“I Don’t Understand…I Made a Reservation”

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Renting a car is usually an uneventful part of a travel experience.  Except for the time I booked a round-trip rental instead of a one-way.  Oops!

Well, team member Keith recently got back from a ski trip to Aspen.  And his plans included picking up a car from National Car Rental to drive to Denver.

When he showed up at the car rental counter, they had his reservation, but they did NOT have the vehicle he booked.  So they charged him a $500 fee to rent a different vehicle! 

 Does this remind you of a Seinfeld episode?

I’ll share the positive outcome of the car rental saga.  And explain what you should do if you’re in a similar situation!

National Car Rental Review

I’ll let Keith tell you about his experience!

Keith:   Thank you Daraius!

I booked a rental car with National ~2 weeks before my trip to Colorado.  And I received an email confirming my reservation for a Nissan Altima or similar at a cost of ~$48.

National Car Review 2017
The Email Confirmation From National Showed a One-Way Car Rental for ~$48

On pick-up day, there were high winds in Aspen.  And all flights at the Aspen Airport were cancelled.  So many folks were trying to rent a car to get to a different airport, which meant all of the rental car companies were sold out.

Even though I had a reservation, I was informed the type of car I booked was not available.  And the only alternative was to take a larger SUV.  But to do so, I’d have to pay a $500 fee because the car was not returning to the pick-up location.

National Car Review 2017
In the End, the $500 Drop-Off Fee Was Refunded. So the Unpleasant Rental Car Experience Was a Minor Hiccup Following an Amazing Weekend Skiing With My Wife and Friends!

Unfortunately, in these situations there are not many options.  So I was forced to pay the $500 fee.

But after returning the vehicle in Denver, I quickly called National Car Rental’s customer service.  And after explaining what happened, they agreed to refund the $500 fee!

Bottom Line

Even with a confirmed reservation, it’s possible the details of your car rental can change if the company is sold out of cars.  This means you might have to pay extra fees or could potentially be without a car.

Unfortunately, you don’t have many options in these rare circumstances, especially if competitive car rental companies are also sold out of cars.

I can’t promise this will work.  But calling the rental car company’s customer service department could potentially save you money on fees if you present the details of your situation.

Do y’all have a memorable rental car experience?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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