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Beware of Car Rental Tactics

Washington
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528 posts
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Beware of Car Rental Tactics

We rented a compact car at the Kona airport. We got a great rate and the car was fine. I have no problem with the company but thought I would point out what seemed to be a way of trying to get you to upgrade.

My husband is 6'5". When the person helping us saw that he said they were having a special on mid-size cars that we might want to upgrade to so he would be more comfortable. We declined. He then said that after we got in the car if we wanted to upgrade just come back in and they could do it.

When my husband went to get into the car the seat was pulled all the way forward, the wheel tilted all the way down and the seat raised as high as it would go. Needless to say he could barely get into the car, much less drive it! So he moved the seat back as far as it would go, raised the wheel up and we had to look in the cars' manual to find the button to lower the seat. After all of those were adjusted he could fit into the car. We are thinking that by leaving the car adjusted like that, they may just get some people who will upgrade. It wasn't the most comfortable car but for a rental for a few days it served our purpose and we saved over $100 by not up-grading.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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1. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

Interesting. More likely, to my mind, that it was a small person who last drove the car. I've never known them to go to such lengths, but hey, anything's possible. The rental companies are pretty well known for hard-selling upgrades and extras.

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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2. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

I'm on the tall side and have never gotten into a rental where I didn't have to adjust the seat and wheel...lots of short drivers out there! HA

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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3. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

I'm short and have never gotten into a rental car where I didn't have to adjust the seat and wheel. :-)

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

Agree, doubt they would go to the trouble. Most 6'5" guys don't rent compact cars anyway, and so most times the previous driver will leave a very different seat adjustment.

I'm pretty cheap when it comes to rentals, but I've never rented a compact car here. I prefer some comfort considering the amount of time spent driving on my trips. Usually it is not that much more if done at the reservation stage. Often there is some promotion code that one can find online that will give a one category upgrade for free.

I would not upgrade upon arrival. Good for everyone who is adamant with their NO, don't want it, leave me alone.

LA
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10,106 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

I don't believe the rental agency would do that to a rental.

Having traveled with a tall person, I know how uncomfortable they can be in some small economy cars. My tall friend always rents an SUV so he has enough space.

I don't think OP's outrage is really justified.

Canada
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43 reviews
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6. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

While the car rental agencies' Ulterior motives can be rather inventive.....the suggestion of purposefully adjusting a seat to deter a tall driver seems far fetched.

I have yet to get into a rental vehicle at pickup..that is set to my liking.....even those vehicles that are accommodating for the tall driver.

What is more curious is why someone who is 6 foot 5 inches would reserve a compact?

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,489 posts
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7. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

I'm 6'1" and I almost always have to adjust the seats and steering wheel whenever I rent a car. Whether I am comfortable or not depends more on the make of car than the class. For example a Toyota Corolla is usually a bit too cramped for me, but most any Nissan car will be fine (even a compact).

One way that I have found to avoid the hard sell at the rental car counter is to join the various "frequent renter" programs that the companies offer. They keep all the info about my car choices on file, and pretty much all I have to do is walk up to the counter and collect the keys. With some agencies in some locations you bypass the counter completely. There's no hassle, and no haggling with the counter clerk - just walk straight out to the car and go.

-JimG

8. Re: Beware of Car Rental Tactics

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