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Will Hertz Report Your Next Rental Car as Stolen?

Hertz customers claim they are victims of a troubling trend: Police encounters over rentals being reported as stolen.
In addition to a shortage of rental cars across the country, another major problem could be facing Hertz Car Rental.


And when it happens, it could affect more than your next trip. CBS News reports several Hertz customers are or were facing car theft charges after the company reported vehicles as “stolen.”

Stolen Reports Appear Random, Ranging from Engineers to Real Estate Agents

According to the report, there is no established pattern for when or where cars are reported as stolen. The purported victims discovered by CBS News include a real estate agent in California, a NASA engineer working in Florida, and a banker in the Sunshine State.


In many of the situations, video shows the renter was stopped by police – often at gunpoint – and taken into custody. In some of the reported cases, charges were ultimately dropped when the vehicles were determined to be lawfully rented. In two cases, the rental car agency is accused of retroactively reporting a vehicle as stolen, leading to arrests, temporary incarceration, or filed charges.


Research from CBS News shows there are over 190 claims against the company in federal bankruptcy court claiming they have been unfairly arrested due to oversights by Hertz. Many of those are before a judge, with rulings pending on if they can move forward.


The troubled company has only provided one public statement about the arrests, claiming they are the result of customers not returning cars when the rental period is over. They have not commented on the CBS News report, or on how many false arrests have been claimed against Hertz.


“The vast majority of these cases involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue returning vehicles and who stopped communicating with us well beyond the scheduled due date,” the November statement from Hertz to CBS News reads. “Situations where vehicles are reported to the authorities are very rare and happen only after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer.”


Controversy Latest Shift in Hertz Legal Drama

The allegations against Hertz are just the latest twist in what has been a long legal drama unfolding in bankruptcy court. In March 2021, a plan put forward to resolve the case called for creditors and bondholders to be paid first, with the remnants given to shareholders, potentially leaving the stock as “worthless.”

synzero December 20, 2021

I've always had awful customer service from Hertz. Avis as well. Will never rent from either again.

esaphire3 December 18, 2021

I once dropped off a rental and didn't wait for a receipt. Two weeks later I got a letter in the mail that my car has been reported stolen. I had to get the regional manager to track the car down and check it in. When things like that happen is when the next guy that rents the car will get pulled for driving a cart reported stolen. 

edgewood49 December 16, 2021

It seems to me that there might be a back story to some of these incidents not that I am a huge fan of Hertz and have had my issues in the past, like Hetz employees putting miles on my rental happened at HNL 

4GSM December 16, 2021

I think it's crazy that Hertz's software allows them to check-out a car before it's even checked-in. Avis/Budget's systems appear to require a car to be returned (with date/time/mileage/fuel level) before it can be rented-out again on a contract.

Coralreef Lover December 16, 2021

The last time I dealt with Hertz was back in July 2013 when I reserved a car to attend an evening funeral service. I showed up in the right place but they had no record of the car on the premise that I reserved after searching for it. Then they told me the car was at another facility down by a pier which was not within walking distance. Needless to say I cancelled out then ended up taking a taxi to the funeral service. Since then I never got around to renting from Hertz.