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No exchanging a car during a rental....interesting anecdote

No exchanging a car during a rental....interesting anecdote

Old May 28, 18, 8:59 am
  #1  
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No exchanging a car during a rental....interesting anecdote

I posted this in the OMA thread, but I've never heard of this at any other locations or read about it on FT so figured I would see if others may chime in with more information.

I have a weeklong rental out of OMA. Got a SUV to haul people around....some people left before my rental period is up, so I went to see if I can exchange to a different car (a couple of friends left a day early, no need for the larger SUV space anymore, was looking to get into either a more fuel efficient sedan or a sporty vehicle).

The CSR at this location said that they do NOT do any intra-rental exchanges UNLESS the current vehicle has a mechanical or other issue.

Apparently, he said in years past people would rent cars out, take out (steal) parts from the rental car (including even an entire engine swap according to the agent), exchange that gutted car out for another rental and then return that rental car...quite the scam people were running it seems.

Says this is policy in midwestern National locations like Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska.

Never heard of this until now. All the other major locations seems to not have this policy AFAIK.
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Old May 28, 18, 3:57 pm
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Had the same thing happen to me at EWR when trying to exchange a smoked-in 40k mile Sonata from a neighborhood location so I just told them the tires felt out of balance and the car isn't stable at highway speeds.
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Old May 28, 18, 4:01 pm
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I'm surprised part thieves would go to all the trouble of exchanging the car, rather than just quietly returning it on time and not calling attention to themselves.
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Old May 29, 18, 6:40 am
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Sounds rather bogus to me; if it's not a large location perhaps they are trying to cut down on their own paperwork and rental turn work (i.e., extra washing/servicing). But as posted above all you need to say is there's a vibration or something and most places won't be questioning further, especially large airport locations.
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Old May 29, 18, 11:20 am
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That story makes no sense at all and it's pretty disconcerting when CSR's try to justify bad location policies with these sorts of tales. I don't do it often, but I've never had a problem with swapping out cars, even at a non-Emerald Aisle location (MDT, and it was solely to get an SUV because none were available at my original location). If the CSR's goal is to reduce paperwork, incentivizing customers to make vague maintenance complaints probably isn't a good strategy long-term.
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Old May 29, 18, 10:45 pm
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Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else see a pattern emerging? That is National either by location or whatever seems to be discouraging and or simply forbidding one way rentals (of any sort), unless specifically booked as such.

Am sorry but that CS story sounds like a load of old cobblers. Why would someone bother stripping, gutting, swapping parts or whatever out of a rental car? Unless totally fraudulent ID and credit card was used for the rental National has a clear track record of who had the vehicle when.

If the issue was so bad, a piece of masking or whatever tape on bonnet (or similar device) would easily let location know upon return if the thing had been opened.
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Old May 29, 18, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
Apparently, he said in years past people would rent cars out, take out (steal) parts from the rental car (including even an entire engine swap according to the agent), exchange that gutted car out for another rental and then return that rental car...quite the scam people were running it seems.
This makes no sense to me. Does the car being returned midway not get checked by the agency the same way that it does at the end?
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Old May 30, 18, 6:29 am
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Hard to believe. Car barcodes match VIN# and color. Miles wont add up. And how do you drive your rental back without an engine.
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Old May 30, 18, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else see a pattern emerging? That is National either by location or whatever seems to be discouraging and or simply forbidding one way rentals (of any sort), unless specifically booked as such.

Am sorry but that CS story sounds like a load of old cobblers. Why would someone bother stripping, gutting, swapping parts or whatever out of a rental car? Unless totally fraudulent ID and credit card was used for the rental National has a clear track record of who had the vehicle when.

If the issue was so bad, a piece of masking or whatever tape on bonnet (or similar device) would easily let location know upon return if the thing had been opened.
On more than one occasion I've noticed rentals returned with very well-worn wheels and tires; I think it's unfortunately pretty common for thieves to do that. A couple of years ago, I rented a Ram pickup that had about 5,000 miles on it and I picked it up at night. The next day, I noticed that the tires were all date-coded 2010 and pretty much worn down to the steel belts. The wheels were the 20" chrome wheels that Dodge had used on the prior generation of Ram pickups. I didn't notice it when I left, but I drove it right back to the station. I'm a car guy and I missed that; I can't imagine that the folks checking in hundreds/thousands of cars a day would be paying attention for something like that.

