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Rental cars

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posts: 49
reviews: 2
Rental cars

I am hoping the Tampa experts can fill me in on why rental car experiences seem to be a consistent concern for travelers to Tampa.

I have a reservation at Thrifty for my Tampa stay in May and booked solely on price. My last two Thrifty rentals - neither in Tampa - weren't great...marginally clean vehicles and pick-up was off site. I am able to get a good rate in Tampa from Enterprise but my experience with them, in other locations, hasn't been marvelous...my mid-size reservation got me a silly looking, not too well cleaned, Nissan Cube.

Budget gets some poor comments in this forum as do the super low priced vendors. Hertz, National, and Avis prices are not even close to what Thrifty and Enterprise can offer.

Any insight?

Are both Thrifty and Enterprise both at the airport?

Thanks.

Clearwater, Florida
Destination Expert
for Clearwater
posts: 7,715
reviews: 23
1. Re: Rental cars

Here is a list of companies that are in the airport, and off site but near the airport.

tampaairport.com/ground_transportation/renta…

Sorry but I have no experience renting at TPA. A family member from out of town recently rented from Enterprise at TPA and did not mention any problems.

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 35,568
reviews: 22
2. Re: Rental cars

I rented Thrifty at TPA once, and it was fine (join their club). but most often I use Dollar, and used alamo once last year when they moved onsite.

Using Onsite is easy here

Wales
posts: 2
reviews: 15
3. Re: Rental cars

We booked and paid for a 4 door sedan from Budget,at Tampa, from the UK via the internet, We paid in advance, in February. On arriival we were informed that there were no 4 door sedans and were offered a Mini.This was not acceptable as we knew that we would be assisting older people, friends and family, for whom a Mini would have not been suitable. After much discussion with a very grumpy attendant we were reluctantly issued with a Dodge Avenger. On returning the car to TPA we handed it over to Budget and flew back to the UK. On checking our internet bank account we found that Budget had taken the full cost of the rental from our account again, despite the fact that we had paid, in advance, in February. On telephoning Budget at Tampa, Treena, the manager, admitted the mistake and offered us coupons as compensation, and offered to refund our money within 5 to 7 working days. Coupons are useless to us as we do not intend to use such an incompetent company again. It is remarkable how they can remove your money from your bank in an instant and yet it takes 5 to 7 days to put it back.We have incurred extra bank charges as a result of this situation, and when we telephoned Customer services at Budget to complain, the person there merely hung up the telephone.

Our advice- Stay away from Budget, they try to fob you off with an unsuitable vehicle, charge you twice over for the privilege, and then when you complain, they cut you off. What a rip off. Avoid like the Plague.

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 35,568
reviews: 22
4. Re: Rental cars

Don't complain by phone, always do it via a letter if you want compensation.

And report their actions to your UK broker as well.

lakewood, colorado
posts: 439
reviews: 3
5. Re: Rental cars

We have used Alamo the last four times in Tampa, and have always been very happy with them. We have not experienced any of the hard sell on insurance and extras that people have reported with other companies. Their prices have been the better than their well known competitors (I don't even bother pricing Payless, as so many have reported problems), although sometimes it takes some searching online to find the best deal.

Join Alamo's Insider club before you book. I think you get a 10% discount, as well as special offers. You also get a free additional driver.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,720
reviews: 59
6. Re: Rental cars

Many of the recent concerns seem to revolve around agents who apparently get paid on commission. To pad their income they sometimes try to coerce customers into buying insuracne and other extras that are not needed.

My advice is to be prepared. Know what insurance coverage you have and don't be pressured into buying something you don't need. I am not sure of Thrifty's process, but you can usually join the rental companies club for free online. If you can enter all your personal information and rental preferences you may be ahead of the game and even avoid the line and the dreaded agent.

Above all else read the contract that is handed to you before you accept the car. Check the dollar amounts to make sure it agrees with your reservation and that no exrtra charges have been added. That seems to be the biggest problem. People tell the agent they don't need insurance assuming the agent will honor their wishes and the agent writes it in anyway. Then they don't check the contract until after they return the car and look at their bill. Make sure you take a minute to review the contract. It's easy to forget in your haste to get out of the airport and on with your vacation.

This information seems to be true regardless of what rental company you use.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,720
reviews: 59
7. Re: Rental cars

One other thing. Keep checking rates. They flutuate often. You might get lucky and catch a good price.

Wales
posts: 2
reviews: 15
8. Re: Rental cars

Thanks for that advice. We will be acting upon it. We were not impressed by the attitude of Budget,basically they showed no interest at all!!

posts: 49
reviews: 2
9. Re: Rental cars

I knew the Trip Advisor experts would offer great information!

Thank you.

Edited: 7:49 am, April 19, 2013
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Clearwater
posts: 1,402
reviews: 77
10. Re: Rental cars

We always book with Alamo or National (they are the same company) and have been a real fan since they relocated to the airport. We pick up our luggage, cross the road and they are right there - very handy. Our own car insurance covers our rental insurance - and they never pressure us - they are always respectful. What I like most about them is that you can choose your own car. You pay for your car category (eg. Full size) and you can choose any car they have in that category - there are usually lots to choose from and the cars are very clean. if they don't have the size you've reserved they will upgrade you. My husband is terribly fussy about his vehicle - and this way he is always happy. He will sit in 3 or 4 cars and check the motor size before he decides. Returns are quick, easy, and we are never charged for any damage to the car - and we've never had any surprises. We've used them for 20+ years and never had a problem.

With any company - make sure you carefully go over the car before you leave the lot and have them record any damage or you will be charged for ithe damage. Fill the car up with gas before you return it - it will save you money.

Edited: 7:55 am, April 19, 2013