Renting a car?

kathy_March 7, 2004

Read the fine print. I saw on tv this morning a guy rented a car from Payless auto rentals in California. It was supposed to have unlimited milege. He did not read the fine print on the contract (which was 3 pages long!) and drove to Las Vegas. Whe he turned the car back in they told him since he drove the car out of state there would be an additional charge of $1 per mile which added $1400 to the $150 rental car. Turns out the car rental co. has GPS systems in all it's cars but that is in fine print too.

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Suggestion 1: Drive the darn thing back to CA (on this occasion, "CAlifornia", rather than "CAnada", to turn it in.

Or ask them how they'd like it if he drove it to CAnada.

Or wait to find out what the charge would be when their "credit" card report arrived. *Credit" card is a misnomer (read "lie"): it's really a *debt* card - the moment that you use it, you're in debt.

Suggestion 2: Get a friend to drive it back to CA next weekend. Or get a retired friend (who doesn't have to go to work for the next week) to drive it back.

Suggestion 3: Advertise for someone to drive it back. Check the person's driving record for accidents, speeding, etc. - your insurance company can get that info for you. And hope that s/he doesn't abscond with it.

Suggestion 4: Get one of those drive-a-way services to ferry it back. A number of local people (north of Great Lakes) fly to Florida for the winter and hire a drive-a-way service to drive their car down in the fall - and back in the spring.

The drive-a-way services advertise frequently for people travelling to various distant areas to drive a car there for them. They allow only a small margin of time to visit friends along the route.

Safe journey.


ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 5:41PM
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Suggestion 5: Drive the offending vehicle back across the CA border.

Hitchhike back to L. V.

Walk into different office of the rental agency with a woebegone expression on your face.

Explain how you'd parked it in a large shopping plaza in CA. Didn't remember colour, licence No., etc. Couldn't find car. Key chain didn't include transmitter to make car horn beep, lights flash.

Had to hitchhike to urgent rendezvous in L.V. Now footsore.

Ask their advice as to what to do.

Hope you're dealing with experienced rental agent. Who's willing to go the extra mile (so to speak).

If agent says location record shows car in unpopulated area of n.e. CA, act surprised - someone must have stolen it!

Have a fruitful week, all.

ole joyful

P.S. Come on, folks, get your thinking caps on.

What suggestion can you come up with?

This is too good a story to just let it die, isn't it?


    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 7:26PM
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It doesn't appear that the problem was with where he turned the car in. As I read Kathy's post, the guy rented the car in California, drove it to Vegas on a trip, and then turned it back in when he got back to California. The only way they knew he had it in Nevada was because of the car's GPS.

I doubt there is all that much the guy could do, since he signed the agreement. The only possibility would be getting an attorney to fight the legality of the agreement itself. He could certainly make the case that this out-of-state clause is just a ploy to collect huge fees from unsuspecting renters. Obviously hardly anyone reads those lengthy agreements all the way through. If they did, renting a car at the airport would be essentially impossible, since the line would stretch for miles.

Sounds like he was going to the TV station in an attempt to at least get the satisfaction of giving this company some well-deserved bad press.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 1:28AM
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