Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of fighting a car rental company on an insurance claim — especially over a ding or scratch that you know was there before you drove off the lot — knows that it’s often a losing battle. But travel journalist Christopher Elliott has some tips for putting up a good fight.
Have you ever tried to reach the “claims department” of Hertz? Mark was in a car accident with a Hertz customer, and isn’t able to get hold of anyone. Either this department is grossly understaffed, or it doesn’t exist.
Want to see what it’s like to drive a $157,000 electric car without having to take out a second mortgage? You’ll soon have a chance, if you’re a member of car-sharing service Getaround, and live near the car’s owner. Just $25 will buy you an hour behind the wheel of a Tesla Roadster Sport, owned by a Getaround member.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.