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reservation made thru Rentalcars.com refused by Budget!

reservation made thru Rentalcars.com refused by Budget!

Old Nov 27, 18, 12:07 pm
  #1  
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Angry reservation made thru Rentalcars.com refused by Budget!

I'm a US resident with a US driver's licence. I booked a rental car online while in Europe using Rentalcars.com for pickup in Miami. When I tried to pick up the car at Budget in Miami, the agent refused to honor the booking because I didn't have a european drivers license? It was late, I was tired and just put up with it and rented a at the desk. BTW, My profile on Rentalcars.com shows I have a US driver's license.The next day I asked rentalcars.com for a refund which I got. Needless to say the counter reservation was more expensive. If I hadn't been so tired and the flight so late what should I have done? Is this a normal occurrence?
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Old Nov 27, 18, 12:22 pm
  #2  
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This, unfortunately, is one of the reasons why the rental industry can be so annoying. For whatever reason, the rental companies have decided to segregate their rates by country of residency. Some booking sites will ask you for your country of residence (Hertz.com for example) and show the appropriate rates, while others (like Priceline for example) will geolocate your IP address and automatically just show you rates based on where you are at the time you shop/book. It's worth noting that rentalcars.com is owned by Priceline.

We at AutoSlash have experience with this sort of thing, and it's something that causes us a fair amount of frustration. Some people try to game the system to get a lower rate than they're technically eligible for, while others (like you apparently) can get tripped up by this nuance when booking from a country other than your home country. Often the rental agents either won't notice or won't bother to challenge you, but we have heard of people getting pushback like you did in MIA.

The most important thing is to be aware of the issue. AutoSlash generally caters to a US-centric audience so our rates are always valid for US residents regardless of where you book from. There probably wasn't much else you could have done at the Budget counter, but if you are ever uncertain about a reservation getting honored in the future, you could always book a backup reservation with a second company as a failsafe.
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Last edited by AutoSlash; Nov 28, 18 at 5:11 pm
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Old Nov 29, 18, 7:23 am
  #3  
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Thanks! At least I understand why it happened. I've been pondering getting a VPN so that I can get NETFLIX to think I'm in the USA and this probably would work with rentalcars.com and other sites just fine. The down side is airfare charges are sometimes significantly lower when booked from out of the USA. So it's a double edged sword!
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Old Nov 29, 18, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by havaiisteve View Post
I'm a US resident with a US driver's licence. I booked a rental car online while in Europe using Rentalcars.com for pickup in Miami. When I tried to pick up the car at Budget in Miami, the agent refused to honor the booking because I didn't have a european drivers license? It was late, I was tired and just put up with it and rented a at the desk. BTW, My profile on Rentalcars.com shows I have a US driver's license.The next day I asked rentalcars.com for a refund which I got. Needless to say the counter reservation was more expensive. If I hadn't been so tired and the flight so late what should I have done? Is this a normal occurrence?
On rentalcars.com there is a clear specification that US drivers licenses are not eligible for the bookings. Because they cater to non US drivers, usually their rates include insurance which is normally quite expensive. Therefore they do often check and refuse to rent at that booked rate.
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Old Nov 29, 18, 10:22 am
  #5  
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This is a similarly common problem for people who book on the European website of a legacy company such as Avis, Hertz or the like. If you can't demonstrate a residence in the foreign country, generally with a valid driver's license, the rate is no good. It's no different than claiming a rate you aren't entitled to except that the LDW is so large that it really matters and the rate really gets enforced.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 1:30 pm
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I thought it was okay to book on foregin websites if you can prove you were there when you booked it, and you selected your country of residence correctly.
Hertz, for example, allows you to select country of residence at the payment page no matter where you're accessing the website from. I haven't had issues when I booked a rental car while on vacation in the Caribbean, though YMMV.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by havaiisteve View Post
I've been pondering getting a VPN so that I can get NETFLIX to think I'm in the USA and this probably would work with rentalcars.com and other sites just fine.
I know this is off topic and OMNI territory, but don't bother, Netflix has closed this loop and can sense VPN's and will block it.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by klanfa View Post
I thought it was okay to book on foregin websites if you can prove you were there when you booked it, and you selected your country of residence correctly.
Hertz, for example, allows you to select country of residence at the payment page no matter where you're accessing the website from. I haven't had issues when I booked a rental car while on vacation in the Caribbean, though YMMV.
It is not OK to book in violation of the t&c of the specific rental.

Bear in mind that the question is not whether one can get away with the rental, it is whether you will be covered if there is an accident and the later investigation demonstrates that you have fraudulently claimed anything, e.g. country or residence, corporate employment, military service or whatever. Almost all rental contracts are voided by fraud and almost all insurance of any kind is void if the underlying rental is fraudulently procured.

This can be an extraordinarily expensive lesson to learn. After the fact.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It is not OK to book in violation of the t&c of the specific rental.

Bear in mind that the question is not whether one can get away with the rental, it is whether you will be covered if there is an accident and the later investigation demonstrates that you have fraudulently claimed anything, e.g. country or residence, corporate employment, military service or whatever. Almost all rental contracts are voided by fraud and almost all insurance of any kind is void if the underlying rental is fraudulently procured.

This can be an extraordinarily expensive lesson to learn. After the fact.
That's exactly my point, that what I did with Hertz was in no way fraudulent or in breach of any T&C I could possibly think of.
Example:
I was in Curacao and needed a one-way rental in FL. I went to Hertz.com and got redirected to the local website. On the last step of the booking process there's a prompt for "country of residence", defaulted to Curacao. I click the dropdown menu and select United States. The rate didn't change but it was indeed selected as a US resident. Booked my rental car. Where's the fraudulent step?
I agree that being in the US and using a VPN to say UK can be troublesome since you're purposefully going out of the way to make a reservation that way. But what's fraudulent about booking at the local website if you're already there and actually got automatically redirected there from Hertz.com? I still just use my AAA CDP and that's all.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 6:15 pm
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There was no fraud in your case. You selected the proper country of residence. There won't always be a difference in rate.

But, in much of Europe where LDW is included in the rate, country of residence can make a whopping difference. It's just not one that will matter if you total the vehicle and the loss prevention people start looking.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 10:12 pm
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Exclamation where do you select country of residence?

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is a similarly common problem for people who book on the European website of a legacy company such as Avis, Hertz or the like. If you can't demonstrate a residence in the foreign country, generally with a valid driver's license, the rate is no good. It's no different than claiming a rate you aren't entitled to except that the LDW is so large that it really matters and the rate really gets enforced.
I've never found a place to "select country of residence" so if you know how to do that on Rentalcars.com please share it with us! The drivers license on file with Rentalcars.com is from Hawaii! Possibly they don't know it's part of the USA.

Anyway, I've made reservations while in Europe for locations in Europe and Australia in the past with no problems. Not sure why that's OK, but OK, they tend to have good prices as far as I can see.
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