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Caution when reserving from Dollar rent a car

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Dan_Tanna, Jun 1, 2015.

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  1. Dan_Tanna

    Dan_Tanna Tourist

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    A couple of weeks ago I reserved a compact car from Dollar rent a car, a Ford Focus or similar model I was told. When I get to the airport to pick it up I was given a Chevy Spark, an economy car. I was told that now Dollar had now recategorized it's car classifications so that economy models are lumped in with compact. Believe it or not a Toyota Corolla is now a mid size car. I protested but when ahead and took the Spark. It was awful, small, weak and ugly. As luck would have it the tire presure monitor chimed on as I left the lot so I returned it to the lot and got a Chevy Cruize instead.

    Has anyone had something similar happen? What a rip off.

    Thanks,
    DT
     
  2. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Be forewarned that Thrifty is the sister company with Dollar and may also have the same policy.
     
  3. LinLV

    LinLV Low-Roller

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    I got a chevy spark too last time... damn, that's a small thing! Our suitcase didn't even fit in the trunk for crying out loud. That's not a car :')
     
  4. zolar31

    zolar31 Low-Roller

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    My company only allows me to rent mid-size. A Corolla is classified as a mid-size (intermediate), by all the major rental companies not just dollar.
    I agree with you; I consider it compact/economy.
     
  5. ngrund

    ngrund Low-Roller

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    I learned that since most of what you pay is taxes, the larger cars don't cost that much more, so I just reserve the mid size SUV and keep checking the website, prices are always changing
     
  6. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Yep! Hertz tried to rent me a Corolla as an intermediate. A full size car was $4 a day extra. I got a Jeep Cherokee for that. Actually had an engine in it, not foot peddles like the Corolla.
     
  7. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Love your note above (bolded)
     
  8. azlefty

    azlefty Low-Roller

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    I always rent from thrifty / dollar. Their rates are about half of some of the other agencies whenever I check the competition. I have a blue chip account with a standard pre-selected, so I don't have to deal with the line. In Vegas I usually end up with a Sonata or one of those"crossovers" which only seem to be owned by rental car companies. Their cars are usually a little longer in the tooth but they don't even check for scratches. The all-in price usually is in the range of $22 to 30 a day, which I think is reasonable compared to relying on taxicabs.

    Note: I'm all about frequent flier miles but I never accept airline miles from a rental car agency, because there is a charge of about $2 a day, which isn't worth the 50 or so miles they usually give you. Instead I just take the BlueChip points which usually expire before I can use them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  9. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    4 years ago we had the same issue with Alamo. Their compact and economy were the same cars. Hyundai Accent. We book Dollar now, mid size. Yeah website says Ford Focus but we have never received one. Usually a Hyundai Elantra. When we reserved a full size car we always got the Chevy Impala. Great trunk space in that.
     
  10. GeorgeJ.

    GeorgeJ. Low-Roller

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    Long in the tooth? I've gotten cars with about 50,000 miles on them the last couple times I've rented from Dollar...
     
  11. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Coming from somebody who got rid of my last car with 240,000+ miles, 50,000 doesn't sound too bad.
     
    Christmas
  12. gguerra

    gguerra Low-Roller

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    I also recently rented from Dollar. I noticed the same thing. I reserved a full sized but did not get my car till around midnight. I ended up with a Chevy SUV with almost 50k miles. I did not like it at all. Way underpowered and crappy visibility. I think it was called a Traverse. They did not note or even care about the mileage and did not seem to care much about whether it had any scratches or dents. This was after waiting about 1.5 hours in line. The only good thing about the whole experience is that it was relatively cheap. Emphasis on relatively.
     
  13. Julie888

    Julie888 High-Roller

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    Recently when I book, I snap a photo on my iPad. I take them of the type of car they suggest I'll be getting and the next models up and down. I hate them suggesting that I pay a few extra dollars more for the model and size I was promised. It seems to be game with some companies.
     
  14. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    Generalizations abound here. Half the rate of the competition? If that were the case, the vast majority of people would book with Thrifty/ Dollar. Alamo beats them frequently with aggressive coupon codes.

    50 miles isn't the norm... Again with varying promos, you can receive a ton of FF miles with rental car bookings. With Budget recently, I received 2500 miles for a 4 day booking in Philly. With the promo codes from American, it also ended up being the lowest rate by about $35. For those willing to do the research, you can still earn boucoup miles and save a fortune by stacking codes.

    Nick:beer:
     
  15. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    If you always rent from the same agency, fly the same airline, or stay at the same casino, you're probably leaving money on the table. Even a smallish airport like mine (and I could add "fly out of the same airport" to the list) varies some in who has better flights and fares.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I don't have any issues with smaller cars. All I need is something with wheels that reliably runs!

    However, the only major issue I've had with Dollar (in Las Vegas that is) the high-pressure to take their ripoff insurance. The clown told me my credit card insurance was no good and all of that nonsense! He pushed back several times when I insisted on declining.

    LOL, a cow-orker told me what he said in one of these cases, something like "Hey, I can afford the risk, I have a real job!" :)
     
  17. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    One of the biggest reasons I try to skip the counter is to avoid the sales pitch for profit packs like insurance. When I have used a third party like Hotwire, I have to go to the counter, but they seem to know not to try so hard on the extras. Unfortunately, IMO renting cars through Hotwire isn't the best choice in a volatile market like Vegas.

    Gone are the days when a $10 tip gets you any car on the lot (sigh).
     
  18. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I can't believe that they would promote a Focus or something like it and produce a Spark. I would be pissed at even getting a Cruze and that is the direct Chevy competitor to the Focus. The Cruze runs well but there are what I would consider design flaws that make it an unpleasant ride. Checking the website now I still see a distinct economy class represented by the Spark and a compact class represented by the Focus. I think the real deal was they ran out of compacts and instead of doing the expected thing and giving an upgrade, they tried to pull a fast on and downgrade you to economy with no compensation for it. In your shoes, I would email their corporate and let them know what happened.
     
  19. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I know that Advantage (probably some others) in Las Vegas does not (or did not at one time) have any true economy cars in their fleet, even though you could book one on the web site. You would always get a compact by booking an economy a few $$$ cheaper.
     
  20. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

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    Usually in Las Vegas the "City Specials " are cheaper than using the promo/coupon codes for both Dollar and Thrifty. The promo codes usually don't stack on the "City Special " pricing.
     
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