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Thread: Renting A Car

  1. #1

    Question Renting A Car

    So, I need to rent a vehicle with hand controls towards the end of October. Most of my family will be traveling to Maui for my brother's wedding, but because we are all staying in separate condominiums, we are planning to get a few vehicles between all of us so we can go places as we please. Some extra information in case it is relevant: I am T10/11 complete paraplegic. I can transfer on my own to basically any car, but the taller the vehicle the more difficult it can be for me. I have had no problem getting into a few of the smaller SUVs like a Rav4, and in the past I have gotten in a few rental vans my parents have rented on past 2 trips to Maui, but a truck or taller SUV usually has required some assistance. Currently I drive a Toyota Matrix.

    My Questions:
    What company do you prefer to rent through (Maui has the following rental companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty, and Sixt but I am not 100% if all of these will have hand controls.)?

    Can you book the car rental online and then call several weeks prior to notify them of the need for hand controls? Or is this a situation where I should just call and make the reservation over the phone?

    Can anyone tell me the ground to seat height of the following vehicles (or a similar model as these are based on what a specific rental company showed for an option for intermediate and standard SUVs): Ford Escape or a Ford Edge?



    While I would love to just get a full-sized car, we do have to consider that I will be hauling around my wheelchair and between 2-4 passengers (most of the time it will just be 2). So, this is why we are debating on the whole SUV vs. Minivan, but we are still trying to go with the cheaper option as well and sometimes those minivans can be pretty spendy. Also, there is the possibility of needing to haul the beach chair that we get which is why I was thinking it would be a bad idea to get a car. I will basically always have passengers I never have to worry about getting my chair out by myself during this trip, so that won't be a factor in the deciding process.


    Thanks

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Para-Horse-Girl View Post
    What company do you prefer to rent through (Maui has the following rental companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty, and Sixt but I am not 100% if all of these will have hand controls.)?

    Can you book the car rental online and then call several weeks prior to notify them of the need for hand controls? Or is this a situation where I should just call and make the reservation over the phone?
    I've rented cars from several different companies, including Hertz, Budget, Enterprise and Thrifty from your list above. There have been a couple of bad experiences, but not enough to determine a trend.

    In the US all rental car companies are required to provide you hand controls, so in theory you shouldn't have to worry about which to go with. In actuality, sometimes they don't have their stuff together and the hand controls aren't ready when you are.

    I always book online to get the best price, then call. If you're worried about it, I'd recommend calling right after you book the rental car, then calling a week before, then calling before you head to the airport in case the message didn't get passed on.

    But it sounds like worst case scenario you could probably have someone else drive if you're always going to have passengers, right?

    Have fun in Hawaii.

  3. #3
    You also might want to PM one of our members bruceofmaui who has an accessible condo on Maui that he rents out. He may be up on the rental agencies that his renters have found provide the best service. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/member....44-bruceofmaui

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
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    I rent cars often and while I haven't had experience with those specific cars, the standard SUV has always been fine for me (T9/10 Complete). I have had the best luck with National Rental Car. They are often more expensive, but I have always had good luck. I book online and then anytime after (more than 2 days before) I call their disability line to request hand controls and a spinner knob. Getting the direct disability services line out of the regular customer service seemed like pulling teeth, so to save you the trouble, if you use National call 1-800-468-3334 and listen to the prompts to get to the people who setup hand controls.

    Good luck and have fun on your trip!

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