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SMac Mar 2nd, 2015 03:56 PM

Disappointed with Budget Car Rental Las Vegas
I decided to rent a vehicle on my last trip to Vegas and after a little research, I found that Budget's airport location was the best value at approximately $77 US (inclusive of taxes, etc.). Before booking I read through the Terms and Conditions to be sure there would not be additional charges. Booked it for a late Thursday pick-up, early Monday drop.

I arrived to pick-up the car and while at the counter the rep asked if I'd like insurance. I already have coverage so declined. He informed me that even though I had coverage, it did not include "Loss of Use". Apparently this $26.95 per day coverage eliminates any extra charges should the vehicle need to be taken off the road due to accident, dent or scratch to the car.

Actually, what he was selling was the elimination of responsibility to pay the deductible on my insurance. However, he never said that. He said in the event of accident, dent or even a scratch to the car I would be responsible for that cost. I told him I wasn't happy with this kind of surprise at the desk and declined the extra coverage. Then he asked me a second time if I was sure. YES, I am sure. That said, renters on either side of me were picking up the extra coverage because they were being bullied into thinking even a minor scratch or door ding would cost them. I thought this sell tactic was a complete misrepresentation.

In any event, I picked up the car and noted every door ding and minor scratch already there. Returned the vehicle 2 1/2 days later without issue.

NeoPatrick Mar 2nd, 2015 04:06 PM

Wait a minute. Some agreed to pay $26.95 a day for the full rental period for the unlikely possibility that you'd need a different car for part of your rental, when you could probably rent a car for less than that?
Or that they'd have to pay for door dings already there?

I'm speechless. Can I sell them a bridge to Brooklyn?

Actually this sounds like Hertz, the worst for trying to upgrade or oversell me.

tomfuller Mar 2nd, 2015 05:50 PM

The best deal in LV I ever got (on Priceline) was a Mazda2 from National that had less than 1000 miles on it when I picked it out of the line.
I got it for $14/day. My auto insurance covers me (except for deductable) on any rental car I drive.

doug_stallings Mar 2nd, 2015 06:25 PM

If you rent frim Budget or any other company in the future, you can buy car rental insurance from a third party for one-half to one-third of that. You can also get add on policies for primary coverage on many credit cards for about $20 to $25 per rental (not per day), which will cover your deductible. CDW is one of the worst values in all of travel and usually only necessary in the US if you don't have your own car insurance.

PaulRabe Mar 2nd, 2015 07:43 PM

> I thought this sell tactic was a complete misrepresentation

What happened is very simple: clerks at car rental counters get a huge kickback (sorry, I mean "bonus") for any extras they can bamboozle (sorry, I mean "sell") customers into buying. These clerks thus have a HUGE incentive to mislead customers, and absolutely no disincentive against dishonesty. Is it any surprise they'll engage in these practices? The old advice still applies: "Follow the money."

janisj Mar 2nd, 2015 08:08 PM

>>Disappointed with Budget Car Rental Las Vegas<<

The same exact thing would have likely happened at any of the other rental agencies . . .

Neo: >>Wait a minute. Some agreed to pay $26.95 a day for the full rental period for the unlikely possibility that you'd need a different car for part of your rental, when you could probably rent a car for less than that?<<

That is <i>the rental agency's</i> loss of use, not the renter's.

gail Mar 3rd, 2015 02:15 AM

One way to avoid saying no 6 times is to sign up for some frequent renter plan - I use Alamo and there is no fee - and complete everything on-line. Then you just go directly to car and avoid the sales tactics.

NeoPatrick Mar 3rd, 2015 04:10 AM

hmmm. Sorry about that loss of use thing. I thought there were two different things at play there -- dent situations along with "loss of use" being like "loss of use" with your regular car insurance -- to provide an alternate car in case of accident and the loss of use of the car you've rented.

Mea culpa. That was a new one to me, but admittedly I always close my ears when they start talking about all the things you can add.

mdwest Mar 3rd, 2015 06:12 AM

Actually, Alamo did the same thing to us about 30 years ago. We were newbies to the travel/car rental game and we bought their line and their insurance. We've never used them since.

For what it's worth, our most recent experience with Enterprise in San Francisco was the best rental transaction we've had in years.

Nepheline Mar 3rd, 2015 07:47 AM

We rent cars 3-4 times a year. Every time, no matter which company, the rep at the counter tries to sell us extra coverage, "free" upgrades, etc. As Neo says, I always just close my ears and stand there saying "no, no, no" and try not to be too hostile. I've thought about doing the online registration thing that Gail mentions, but you have to give them your credit card number and date of birth online, and that's even scarier to me than standing in line at the Ft. Myers airport for half an hour and saying no six times is aggravating. What you have to do is call your insurance agent/company, make sure you're covered when driving a rental under your normal car insurance policy (my agent told me the rationale is "we assume you're not driving your own car if you're driving a rental, so we cover the rental") and look at the fine print that came with your credit card and/or call them to find out when/in what circumstances/how much they'll cover if you have an accident. I'm pretty sure you have to use the credit card to pay for the rental, that you'd like to have insurance from.

NewbE Mar 3rd, 2015 07:54 AM

<I always close my ears when they start talking about all the things you can add.>
I do, too. As Nepheline says, I satisfied myself that I have all the coverage I need in advance, and that's that. And I don't argue or snark at the counter when the spiel begins. I think that declining quickly and politely makes the process go faster.

It really is a blot on the industry that these practices continue, but they must work.

NeoPatrick Mar 3rd, 2015 01:23 PM

My favorite is their trying to sell you a tank full of gas at some high price that you will probably leave half of in the tank when you return the car -- maybe $30 worth or more. Who really plots to use up the last of the gas as you coast into the car return lane?