A couple weeks ago I was at a station and noticed a pre-facelift Ford Expedition Limited shod with the base 18" XLT wheels; the Limited came with 20" chrome wheels and Hankook Dynapro tires from the factory; these were the base 18" wheels with well-worn Goodyear tires. I pointed that out to a lot attendant who didn't really seem to care.
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Old May 31, 18, 5:37 am
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i haven't had a problem exchanging rental cars at other locations except ewr. there was a time when i had an actual problem (slow leak in a tire) and they wouldn't exchange it.
i ended up driving it to philly to exchange it, having to stop to fill air twice
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Old May 31, 18, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
If the issue was so bad, a piece of masking or whatever tape on bonnet (or similar device) would easily let location know upon return if the thing had been opened.
Exactly. They could put a "safety seal" on the hood and other areas that could easily be inspected upon return.


Originally Posted by supermoto1 View Post
Hard to believe. Car barcodes match VIN# and color. Miles wont add up. And how do you drive your rental back without an engine.
In theory, you swap parts for what's in another car, so no trying to get back without parts. I'm guessing if someone is doing this, they are stripping the VIN number. Or they're just stupid since they are easily tracked.


Originally Posted by dwbf11 View Post
On more than one occasion I've noticed rentals returned with very well-worn wheels and tires; I think it's unfortunately pretty common for thieves to do that. A couple of years ago, I rented a Ram pickup that had about 5,000 miles on it and I picked it up at night. The next day, I noticed that the tires were all date-coded 2010 and pretty much worn down to the steel belts. The wheels were the 20" chrome wheels that Dodge had used on the prior generation of Ram pickups. I didn't notice it when I left, but I drove it right back to the station. I'm a car guy and I missed that; I can't imagine that the folks checking in hundreds/thousands of cars a day would be paying attention for something like that.

A couple weeks ago I was at a station and noticed a pre-facelift Ford Expedition Limited shod with the base 18" XLT wheels; the Limited came with 20" chrome wheels and Hankook Dynapro tires from the factory; these were the base 18" wheels with well-worn Goodyear tires. I pointed that out to a lot attendant who didn't really seem to care.
That's crazy, but I guess people will do anything. I've never thought to look that closely at the rim variance from year to year, but am curious to see if they had VIN numbers on them or not.
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Old May 31, 18, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
Exactly. They could put a "safety seal" on the hood and other areas that could easily be inspected upon return.




In theory, you swap parts for what's in another car, so no trying to get back without parts. I'm guessing if someone is doing this, they are stripping the VIN number. Or they're just stupid since they are easily tracked.




That's crazy, but I guess people will do anything. I've never thought to look that closely at the rim variance from year to year, but am curious to see if they had VIN numbers on them or not.
I'm a car guy, and can assure you that wheels don't have the vehicles VIN on them. Since I'm on the fence of purchasing a used vehicle that was a previous rental, my main focus is to look at date stamps. If the wheels for example have a date stamp within a few months of the production date of the car, that would seem ok. If they had a date stamp of something much older, that would be a concern. Main body parts and frame have VIN numbers, but door panels, seats, wheels, etc. never do IME.
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Old May 31, 18, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
If the issue was so bad, a piece of masking or whatever tape on bonnet (or similar device) would easily let location know upon return if the thing had been opened.
I hope not. If I rent a car when I will be driving some miles for more than a few days, such as a vacation out west, I check the oil level and tire pressure the first time I get gas. I have had cars with low oil or nearly flat tires and I don't want that breaking down in the middle of nowhere or on the interstate going through a bad part of the city.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by drphun View Post
I hope not. If I rent a car when I will be driving some miles for more than a few days, such as a vacation out west, I check the oil level and tire pressure the first time I get gas. I have had cars with low oil or nearly flat tires and I don't want that breaking down in the middle of nowhere or on the interstate going through a bad part of the city.
Read my lips; what one said was that tape or some other device could alert National if the bonnet or whatever had been tampered or interfered with, did not say would *restrict*. There is a difference you know.

Rather like the tape or other devices placed on certain goods in retail stores that tells if merchandise has been opened, but not the locking devices which prevents.

Don't know who you rent from, but have never had an issue with National that required me to look under bonnet, check tires, check oil, etc...
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:36 am
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This is the sort of thing that probably happened once in 1999 but now they use it as a catch-all excuse.
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