Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

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Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby dwonj » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:42 am

I have made a reservation in Reno for a rental car for BM (Coming in from NJ) - I didn't mention BM nor did they ask (on-line system). Has anyone ever had a problem with a rental car company (out of Reno Airport) refusing to rent them a car because they knew they were taking it to Burning Man? I know I will have to clean it up when I return it (and get rid of my week's worth of consumable and non-consumable trash), but I just don't want to have to get to the rental car counter, have them ask me what I'm doing for the week and then having them tell me, "sorry, we don't rent to Burners"
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:57 am

I can only speak for the AVIS/Budget dealership in Downtown Sacramento. He actually encourages burners to rent from him. Does not charge an extra fee and is frankly more than willing to do whatever is necessary to make us happy. If anyone wants his contact information (you can call him directly and ask for him by name) PM me and I will pass along the information. But my point is, if he's at all representative then you likely will have few problems. Just don't trash the car.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby 5280MeV » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:02 am

dwonj wrote:I have made a reservation in Reno for a rental car for BM (Coming in from NJ) - I didn't mention BM nor did they ask (on-line system). Has anyone ever had a problem with a rental car company (out of Reno Airport) refusing to rent them a car because they knew they were taking it to Burning Man? I know I will have to clean it up when I return it (and get rid of my week's worth of consumable and non-consumable trash), but I just don't want to have to get to the rental car counter, have them ask me what I'm doing for the week and then having them tell me, "sorry, we don't rent to Burners"


Last year Enterprise was requiring a $250 deposit on cars going to burning man. If you can detail the car well enough, I believe that they will give this back to you. I do know that one group got charged $50 because they did not clean out the engine.

We took about $20 worth of quarters to a self washing station. Spent a good deal of time cleaning the outside, spent forever vacuuming the inside, used up a whole can of Armor All wipes on every part of the interior that was not upholstery. There were still dust in spots like the speaker grating, but we managed to get most of it out. The process took an hour an a half. We were not charged, but they also didn't know that we were going to burning man. I sat outside the airport with all of our gear, while my friend - dressed in business casual - got the car. This process was a little too sneaky for me, if I do end up renting a car or sharing a rental with someone I would rather just pay the deposit and expect to lose around $50-$100 in cleaning fees for something that we missed or just couldn't get out.

They seemed pretty reasonable in Reno to me. Going to the playa does do a number on the car, so I understand cleaning fees as long as they are not truly outrageous.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:25 am

Isn't the Reno Enterprise burner friendly? or is that burner hostile? Look in the old threads, the information has been shared before.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue May 01, 2012 12:38 pm

I just spoke with my contact with the AVIS/Budget in Sacramento. Most rental companies won't rent to you if you're under 25. His policy, through corporate I'm sure, is that they will rent to you if you're between 21 and 25 but there's a $27/day "young person tax" and you have to use a major credit card, which you'd likely do anyway. He is very burner-friendly as I have said in the past, and the largest vehicles he currently has on hand are minivans. If you need to rent a car and you are under 25, or just want to rent from "one of us", PM me and I will send you the information.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby robbidobbs » Tue May 01, 2012 5:50 pm

Middle age has its privileges.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby mshaman » Tue May 01, 2012 8:03 pm

It's really the smaller RV rental companies that shun burners. Haven't seen problems with car rentals.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby Toothfulwon » Thu May 17, 2012 3:38 pm

Hertz charged my "soon-to-be-wife" close to a $400 fee in 2011 on return of her rental car even though she cleaned it up pretty well. Maybe not detailed, but minimal dust, nothing beyond any week-long rental. They knew she had a flight soon and took advantage of the situation. Anecdotal evidence, but cautionary nonetheless.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby lucky420 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:05 am

If the rental company asks just say you are attending the "Rib Cook-Off" which takes place in Sparks Nv during the same week. Stop and get a slab of ribs, that way you won't be fibbing...
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby CapSmashy » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:02 am

Toothfulwon wrote:Hertz charged my "soon-to-be-wife" close to a $400 fee in 2011 on return of her rental car even though she cleaned it up pretty well. Maybe not detailed, but minimal dust, nothing beyond any week-long rental. They knew she had a flight soon and took advantage of the situation. Anecdotal evidence, but cautionary nonetheless.


This is where a major credit card can help. Dispute any additional charges they add to the bill for things like "cleaning". If there is nothing stated in your rental agreement about incurring a $400 cleaning fee, they will have difficulty substantiating the additional fee and the credit card company will likely refuse the additional cost.

The other option is to purchase the damage waiver insurance offered by the rental car company and not worry about trashing the car or spending the necessary time and effort required to clean the car when you've just come off the playa for a week. If you rent the car with an AMEX card, you are automatically covered by AMEX for any damages claimed by the rental car company and do not need to purchase any additional insurance from the rental agency. AMEX is the only card company that provides pretty much blanket protection for their card holders.
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Re: Can Rental Car Companies Refuse to rent to you?

Postby CapSmashy » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:08 am

5280MeV wrote: I sat outside the airport with all of our gear, while my friend - dressed in business casual - got the car. This process was a little too sneaky for me, if I do end up renting a car or sharing a rental with someone I would rather just pay the deposit and expect to lose around $50-$100 in cleaning fees for something that we missed or just couldn't get out.


Too sneaky? You are dealing with a corporate entity that really doesn't give a shit about you other than how much money they can milk you for.

If you were renting from a locally owned, mom and pop rental car company (do these even exist any more?) that would be different, but a corporate behemoth? Screw 'em, because they will screw you at their earliest convenience and opportunity.
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