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Rental Car Caution

thumper1 1,299 449 May 6, 2016 at 06:19 AM in Travel (2)
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I have always found crazy deals out of ebookers which is a British version of kayak or expedia, etc. I have never had a problem. Once I a got a double upgrade from an economy at the desk. So really, I have never had a glitch. Two months ago, I saved $400 on a pickup in Nashville and a drop off in Memphis ten days later. I couldn't find less than $650 and I got it with free drop off in Memphis and it included liability insurance for under $250. My pickup was the evening that the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament started in Nashville. The lady who waited on me at Hertz couldn't get over what a deal it was. I have rented through Hertz, Dollar, Avis, and Alamo and never had a hitch with ebookers. I even put the app on my phone.

But my cousin used them this week for a trip to Florida and Budget refused to rent the car to her because she had a US license -- not a British. The problem was with Budget -- not ebookers. They called ebookers on my cousin's phone because they were not allowed to make international calls from their phone. Ebookers was very nice about it and refunded the money. Budget had a monopoly at the airport and she ended up paying double what she had expected.

I don't know if this is something the other rental agencies will pick up on. So just a caution to check with the US supplier before you sign the dotted line with ebookers or any other non-US company.

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Joined Jan 2015
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#2
Sorry. Something doesn't make sense. Your story is hearsay (told to you by someone else). There must be something missing. "She wasn't able to rent a car at Budget because she made the reservation on a foreign website and she has a US license because _________ "
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#3
I saw something similar play out at a neighborhood Budget location last summer. The guy in front of me at the rental counter had booked his rental car via the International version of budget.com (Budget Brazil, I think), but he had a US drivers license. The rental agent wouldn't honor his reservation because international bookings include insurance whereas the ones made on US sites don't. Probably best to have a backup reservation just in case, so you don't end up paying the walk-up rate.
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#4
I learned a lesson last year, always book a rental at 2 different agencies. Just use ones that are free where you dont have a penalty for canceling.
Last year I had done a prepaid name your price with priceline, when I got to the counter I was informed Hertz was out of cars. It was a big hassle.

On my last trip I booked one with budget and one with alamo.
when I got to the counters there were huge lines at budget but no one at alamo, so I did alamo. It was only $10 more than the budget reservation. Cancelled the budget reservation when I got to my hotel.
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#5
Quote from SGHokie View Post :
I learned a lesson last year, always book a rental at 2 different agencies. Just use ones that are free where you dont have a penalty for canceling.
Last year I had done a prepaid name your price with priceline, when I got to the counter I was informed Hertz was out of cars. It was a big hassle.

On my last trip I booked one with budget and one with alamo.
when I got to the counters there were huge lines at budget but no one at alamo, so I did alamo. It was only $10 more than the budget reservation. Cancelled the budget reservation when I got to my hotel.
I always thought that pre-paying ensures that you'll get a rental car. Was it a one-off case or have you seen it happen often?
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#6
Quote from Mel345 View Post :
I saw something similar play out at a neighborhood Budget location last summer. The guy in front of me at the rental counter had booked his rental car via the International version of budget.com (Budget Brazil, I think), but he had a US drivers license. The rental agent wouldn't honor his reservation because international bookings include insurance whereas the ones made on US sites don't. Probably best to have a backup reservation just in case, so you don't end up paying the walk-up rate.
I'm wondering if it is just Budget or if the others will follow suit. I had no problem with the liability insurance that was included on my Nashville reservation through Hertz. In fact, the woman at the desk commented that I had gotten a great deal.
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#7
Quote from Mel345 View Post :
I always thought that pre-paying ensures that you'll get a rental car. Was it a one-off case or have you seen it happen often?
That was the only time I had an issue. Luckily priceline refunded me the rental price and then also credited me the difference between what I paid at another company and what the original rental was supposed to be.
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#8
Quote from thumper1 View Post :
I'm wondering if it is just Budget or if the others will follow suit. I had no problem with the liability insurance that was included on my Nashville reservation through Hertz. In fact, the woman at the desk commented that I had gotten a great deal.
Hmm.. I'm gonna check the foreign version of the rental agency and ebookers for my upcoming rental to see if it gets me a better deal..

Quote from SGHokie View Post :
That was the only time I had an issue. Luckily priceline refunded me the rental price and then also credited me the difference between what I paid at another company and what the original rental was supposed to be.
Aah ok.. Good to know.. Thanks.
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Last edited by Mel345 May 6, 2016 at 07:56 PM

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#9
Makes me wonder now if the liability insurance would have been valid had I gotten into an accident.
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#10
Quote from thumper1 View Post :
Makes me wonder now if the liability insurance would have been valid had I gotten into an accident.
Now that is a good point. Someone once mentioned that basic liability is always included on each rental (by law), but I'm not sure if that's true and what that amount is. Maybe a question for FT.
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#11
Here is the problem. You should ALWAYS rent (book) directly with the rental car agency. When you go through third party resellers - you open yourself up to problems just like this. In fact, most of the time you will pay less and get a free upgrade when you rent directly with Hertz or Avis or any other major car rental company. I always find the best airfare deals are with the airlines. No longer are the third party companies able to offer you a lower rate 100 per cent of the time. Same goes for hotels.
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#12
I'm checking this sight out and it looks good (ebookers that is). One thing I like about it is I can book a car for my one of my kids and pay for it. You can't do that on US sites (I've never seen it anyway). The driver still has to have a credit/debit card in their name but at least the car is paid for.
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#13
Quote from bignosejew View Post :
I'm checking this sight out and it looks good (ebookers that is). One thing I like about it is I can book a car for my one of my kids and pay for it. You can't do that on US sites (I've never seen it anyway). The driver still has to have a credit/debit card in their name but at least the car is paid for.
I did find better deals on my iPhone app than I did on the computer website.
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#14
Thanks for the tip.
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#15
Quote from Mel345 View Post :
I always thought that pre-paying ensures that you'll get a rental car. Was it a one-off case or have you seen it happen often?
I had the same issue with Hertz, but they called me the day of pick up to tell me they don't have a car for me. Luckily I was refunded 50% of the prepaid reservation and got the car I wanted at another location at no extra charge and even got a change in drop off location.
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