We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 posts
51 reviews
Save Topic
Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

Hi All,

As a contributor to tripadvisor I wanted to give you a warning on the Budget Car Rental Service at Santo Domingo Airport

I travelled in October 2012, and have driven in many countries but this has to be by far the worst experience I've had with car rental.

Generally, I'm pretty brand loyal on car rental, so have been using Budget for years. However, they've lost my future trade.

I booked a 5 car mid sized car hire at a tune of $155 inc tax which isn't bad. I forget to add the GPS on my initial booking so add another $60.00 for that... Ok sounds good so far.. Roll on October 1st

I go to check in for the car and told by the agent I have to have insurance, I declined, I argued, I said call your boss but I got no where... I knew he was lying to me because the forms has decline option on them.... He just kept repeating how can you afford the car if it was damaged, needless to say after flying from Chicago to Panama and then Panama to Santo Domingo I didn't have time for this jump star so wrote the specific word on the carbon copy "Joan said I had to have insurance, I declined". I made sure I kept my copy... Fast Forward 5 days and I return the car, first they try the car is missing a centre for the hub caps... thankfully that worked out when the maintenance man said that car model didn't have them. My final bill arrives at nearly $400.00. So my rental has gone from $155.00 to $400.00.

I complained to Budget via there www.budget.com website on the 2nd day of my vacation, when I could get Wifi and basically I may as well have not bothered...

1. it took 15 days to get a response, which is too late because I turned from my vacation

2. refuted my claim saying I signed the agreement - dispute me telling them get the carbon copy and it will show everything they need to know.

I refuted it with them and sent them my copy with the wording clearly show and then they just sent me a scanned copy of theirs (conveniently with that part chopped off) - seriously a multi national copy tried to lie and cheat there way out of it... In the end they even had the cheek to say my dispute is not with budget.com but budget central America and they will deal with it....

Budget Central America offered me a 1/2 day car rental when I return next to Central America.... What a joke. What a bunch of liars and the worst customer experience ever.

Despite the bad experience, some good did come of this, my credit card company (to be nameless because of the posting rules) were very helpful, they listened to me, sent me a form, I sent them my documentation and yesterday I see they've refunded the disputed amount to my account.

I'll be following up with budget.com head quarters to give them this example of service and how they've lost a valued customer.

I hope this information is of help to others.

For those that would like more information, or proof, I have all the documentation to support they content above.

Wayne

47 replies to this topic
Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
17,963 posts
282 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

YOu do have the right to refues coverage. HOWEVER if you do many companies here will put a huge hold on your credit card. You home insurance and CC insurance is just about useless here and you would still end up paying for the car repairs and hopefuly get reimbursed from your home company and CC. ALSO if you had been in an accident and did not have the local insurance including "casa de Conductore" you would have found yourself in jail until matter could be sorted out.This can sometimes take a day or two to get done. So plan on a couple of days in a Domician jail.

I first off reccomend that unless you are a frequent visitor to the DR you DO NOT rent a car or drive here

Secondly if you do rent take the local insurance including the casa de conductore.

You were lucky that you did not seem to need insurance coverage for any accidents here. Remember here when in an accident no matter whose fault it is 95% or more of the time it will be the "gringo" fault.

Glad you got your money back

BObK

Edited: 25 November 2012, 10:59
Silver Spring...
Destination Expert
for Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
8,504 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

I agree with BobK.

I will clarify for you that the Insurance they "require" is now liability insurance. The other companies are doing the same. Everyone will have to buy this. Their forms have not changed and their website have not been updated with this requirement but it is a requirement now.

Secondly, be aware that these are franchises and they have little if any fear of the master company. The website budget.com is a booking site maintained by the master company. The local employees do as they are trained by the Dominican owners.

Third, I have used Budget many times and have been satisfied with the service. Any company can have a poor front desk agent who doesn't listen to customers.

I mainly use Alamo and get great service for the most part. They have 2 agents that have tried to give me bad service but I calmly go inside and talk to someone else. Last week the check in guy tried to charge me for having "sand" on the floor. Sand, on a Caribe Island, wow. However the agent inside knows me and told him to shut up.

Bob's point about insurance is a good one. You should take out "full" insurance. And yes, it costs about $30/day +-.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

Thanks for the post guys and your information.