NewbE Mar 3rd, 2015 04:15 PM

Perhaps you should consider opening one ear just a wee bit. Every counter I've been to in the last 10 years sells gas at the going rate. If one is doing a lot of driving, returning the car with the tank empty is easier than hunting for a gas station near the airport, where gas prices will be inflated anyway.

Who cares if I return $5 worth of gas at the end of my trip? Only an idiot would actively try to use up those last drops out of sheer miserliness.

NeoPatrick Mar 4th, 2015 03:43 AM

"Only an idiot would actively try to use up those last drops out of sheer miserliness."

Who suggested that? Of course that's idiotic.

I rarely use even half a tank of gas on most of my rentals, sometimes as little as just a gallon or two, when I'm just doing a one day or one way rental. And I'm not one to drive around once my car has less than 2 gallons of gas in it. Recently picking up in San Antonio to drop at Houston, the guy gave me the pitch including "it's hard to find a gas station off the toll roads near Houston airport". But as we left the tollway there, right at the entrance to the airport there are also least 5 or 6 choices of gas stations. Recently at Ft Myers they added a 7-11 with large Hess station inside the airport grounds along with the new cell phone lot. And their gas prices are competitive with off site stations. I don't know where you fly, NewbE, but I've never had difficulty finding gas near airport car returns. Most airports are surrounded by them.

But if you want to give the car rental company an extra $5 or $25 or more for what you consider a convenience, that's your prerogative. Many of us pick through rental sites to save that much with the rental itself, so why give it back to them?

NeoPatrick Mar 4th, 2015 04:13 AM

"Today is Tuesday and we return the car on Friday. We are running low on gas, but with our plans for the next two days, I think if we put 5 gallons in that should cover us and still get us to the airport." Next day -- "ooops, that extra trip after dinner and since now we're going to that beach this afternoon, maybe we better go back to the gas station and get another 5 gallons. Next day -- wow, sitting in traffic yesterday sure took a lot of gas. Since it's now supposed to rain tomorrow so we want to go to that big indoor outlet mall, we better get another 3 or 4 gallons to be safe -- don't want to run out tomorrow going to the airport".

"Today is Tuesday and we return the car on Friday. We are running low on gas so lets get it filled now and we'll just have to top it off on the way to the airport".

I prefer the latter. Others may prefer the first. We aren't all alike, and some of us don't like to spend our vacation plotting how much gas we "think" we'll use and plot out our exact itinerary for when we'll have to get some, but not be wasteful getting too much.

But whatever rocks your boat.

Dukey1 Dec 7th, 2016 03:08 AM

The whole "finding a gas station" has been greatly relieved with the use of cellphone GPS systems I have found.

There's at least one poster on this thread who always uses UP their FF miles to travel in business class which some people would say is foolish, too.

vincenzo32951 Dec 7th, 2016 03:35 AM

>>What happened is very simple: clerks at car rental counters get a huge kickback (sorry, I mean "bonus") for any extras they can bamboozle (sorry, I mean "sell") customers into buying.<<

It doesn't stop there. Rental-outlet managers are appraised on their ability to generate revenue from extra insurance, toll transponders, and the like. There's a lot of pressure on them to get sign-ups. (Friend of ours used to be a manager for National at a major airport.) They all do it, to one degree or another.

Years ago, at the Orlando airport Alamo, after I said "no, no, no," to all the options offered by the counter clerk, I took my paperwork and noticed that I'd been charged for extra insurance. I walked back to the counter, and the clerk acknowledged the "mistake."

As gail notes, joining a free loyalty program avoids all that nonsense at the counter. Once you indicate your insurance preferences on the online sign-up form, you never hear about them again.

>>I'm speechless. Can I sell them a bridge to Brooklyn?<<

Those of us who are experienced travelers tend to forget that there's a first time for everyone (and for some people, the only time). Lots of people aren't savvy about car rentals and assume that big companies like Hertz wouldn't be part of an obvious scam. Yes, it's buyer-beware, but some of us who've been around the block a few times tend to be smug about others' inexperience.

Gretchen Dec 7th, 2016 04:00 AM

If you have EVER rented a car you have been hassled by the agent to buy this or that==and yes, I have been told about THAT one too. It is the price of renting a car, especially for a cheap rate--you have to listen to the agent press you for more costs.
Just say no.

NeoPatrick Dec 7th, 2016 06:20 AM

Hey, this topic was beaten to death a year and a half ago. Must we do it all again, just because someone revived this old thread to post an ad?

And Vincenzo, no need to single me out about not understanding that someone who has never rented a car before can't figure out that $27 a day JUST to pay for the unlikely event something will go wrong with your car and you'd have to get a replacement? That was what my comment referred to -- not all the other stuff.

Tabernash2 Dec 7th, 2016 07:55 AM

We always turn down the 'extras', too.

But Budget at SFO charged us anyway, last summer, for things that added $200 to the price of the rental car.

We had to go into the office upon return, and state our case. They insisted we had said Yes to the options, when we had not.

They were very persistent, and said they could find the video footage of our transaction, to prove it. We had a flight to catch, of course, which Budget knows most of its clients do.

We had to pay the extras, then go home and get on the phone to hassle with Budget to get the price corrected.

This last visit to SF, we used Alamo. Our rental SUV was broken into, with its rear windshield shattered. We lost two carry-on bags.

We took the car to Alamo at SFO, and they swapped it out, no problem. Took our insurance information, said they'd be in touch with Allstate, and sent us on our way. Yay.

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