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.

Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Which Puerto Vallarta hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
Save Topic
Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

We recently rented a car fro Payless in Puerto Vallarta for 20 days and never again. I thought they were terrible customer service. They informed us when we got their that the insurance would cost us $20 per day when the car rental was only $10 per day. Then when we turned the car in, they told us we had put scratches on the car underneath the front bumper. They wanted us to either leave our credit card voucher open or go to the repair shop to et and estimate for the scratches and pay for them on the spot. The scratches were minor and may have been there to begin with. After much arguing, we agreed to go to get an estimate. However, the man took a long time and never came back to give us a quote and we had a plane to catch. In the end, we had to leave the credit card voucher open and return home. Now we are in the process of dealing with this from the US. They are charging us over $300. This is a RIP OFF after charging $20.00 per day for car insurance.

Cozumel, Mexico
Level Contributor
5,002 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Insurance is Mandatory in Mexico. Why would you go without it?? It could have been a life changing experience for you. I do not see your logic, as it seems that you were reckless for not knowing the laws in Mexico to protect yourselves.

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

We DID have insurance which we paid $20.00 per day for. Yet it did not cover the scratches which were underneath the car. You had to bend down and look under the front bumper to see them.

Cozumel, Mexico
Level Contributor
5,002 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

So you should not have hit the Curb then right???

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
1,218 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Don apparently works for a car rental agency... And what were you thinking? Not inspecting UNDER the car. Reckless, to say the least.

Sorry for your bad experience and thanks for the warning. What next? Really!

Edited: 13 March 2013, 03:41
Edmonton
Level Contributor
8,300 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

I haven't rented a car in Mexico, but can sell it, but our agency's policy is DONT. Not saying don't rent, but don't sell it from here so we don't have to deal with these things. And we do tell clients of the good car companies we hear of (but really we mostly recommend what's on here and I think that's Gecko). But if our clients do rent a car, we tell them to take pics of everything to document it so they don't run into this problem.

Hope everything works out for you and you don't end up paying a whole bunch you shouldn't have to.

Good luck:)

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Thanks!

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

For all I know the scratches may have been there. I never thought I had to inspect UNDER the front bumper.

I guess that was very reckless huh???

Puerto Vallarta...
Level Contributor
12,229 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Sorry for your experience.

Lots of people rent cars successfully in Mexico but you need to be sure of the franchise you are dealing with, not just the company. Best thing is to ask for recommendations in a specific locale.

Calgary
Destination Expert
for Nuevo Vallarta
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Jeanne's experience is consistent with what appears to be standard operating procedure for many of the car rental outfits in Vallarta (and probably elsewhere). It's highly likely that this is not the first time someone has had to cough up a heap of cash for these exact same scratches, nor is it likely to be the last because it's a virtual certainty that rather than having the vehicle repaired, Payless will continue to take advantage of future renters who "foolishly" fail to notice the damage prior to leaving the lot. The unscrupulous owners of these businesses understand very well that with the pressure of pending flight departures looming in the minds of their customers, they're going to win this debate the majority of the time. Unfortunately, there is more money to be made from these types of scams than from merely renting the cars, so it's unlikely things will change unless there is some type of regulatory crackdown on these practices (I wouldn't hold my breath).

The only solution is to take the time to go through the vehicle with a fine-toothed comb when you pick it up, documenting any and all damage - no matter how minor - both on the rental company's damage form, and by photographing / videoing everything. Obviously a pain (and challenging in the dark), but a good investment in the end. This wouldn't be necessary if all of the rental firms were ethical and honest, but there's plenty of evidence that many are not so it's your best self defense. This is a good idea even when renting from reputable firms such as Gecko (who I've rented from a lot, have never had any trouble with, and highly recommend).

Thanks to the original poster for documenting her experiences with Payless, which will serve to raise awareness of their unethical business practices, and will hopefully result in less people using them. And kudos to Dan_Kom for his incredibly insightful and helpful input on this thread!

Seattle
Level Contributor
42,155 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Payless Car Rental in Puerto Vallarta is TERRIBLE

Or you could ask in advance on this forum and have gotten a recommendation for a car rental agency that people here recommend and trust.