However, if regulation has changed it needs to be published and not up for the consumer to find out at extra cost. Adding Insurance to rental agreements is one of the know ways for agents to increase their quotas and reach their bonus figures...

I do agree after doing the car experience in the Dominican that I would prefer a Taxi in the future.

New Castle, Delaware
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

I am so glad I read your post. I am trying to rent a car in Dominican Republic also and they are asking me for a $1,000 deposit if I decide to use my Credit Card Collision insurance. I cannot believe their audacity. However, if I go with their insurance, which will cost me an additional $20 a day on top of my rental fee, then they will lower the deposit down to $500. I am so happy I called ahead of time and didn't run in to this surprise when I got there. I am also renting a car in Panama and it is so much easier to do business in Panama. In DR they are such cheats!!!! Beware when renting a car in Dominican Republic people!!!!

Harlingen, TX
Level Contributor
818 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

@ChellyMami -

It's not just the Dominican Republic. Renting a car ANYWHERE in the world opens you up to A LOT of scams and fraud (flat tire scam, not-full gas tank scam, etc). Just bring extra cash for taxis and shuttles to get from Point A to Point B. Yes, you'll pay more in the long run, but you're also getting peace of mind.

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
17,963 posts
282 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT rely on your CC insurance or home car insurance for anything when renting a car here.

Re read my post #1 above

BObK

Smiles4travel
Level Contributor
2 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

Worse car rental experience. I made a reservation with Budget before I arrived at Santo Domingo reserving a car that fits 5 passengers and 5 pieces of luggage. Once I arrived the car could hardly fit 4 people and 3 pieces of luggage. After talking with the Budget agent we agreed on a different car for $35.00 a day that would fit the four of us and our four bags of luggage. Even though the initial advertisement was wrong on my rental agreement I agreed to this.

Fast forward 5 days later I return the car to find out they are trying to charge me for the first car rental agreement PLUS $35.00 a day for the car We ended up renting!!!!! We were absolutely shocked and refused to sign any further paper work. when we ask to speak with the agent who we original spoke with she refused to come and speak with us!!!!! I could not believe a company like BUDGET would allow this type of underhanded business.

I travel often and have never experienced such a shady car rental company Especially with an international company like BUDGET. I agreed to their insane request of holding $2000.00 on my credit card for insurance and even the false reservation of a car that would fit everything, but, charging me for two separate car rental agreements and then not even having the common customer service to come and explain their actions to me face to face is absolutely absurd. My CC company is disputing the charge.

I want others to be aware of this if they make a reservation with BUDGET santo Domingo - My suggestion is do not use this company if you can avoid it.

Cheyenne, Wyoming
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

i'll be honest with you. I have been to Santo Domingo 3 times and because of Expedia ( they seem to automatically hook you up with Budget Car Rental ) everytime I rented it was either a gasoline scam or an insurance scam. They also speak very poor English, so you better be very fluent in Spanish and be prepared for an additional 2 hours of argument with the staff when you return, they'll claim things that were damaged that are not even on the vehicle, mechanical jargon to confuse you and overcharge you. It is always a nightmare. Plus most tourists when they return the car are in a hurry to get to their airport check in, they know this and take full advantage of that. Also Budget will threaten you with the Police and with jail in a heartbeat. DO NOT USE BUDGET !

Hollywood, Florida
1 post
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

He ido a Santo Domingo (SDQ) varias veces este año he rentado carro con Alamo Y Budget , cada vez que voy a rentar el carro es una agonía, una pérdida de tiempo que no se compara con nada siempre tratan de venderte los seguros más caros prácticamente obligados Y cuando decides no tomarlos hace un cargo tarjeta de credito de 1000 Y hasta $2000 dollares. A la hora de entregar el carro si el precio original el contrato era por ejemplo de $170 dollares cuando lo vas entregar te dicen que la persona que lleno el contrato a principio cometí un error y ahora son 300 dollares es increíble la falta de profesionalismo, la necesidad de engañar y prácticamente robarle al cliente continuamente. Viajamos continuamente por todo el mundo nunca había experimentado tan mala experiencia Como tener que lidiar con estas personas.

Edited: 10 May 2014, 09:22
Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
17,963 posts
282 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport

Segundo M welcome to the forum. However this is an English speaking forum and you will get more responses if you post here in English.

BObK

Reply to: Budget Car Rental Warning - Santo Domingo Airport
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted