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Rental Car Story

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Vegas24_7, Aug 24, 2020.

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  1. Vegas24_7

    Vegas24_7 Degenerate

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    I was reading another thread where the topic of rental cars came up so I thought I'd post a new thread rather than potentially hi-jacking the old one. Since this is a Vegas board, I want to start off by saying I have never rented a car in Vegas in the 35+ times I've been there but I have done so for other places I've traveled to for work or for vacation.

    My story starts with an invitation to Victoria, BC for my friend's wedding in 2015. I flew there from Calgary and rented a car from the airport from National Car Rentals. It was a compact car, nothing special and the wedding was one to remember.

    The day I was flying back, I needed to return the car to National at the airport. I drove in and followed the sign to the car rental return parking lot. This parking lot was odd in the way that it had no attendants, no entry gate arm, and no tire spike barrier.

    I parked the car and did a quick walk around to make sure there was no damage on the car. I walked in the airport terminal to the National Car Rental booth and they told me to just self park the car and return the keys to them. I asked them if they need to do a damage check and they said they would do that soon but I don't need to be there when they do it. I thought that was odd but I said ok and left the car there to catch my flight.

    Bad mistake. I get home and my credit card was charged an additional $200 by National. I called them the next day and they told me there was damage on the car (dent on bumper). I disputed it saying I know there was no damage and they cannot prove I returned it that way was since there was no attendant to verify it with me. The manager bottom line was too bad, your fault and wouldn't refund the charges.

    I asked the manager to provide me a written record of the repairs clearly showing the cost, model, color, and plate # of the car from the repair shop that fixed the damage. He refused so I was now certain he was lying and trying to screw me over. To make a long story short, I complained for months with National's complaint center in the USA and they finally refunded the money. What did I learn from this?

    1. Always take photos of the car when you receive it and when you leave it.
    2. Always make sure there is an attendant there to verify no damage when you drop off the car.
    3. I will never rent from National again, lol
     
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  2. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    I flew into Charlotte once and rented a car to drive to the mountains.
    I always buy the full insurance but this time I cheeped out.
    When I returned home I was hit with a bill for $800 in damages.
    Their word against mine. Lesson learned.
     
    December 2021
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  3. vegaskid74

    vegaskid74 High-Roller

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    Well no, it's not your word against theirs as long as you...

    You shouldn't have to buy the scam insurance to avoid being, well, scammed.
     
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  4. nancyf

    nancyf High-Roller

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    I always buy their insurance - even though it is costly but its the only way I can relax with a rental car! I just don't trust them.
     
  5. Laugh

    Laugh VIP Whale

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    Exactly why I asked everyone here for advice when I first rented a car this past NYE. Had a great experience with Enterprise. I also think it had to do with the location I rented from. It wasn't from an airport or large Enterprise. It was a small local one. They went around the car and took down notes on their tablet of already present damages that was larger than this kind of ruler they had. I took pictures too before we left. And when we got back they took a look at the car, it was all the same, and never heard from them again. :)
     
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  6. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith VIP Whale

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    I've been renting from Avis for years and never had one problem—never taken the insurance—although I've never been in an accident either. They rarely do a walk around the car before rental and never afterward. But, sorry for your experience. I recommend Avis next time.
     
    Thanksgiving with my sister!
  7. sarah9nascar

    sarah9nascar VIP Whale

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    We always take pictures of every little scratch and report it as we drive out the gate of Alamo. They always say oh we don’t count those kind of scratches. We always say we got pictures and we want it documented anyway. We’ve learn the hard way too.
     
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  8. Vegas24_7

    Vegas24_7 Degenerate

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    I've also learned that you need to know that when you take photos of the car when you PICK IT UP, make sure you have photos of the stall # it was in with the car in the SAME photo. It proves that the photos were taken in the rental car parking lot and not just some random photos of it after you've driven it out. Same kind of advice for when you drop it off. Make sure the background shows you are in the rental car drop off area with signs and landmarks in background. Extra points if the lot attendant is in the same photos.
     
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  9. Samdanger

    Samdanger Tourist

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    I always decline the insurance and just use my credit card coverage. On my last trip to Vegas, within 15 minutes of picking up the car and getting on the highway to DT, a rock chipped the front windshield. It was just a nickel sized star chip, but I spent the whole trip stressed out that they were going to mark it up and cost me hundreds. When it was time to turn in the car, I filed an damage report and they told me it would probably be fine, and they would be in touch if they needed anything else.

