Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Car Rental

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    In a small village Ahetze in southern France near the Spanish border and the Atlantic coastline.

    Default Car Rental

    Just back in France from a wonderful CA roadtrip, SF, coastline, LA, Getty, Sequoia, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Napa Valley.

    Rented, out of France a midsize SUV, a Chevrolet Equinox Four Wheel Drive (apparently 4X4 not necessary) but got a Ford Escape XLT Front Wheel Drive (very positive experience) instead.

    As a former retired fleet mgr. for US leasing companies in Europe I was of course interested to see how the rental was handled. Beside a too high delivery gas bill, full tank invoiced while still 3/8 full, the final invoice was correct.
    However, the car we ordered was a Four Wheel Drive costing MSRP 29,000 and we got a Front Wheel Drive costing MSRP 23,000. Apparently in accordance to Alamo same category vehicles, size I agree, but technical and price I see a major difference.

    Prior to ask for a credit, I'd like some feedback, maybe I am wrong and not anymore 'up to date' with the common handling practices.

    Thanks a lot,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default or similar

    You will always see on rental reservations an example model followed by the words "or similar"

    A Equinox and an Escape would certainly fall into the same class as similar vehicles. The MSRP or other options generally would not be part of that discussion.

    Now the 4 wheel drive aspect does add a twist, and if your reservation specifically said "4 wheel drive" then I think you have a case (of course, as you saw, and as always 4 wheel drive is one of the biggest rip offs in car rentals and is very rarely needed and most of the time being in a situation where you'd use it would invalidate your rental agreement).

    The problem could be that you accepted the 2 wheel drive Escape and didn't say anything about it before you drove off the lot. Much like the fuel bill issue, is something that you should have dealt with right then and there.

    I'd say it doesn't hurt to contact the reservation company and see about getting a credit, however, I don't think your odds of getting much in return are very high at this point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Mmm.

    Hi Ben,
    All major renters seem to cover themselves by stating "or similar" in there rental contracts and I am not sure how you would stand if you have signed for the car and accepted it. I don't think the value of the vehicle would stand up but if you rented a 4x4 and you got a 2 wheel drive you may have a case but you would be better off reading the small print or getting a solicitor to look at it as I doubt you could get solid info from a forum. I think your best bet would be to approach the company about the 4x4 situation and see what there response is. If overall you were happy with the rental and they won't offer you anything you would have to decide whether to take it further and whether it's worth the hassle.

    [So, much like Michael said while I was busy typing !]
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-22-2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: slow fingers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not looking good.

    Having taken this quote from Alamo;

    Remember, at Alamo, all cars are priced, booked and controlled by car category, not by car make or model. Vehicle features, seating and luggage capacities are not guaranteed and are subject to manufacturer make and model. The indicated capacities should be used as a general guideline only.
    and the fact that your car is listed as a Mid-size SUV and not as a 4x4 on their website I would say you don't have much of a case I'm afraid.
    On the bright side you probably got more mpg from a 2 wheel drive ;-)

    Feel free to tell us more about your wonderful trip though and share your thoughts with us !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    In a small village Ahetze in southern France near the Spanish border and the Atlantic coastline.

    Default Car Rental Follow Up

    Hi Michael, Dave and Everybody,

    Ref. : Car Rental thread

    Reply from Alamo for my credit request, offered a Two-Free-Day rental coupon, if acceptable. I did accept to avoid further hassle.

    Regarding the Ford Escape XLT 2WD and the Chevy Equinox 4WD both are for Alamo in the same charge category.

    If I still had been in business, I should not have accepted the proposal, why?
    Alamo is free to include wathever type of car in a certain category, as long there is a detailed list with make and basic specs available to the customer, avoiding any possible misunderstanding, the wording 'similar' doesn't mean a thing.

    I reccomend for on line reservations that rental customers ask in writing details about so called similar cars, a list to add and referring to the 'multiple' page agreement number and date.

    It is important the customer is paying 'hidden costs'(ref. to Dave's reply) I had indeed more mpg economy when Alamo gave me the 2WD instead of the 4WD, however the contrary could have been happened.

    Due to this recent event, I like to put on my 'consultancy cost-cutting hat' on again.

    Have a nice day, regards

    PS : Message for the ROADTRIP AMERICA staff : Due to my practical experience in the transport equipment leasing and maintenance and repair industry, as entrepreneur/consultant and GE/Affiliate and Transamerica Director, I like to offer my services to the Forum visitors. Tks for considering my suggestion.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-28-2009 at 01:21 PM. Reason: merged - please don't create multiple threads on the same topic

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by benjh View Post
    I had indeed more mpg economy when Alamo gave me the 2WD instead of the 4WD, however the contrary could have been happened.
    I booked an economy car out of Seattle last year as I had it for a month and wanted to keep the gas cost down. I ended up doing 7,500 miles in a huge Pontiac G8 (familiar to Australians as the Commodore) with some huge 6 litre V8 lump... it was the smallest car they could offer me! Just one of those things - I don't think anyone expects to get what they expect when renting a car!

Similar Threads

  1. Car rental from New York to CA - one way?
    By RoadTripper 912 in forum RoadTrip Costs and Research
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 06-29-2011, 01:57 AM
  2. Seattle to San Diego 21 days in June-July 09 - Car Rental?
    By redorwhite in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-10-2009, 02:38 PM
  3. rental car insurance??
    By wells182 in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-19-2008, 01:58 PM
  4. Rental Car Unlimited Mileage
    By brianofparis in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-27-2007, 11:03 AM
  5. one way car rental
    By davebadger in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-27-2007, 08:11 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name