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]

Why Won't Rental Car Companies Let Me Use My Debit Card?

Why Won't Rental Car Companies Let Me Use My Debit Card?

We recently gave you a suggestion for how to find a rental car that doesn’t require a major credit card, but we didn’t explain why it is that many car rental companies require the credit card — and why they won’t take your debit card. [More]

USAA And Mastercard Turn Celebrity Librarian Into Unwitting Consumer Scofflaw

USAA And Mastercard Turn Celebrity Librarian Into Unwitting Consumer Scofflaw

K.G. writes that she used her Mastercard to pay for a car rental from Avis. The card issuer, Consumerist darling USAA, assured her that the card provided insurance coverage for rental cars. Good to know! Except for how the insurance claim was denied, possibly because she used a coupon for the car rental. No one is entirely sure. The bill went straight to a collection agency without ever giving K.G. an opportunity to, um, actually pay it. Now she’s being penalized for ducking a bill she was never sent, and still can’t get a straight answer out of any of the companies involved. [More]

Dollar Charges Us Twice For Car Rental — How Do We Get Our Money Back?

Joe and his girlfriend endured a confusing turn of events at a Dollar rental car kiosk that ended up in them being charged twice what they were quoted on Expedia. Stuck in a corner without other realistic options, they paid the inflated price and are now looking for a way to get their money back. [More]

Enterprise Tells Me My Rental Will Cost $38, Charges Me $129

Enterprise Tells Me My Rental Will Cost $38, Charges Me $129

Andrew rented a car from Enterprise, which told him online it would charge $37.71 for a one-day rental. When he showed up at the branch, Enterprise said he’d have to pay more than three times that amount because he wouldn’t be allowed to drop his car off until two days later. [More]

Hertz Ad Violates Rules For Renting Hertz Car

Hertz Ad Violates Rules For Renting Hertz Car

Rental car company Hertz has recently begun a massive ad push in cities where its rent-by-the-hour Hertz Connect service is available. The ads I’ve seen here in New York tout the service as a way for us car-less city folk to do things like go shopping in the ‘burbs or drive to a beach where dead bodies are less likely to wash ashore. [More]

Want To Rent A Hybrid? Be Prepared To Pay A Lot More Green

Want To Rent A Hybrid? Be Prepared To Pay A Lot More Green

When it comes to car rentals, I’ve rarely cared about the make and model of what I’m driving, so long as it’s in my (low) price range, it has a working radio and the driver’s side door operates properly. So it’s a good thing I’ve never tried to rent a hybrid, because the New York Times says I’d be paying anywhere from 30-70% more for the thrill of it all. [More]

Rent Enterprise Car At Twice The Rate, Get Free Dentures (Check Under Floormat)

Rent Enterprise Car At Twice The Rate, Get Free Dentures (Check Under Floormat)

Timothy rented a car from Enterprise last month when he flew into Newark Airport in New Jersey, and he was forced to pay almost twice the amount quoted in his reservation because of problems with a coupon code and an uncooperative manager. But there’s good news: the rental came with a special, stinky surprise that he and his wife didn’t find until the second day of the rental. (Warning: there’s a big close-up photo below.) [More]

Need To Rent A Car Without A Credit Card? Try A Small Local Place

Need To Rent A Car Without A Credit Card? Try A Small Local Place

Marketplace took a look at Just 4 Wheels in New Jersey, where you can rent a car with just a debit card or even cash — if you put down a $250 deposit. [More]

Hertz Gobbles Up Dollar Thrifty

Hertz Gobbles Up Dollar Thrifty

Consolidation continues to hit the rental car market as Hertz announced today that it has agreed to a $1.2 billion purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. [More]

Rent Cars For $3-10 A Day… Just Get Them Out Of Florida

Rent Cars For $3-10 A Day… Just Get Them Out Of Florida

For some reason, there are a lot of rental car lots in Florida bursting at the seams with cars they need to distribute to the rest of the country. That’s why several national rental companies are offering dirt-cheap — as little as $3/day — one-way rentals, just so long as you get those cars out of Florida. [More]

Dollar Messed Up My Contract, Charged Me For An Extra Day For Being 40 Minutes Late

Dollar Messed Up My Contract, Charged Me For An Extra Day For Being 40 Minutes Late

Natraj rushed through the contract signing process when renting a car from Dollar, and his failure to confirm the car return time on the paperwork ended up costing him an extra day’s rental fee. [More]

Blogger Says National Car Rental Tried To Pull Deal Switcheroo

Blogger Says National Car Rental Tried To Pull Deal Switcheroo

Christian personal finance blogger Peter chose not to turn the other cheek when he says National Car Rental tried to take away an unlimited mileage deal he and his wife signed up for when they went on vacation.

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.

Car Rental Firms Create Artificial Shortage, Boost Prices

Car Rental Firms Create Artificial Shortage, Boost Prices

Car rental firms have cut their fleets by almost 15% in the last year, creating an artificial shortage that has helped to raise prices. Inside, a few tips that can help lower the cost of your next car rental…

Car Rental Tips From A Pro

Car Rental Tips From A Pro

Reader P. works for one of those big national car rental companies, on the customer service front lines. She has some insights for how to get on the good side of car rental employees, how to make sure the car you ordered ends up where you need it, and the potential hazards of online reservation systems.

Damn, Not Even Rental Car Companies Are Buying Cars

Damn, Not Even Rental Car Companies Are Buying Cars

Here’s some depressing news — not even rental car companies — the largest purchasers of automobiles, are buying cars this year, says CNNMoney.