    And you know what, it was fine! Never heard from them again, no charges on my card. Everyone has heard a million car rental horror stories, so it was a pleasant surprise that they just took care of it and didn't try to screw me over.

    Kudos to Budget at McCarran!
     
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  10. vegaskid74

    vegaskid74 High-Roller

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    I agree. I almost always use Budget at Mccarran and have never had an issue.
     
  11. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    As a suggestion - years ago someone mentioned American Express having an insurance add-on that you could request. It costs nothing unless you use it. You do need to fill out the paperwork/request in advance and then it remains with your card permanently (?). They send you a package of info to review after you sign up. Whenever you pay for the rental with the American Express card you are charged a stand-alone fee of around $29 (couple variances with different states I believe). It is the same fee for 1 day or up to around 29 days. Flat rate. Coverage seemed to be decent. I signed up for it right after reading about it - but I saw a link or info for it not too long ago while logged into American Express - so you should be able to still sign up.
     
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  12. birdman925

    birdman925 Low-Roller

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    I don't rent cars often but had to rent one today. I was t-boned on the way to work this morning by a lady who ran a red light. Blew out all the air bags. I am sore but worked a full day. Waiting to hear if my 2019 is going to be fixed. Meanwhile, I have a 2020 Nissan Altima in my garage. Enterprise walked me around the car and noted a couple small items. Hopefully it all works out.
     
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  13. Vegas24_7

    Vegas24_7 Degenerate

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    To add to my story, what made this more interesting was that the lady at the complaint department at National said she tried for about a month to contact the National manager in Victoria Airport to request for documents that showed proof of damage or repairs and got no reply at all. She basically said the manager ghosted her which makes me more convinced he was trying to scam me. She basically said she refunded my money and will be force billing the Victoria location for it as well as following up for why they are experiencing poor communication.
     
  14. Gaggles

    Gaggles VIP Whale

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    I have always had good experiences with multiple car rental companies. If their is damage observed on my walk around when I rent the car, I take a picture of it. You can also take a quick video of the car on your phone. And as to buying insurance when you are already fully insured...to each their own. I understand the purchase for the ease of mind. But I would be remiss if I did not mention the quote "A sucker and his money are soon parted". This is not to say you are a sucker for buying insurance on your insurance but if you are on VMB, aren't you a gambler??? I would think gamblers are the last people that would buy insurance for their insurance???

    In any event, the stories we share on here are helpful and I would not have taken pictures or video's of my car rentals without all the shares on here. It might have save me money from a crooked dealership without me even knowing it. So thank you for sharing!

    And in the spirit of sharing, the only time we have taken insurance was this year in Puerto Rico and we were forced to. We did not have a copy of our insurance so they made us take theirs. The fact that our credit card covered it did not matter to them. We were in a tough spot. We were on an island, we had no back up plan, and it was about 1:00 am and we were exhausted. So we took the insurance. Lesson here....bring a hard copy of your insurance!
     
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  15. vegasvstr

    vegasvstr VIP Whale

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    @Gaggles Having seen some of the "creative" driving in PR I wouldn't feel as upset having excessive insurance there.:)

    Agree with above the AMEX premium insurance is a good value. Recently was lucky to find a BMW in the aisle at National :cool: and had few concerns knowing I had that in addition to my own coverage.
    Though always do my own walk around and usually a video. Tires are the only thing not usually covered to make sure you check out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  16. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    I would guess I have rented over a 1,000 cars. Mostly business, but probably a few hundred for personal use. I never buy the insurance - and probably have saved enough to actually buy a new car - maybe two.

    Guessing I probably have a few dozen returns where nobody is there... always makes me nervous. Still - never got a follow up charge or even a charge at the airport. And there have been a few times when there were dings/dents/scratches that I do no think were there when I picked up the car.

    But, these things happen. Sometimes an aggressive manager/location or... well...shit happens.

    With Uber/Lyft we no longer rent in Vegas. Actually, I think we stopped even before that as I do remember a few times waiting for taxi at LAS.

    In most big cities we try not to rent unless we are going to cruise the area,etc.

    I will continue to not buy their insurance. I do use a premium car for rentals and of course my own policy covers most of the stuff.
     
  17. GeorgeJ.

    GeorgeJ. VIP Whale

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    That's pretty standard for Enterprise at the airport locations; they go around the car with you.
    The last time I rented from Enterprise there was a dent or something on the hood. The Enterprise employee had me take a picture of him in front of the dent in case they tried to charge me for it upon return...
     
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