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Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,023
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!


@gmkb wrote:

We frequently rent a car and I usually use Hotwire.com. You can prepay and I find that I get a good rate thru them.  It is all handled online.


I've prepaid before and still had the rental company try to charge me more or insist I pay for an upgrade because they didn't have anything available in the class of car I paid for.  (That happened to me three years ago at Phoenix Airport.)

 

They will do whatever they can to generate more money from the customer, if the customer lets them.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,729
Registered: ‎06-09-2014

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

I use Hertz all the time and always book online at their website.  I normally use my AAA discount or as someone suggested they are usually running coupon codes all over the place.  I have never had a problem with the rate being changed on me at the counter.  I know if you are under 25, it can be a real pain because of insurance issues but I'm not sure that hassle exists anymore.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 32,030
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

@Sue98 Not sure why you would be worried about a "hit" on your credit score? The rental company seems to be using standard operating procedure for you.

you always have the option to put a "non-authorized" charge in dispute with your cc company. They have never ruled against me the entire two times I have ever had to use this. The cc company has offered great advice when I have called them not knowing what to do about a charge. Once it was concerning a medical bill; I do not remember what is was about the second time. I also had to mention  "charge-back" (call it by this name -- it strikes fear in their hearts apparently.) because after 11/2 years we still did not have our DDs wedding pictures! An FYI

~Have a Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit~
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,407
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

I rented a car recently without problem, I rented it through AAA.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,477
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!


@Sue98 wrote:

Wow!  What a hassle it seems to be to rent a car.  I live in a very rural area with only a couple of options.  Hertz was offering me the best deal, but I will have to drive about 50 miles to pick of the rental.  

 

I called CS last night, and I was quoted a rate for the days we need to rent a car.  Of course, I wasn't able to speak to anyone in this country, and I had a very difficult time understanding the CS rep.  She assured me if I gave her my name the price she quoted me would be in the system.  I repeated the quote amount a few times, and I also repeated the confirmation number.  

 

Well, because I know how things work sometimes, I decided to check online to make sure the rate she quoted me was in there system.  I entered my confirmation number, but all I got was a notice telling me my reservations was "pending".  I called CS again and was quoted a rate that was $300 more than the rate I was quoted last night!  UGH!

 

I explained that the CS last night assured me my rate was secured and would not change, but they told me there is nothing they can do.  Also, I found out they will be doing a credit report on me, as the only major credit card I have is also a debit card.   Again....UGH!  I have excellent credit, but I don't want my score going down.

 

This is turning into a terrible hassle!  Can anyone give me some helpful suggestions?  How can I get that original quote?  Thanks!


 

If you have excellent credit, you should have at least ONE credit card, even if you rarely use it.

 

The reason for the "soft"  credit report is because you could rent a car with a debit card linked to a checking account with, say, $2000 in it, and then rent the car, deduct the $2000 and not return the car ..........   so they check for fraud and "bad" transactions ..... it's not unreasonable.  

 

My opinion .... get a credit card!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,420
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

I'm surprised to read HERTZ offered the best rates.  I've found them to be on the higher end when it comes to rates.

 

Also, I'm surprised to read you were able to rent a car without a credit card.

 

There are tons of discounts you can research on the internet.  You can have 5 people request the exact same car within an hour of each other, and get 5 different rates.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,652
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

If this is your first car rental be sure to do a walk around with the agency rep and note any scratches or dents or damage of any kind before you leave the lot. They have a standard form to note type of damage.  Some rental agencies have been known to try to charge renters for damage already on the car they rent.  

 

Costco does get the best rates I have seen.  There is a code for regular members and one for executive members.  Good luck!  LM

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,420
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!


@Lilysmom wrote:

If this is your first car rental be sure to do a walk around with the agency rep and note any scratches or dents or damage of any kind before you leave the lot. They have a standard form to note type of damage.  Some rental agencies have been known to try to charge renters for damage already on the car they rent.  

 

Costco does get the best rates I have seen.  There is a code for regular members and one for executive members.  Good luck!  LM


Hi Lilysmom, while this sounds like a great idea, no rep has ever gone to the car with us.  (and we rent a lot of cars) At airports they usually have 1 or 2 agents behind the counter.  It's either, here are the keys, or go out to the island and choose a car.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,652
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!


@lulu2 wrote:

@Lilysmom wrote:

If this is your first car rental be sure to do a walk around with the agency rep and note any scratches or dents or damage of any kind before you leave the lot. They have a standard form to note type of damage.  Some rental agencies have been known to try to charge renters for damage already on the car they rent.  

 L

Costco does get the best rates I have seen.  There is a code for regular members and one for executive members.  Good luck!  LM


Hi Lilysmom, while this sounds like a great idea, no rep has ever gone to the car with us.  (and we rent a lot of cars) At airports they usually have 1 or 2 agents behind the counter.  It's either, here are the keys, or go out to the island and choose a car.


@lulu2, if that is the case, you should survey the car yourself.  If you see any significant damage, you can go back and report it.  When we rent, there is usually a kiosk in the parking lot.  Perhaps the rental agencies are better about it now.  There was a time when people were consistently being harassed about damage to vehicles not caused by them.  I always have a good look.  LM

Valued Contributor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Help....renting a car for the first time and need advice, please!

I've rented cars several times and usually have no problems.  When I'd make my plane reservations, I always made a rental car reservation as well on line through whatever car rental agency had the best rate.  The good thing about renting a car months ahead of time (when possible) is that you are not locked into that rate. I've seen car rentals go down in price as my vacation neared and I've always been able to cancel the first one and get a car at a lower rate even days before I left.  ALWAYS print out your reservation and yes, don't let them talk you into insurance or extra insurance or any upgrades.

Also, always return the rental car with a full gas tank. If you bring it back and they refill it, it will cost much more.