered him an upgrade, for $123. Here’s the problem, and what he wants to warn the Consumerist community about: he failed to clarify that the upgrade would be for $123 more than the original total, not a grand total of $123 and an upgrade fee of only a few bucks per day. [More]

(paul.malon)

I’m Glad I Didn’t Call Hertz Roadside Assistance For An Actual Emergency

For a recent trip, Michael rented a car from Hertz. It was a hatchback. He had a tiny problem: the key he had opened the doors and started the engine and everything, but didn’t open the hatch. He tried a few different ways to contact customer service, but couldn’t find anyone to help him or didn’t receive an answer. He never needed trunk access during his trip…but what if he had? [More]

(Marike79)

5 Major Rental Car Companies Agree To Stop Renting & Leasing Recalled Vehicles

You know what’s a scary thought? Renting a vehicle from a car rental company and then finding out that it’s part of a recall, but was never brought in for the necessary repairs. Then there you are, driving a potentially dangerous vehicle. We’re kind of surprised it took this long, but now Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar Thrifty and National have agreed to stop leasing vehicles under safety recalls. [More]

Hertz On Demand Doesn’t Work If No Cars Are Available

Hertz On Demand Doesn’t Work If No Cars Are Available

Benjamin lives in a major city, so he rents cars when he needs one rather than owning one. This system works well for him, and he’s a loyal customer of Hertz. What he’d really like is to become a customer of Hertz On Demand, a Zipcar-like service that lets customers rent cars by the hour rather than by the day. At least it would if the location nearest Benjamin ever had any cars available. [More]

This Is Why You Should Photograph Your Rental Car

This Is Why You Should Photograph Your Rental Car

Dan and his wife took a vacation in Hawaii, and rented a car for their use while visiting. Only the car that they rented was in pretty rough shape on the outside. They took it, but carefully documented all of the pre-existing damage. This was handy, since Budget proceeded to try to make Dan and Mrs. Dan accountable for the damage that they had done to the car during their supposed accident. When Dan mentioned having extensive photos and even a video of the car’s condition when he picked it up, Budget coincidentally turned up his original paperwork documenting the damage right away. Whew! [More]

Alamo/Enterprise Won't Stop Calling About Phantom Rental Car

Andrew is plagued by robocalls.The thing is, they’re not for a political candidate or a shady credit card scam. The calls are coming from Alamo/National Rent-A-Car, and Andrew has no idea why. He’s never rented a car from them, but that hasn’t stopped them from robocalling. A lot. [More]

TSA Agent Retrieves Cellphone From Locked Car, Hands To You At Gate

TSA Agent Retrieves Cellphone From Locked Car, Hands To You At Gate

TSA agents get a bad rap here and elsewhere, so when one of them acts like a human being, nay, a super human being, it is our duty to inform you. Alanna had one such experience this morning when a TSA agent went extremely out of her way to help Alanna get her cellphone from the rental car she had locked it in. This was very helpful because the rental office only opened a half-hour before her plane took off. [More]

Need Cheap Wheels? Rent A Rolling Ad From Budget In Atlanta

Need Cheap Wheels? Rent A Rolling Ad From Budget In Atlanta

If you want cheap car rentals this summer, Budget Rent a Car in Atlanta might have a deal for you. That is, as long as you don’t mind driving a rented car that seems more like a rolling billboard. [More]

How To Swerve Away From Extra Car Rental Fees

How To Swerve Away From Extra Car Rental Fees

Sure, maybe you’re smart enough not to fall for the optional insurance car rental companies like to shill when you borrow one of their fine vehicles. And of course, you’re wise to the astronomical final bill you might get if you opt for their pricey fuel options. But do you know what other gotchas lay in store? [More]

Ex-Hertz Employee Shares 3 Tips On Saving On Your Next Rental

Ex-Hertz Employee Shares 3 Tips On Saving On Your Next Rental

A former slinger of keys for rental car company Hertz has stepped forward from the shadows to share his three tips for saving on your next car. [More]

Is This Lost Rental Car Key Penalty Excessive?

Is This Lost Rental Car Key Penalty Excessive?

Have you ever lost the keys to your rental car? D. did this past weekend, and tells Consumerist that she thought that Alamo’s method of issuing a replacement key was a little bit inefficient and expensive. She was instructed to hire a tow truck at her own expense to bring the car back to the lot, then charged a $250 key replacement fee. [More]

Enterprise Wants $300 For Phantom Windshield Crack

Enterprise Wants $300 For Phantom Windshield Crack

Kyle writes that he rented a car from Enterprise earlier this year, paid for by his then-employer. When he returned the car to Enterprise, and the rental agent didn’t walk around the car with him to check for damage. He didn’t think much of this at the time, but maybe he should have: the company is now after him for his share of the replacement cost of a cracked windshield. What cracked windshield? [More]

Book Car Rentals Early, But Then Keep Checking For Pricedrops

Book Car Rentals Early, But Then Keep Checking For Pricedrops

Here’s a strategy for saving money on your next car rental. [More]

Travel: Is That Online Deal For Real?

Travel: Is That Online Deal For Real?

Our inboxes and search results are filled with great-sounding travel deals, $35 airline tickets, $399 three-day all-inclusives and the like, but have you ever actually tried to snag one? Oftentimes it seems a low “landing prices” shoots up after all the fees are added, or if you try to get a date other than a very narrow set, or you want to do something crazy like return home afterwards. NYT took a look and found that while that’s true, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a price close to the advertised one. [More]

Thrifty Charges You For Gas Even Though You Returned It Full

Thrifty Charges You For Gas Even Though You Returned It Full

Manny returned a rental car full of gas to Thrifty, yet they still ended up charging him $12.67 to top it off. Even after several days of escalating, they have yet to refund him his cash. [More]

National Car Rental Nixes Visa Discount With 'Concession Recovery Fee'

National Car Rental Nixes Visa Discount With 'Concession Recovery Fee'

An anonymous reader thought he would use his Visa Signature card to snag a $37 discount on his National car rental, but found that the rental company took back $36.99 of the savings with a “concession recovery fee.”

Queens Zipcar Runs Out Of Zip For Second Consumerist Reader

Queens Zipcar Runs Out Of Zip For Second Consumerist Reader

Well, isn’t this a coincidence? Yesterday, we posted a story about the experience that Jen and her friend had with their Zipcar rental car with a faulty electrical system, which broke down three times and nearly left them stranded on the mean streets of Hartford, Conn. (Really. They’re pretty mean.) A few hours later, we heard from Matt, who apparently had a similar experience four days later. With the same exact car.