Budget forgot a working spare key in my trunk.

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Old Oct 10, 13, 2:20 pm
  #1  
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Budget forgot a working spare key in my trunk.

Yesterday I was in the process of returning a sedan that I had rented for four days. While preparing to leave from the hotel and getting ready for a final drive to the airport, I did a thorough search of the vehicle to make sure that none of my stuff had fallen out of bags and whatnot.

While searching through the trunk that I had barely used, I noticed that the users manual for the car was tucked into one of the corners, it was shrink wrapped with a spare key to the car. This was a huge surprise to me as it looked identical to the ones on my key chain and even had the buttons (ie not a "valet" key). I opened up the wrapping and tried the key, it worked. This really pissed me off and also frightened me a little, if someone would have broken into the trunk they could have also stolen the car.

I mentioned it to the Budget staff upon returning the vehicle, they seemed slightly surprised but then told me "not to worry about it" and that it was "normal". Somehow I don't think this is okay, but maybe I am overreacting.

Any thoughts or am I being paranoid?
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Old Oct 10, 13, 8:46 pm
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In some states if the key is in the car then the car is not stolen. If taken the insurance responsibility would have been yours. I would write the attorney general of the state you rented in with a copy to the corporate offices of the company and let them know that you were told it was normal for the key to be in the car. This may help someone down the road if something happens. In any case the corporate cannot deny they knew about the problem
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Old Oct 11, 13, 10:13 am
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I've seen this many times with Avis (which is the same parent company as Budget). I've also seen it in the glove box a few times. If I find it, the key won't be there for long. There's no way I'm giving anyone a chance to steal a car that I'm responsible for.

I don't understand why they do this, other than to prevent all keys from being lost at once if the ring is lost by the renter.
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Old Oct 11, 13, 2:29 pm
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I agree this isnt the best idea but its not uncommon. When I have seen them its been with the books and left in the trunk area, either an access compartment or with the spare wheel out of normal sight. It makes sense why they do it but yes it can be a theft issue.

Car thefts and ones who break into the car are typically two different types of people. Most thefts occur by people who already know how to steal the given car so the key would be irrelevant. Most break-ins are by people looking for easy items to sell and often wouldnt go through the trouble of hanging around the car for long or want the attention stealing it would bring.
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Old Oct 11, 13, 3:31 pm
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Thanks for all your comments, it was just a surprise to me and perhaps in the future I will pay more attention to what is in the car as I really don't feel like driving around with a risk like that.
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Old Oct 11, 13, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Leviticus View Post
Thanks for all your comments, it was just a surprise to me and perhaps in the future I will pay more attention to what is in the car as I really don't feel like driving around with a risk like that.
No problem.

One recent post here (forgot which company the car was from) noted the car they had smelled like weed and then found plenty of remnants from the last renter who had enjoyed alternative uses for the car lol
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Old Jan 15, 14, 8:44 pm
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I rented a nissan quest from Hertz, it was a push button start car, after having the van for a week I looked in the glovebox, which there was an additional key FOB, so at any time during the week someone could have pressed the button on the door handle and gotten in and drove away. Scary Stuff.
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Old Feb 2, 14, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by gomike View Post
I rented a nissan quest from Hertz, it was a push button start car, after having the van for a week I looked in the glovebox, which there was an additional key FOB, so at any time during the week someone could have pressed the button on the door handle and gotten in and drove away. Scary Stuff.
I have a Ford with the push button start. Not sure if the technology is the same as Nissan, but on my car pushing the button to unlock the doors only works when a key is outside the car and next to the door or trunk you're trying to unlock. Likewise if you're trying to lock the car by pushing the door handle button it will only lock it if the key is next to the door. This prevents you from locking the only key you have inside the car.
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