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Thread: my first rental car experience

  1. #1

    my first rental car experience

    My car was totaled a couple weeks ago, and for the first time since my SCI, I had to get a rental car.

    The local enterprise only outfits one car with handcontrols, so I had quite a time negotiating my insurance company to pay the higher rate.

    The car arrives and is much higher than I am used to, combined with a wide wheelbase making it v. difficult to get into. Armed with my board, I finally made it in.

    Everything functions fine for me (para), except of course the emergency brake is foot operated.

    Obviously they could've outfitted pretty much any car with the handcontrols, but I'm past the point of advocating any more on this issue.

    Anyone have advice or similar experience on this topic? I know it won't be the only time I'm going to have to deal with this.

  2. #2
    what rental company did you use?

    okay, re-read Enterprise.

    Did you ask Avis?
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  3. #3
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    What car was it?

  4. #4
    I have gotten in a nasty car accident on Sunday (right before I was supposed to leave for DC; I and a couple others had meetings with some legislators on Tuesday). I called enterprise, but they wanted 48 hrs notice.

    I called budget, and they had a car ready for me within 24 hours and for cheaper. I still drive the budget car right now (hopefully my car will be back tomorrow). They gave me a Taurus with H/C. I've rented from Budget before and drove a Chrysler LHS.

    ~dan
    Daniel

  5. #5
    I too, had the need of a rental car last year while traveling and got a Monte Carlo. No complaints about the agency or service (Enterprise), but I was not able to load the chair behind the front seat, as I had with my older model Olds. Maybe with a few days practice, but was not there that long. Fortunately I had company that could help me, but still need to know what model to ask for next time so I can do it alone. Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Mayday-
    Budget will outfit ANY vehicle with hand controls if given enough advance notice. All you need to do is call their 1-800 number and ask for their Disability Services department. I learned this in November when I had to go to Idaho. I needed an SUV for the trip, it was a last minute trip/reservation and their local location didn't have any equipped with hand controls, I had portable ones, so it wasn't a HUGE issue for me that they didn't have them avail...HOWEVER their dis services people called me re: the reservation b/c I'd requested hand controls on the reservation(made online)...I happened to get a supervisor from their nat'l office when I had to call to extend my reservation an extra day & she explained to me that they will ship a set of portable controls to the local location from their nat'l office if you need a specific car with hand controls and they don't have portables in the location to equip the vehicle.

    The Idaho Falls location I was using only had perm installed vehicles that were NOT SUV's...BUT we needed an SUV for that particular trip for multiple reasons...
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by maydaymay
    The local enterprise only outfits one car with handcontrols, so I had quite a time negotiating my insurance company to pay the higher rate.
    Why did you rent from that company if they didn't offer a vehicle that you wanted? Also, if they only offer the one type of vehicle for rental with hand controls, I believe they are required to offer it at the same price as their least expensive rental.

    Obviously they could've outfitted pretty much any car with the handcontrols, but I'm past the point of advocating any more on this issue.
    They could outfit just about any car with hand controls IF they have hand controls that fit that particular car. There are fitment issues with style and dimensions.

    Anyone have advice or similar experience on this topic?
    I rent cars at least a few times a year, all across the country. I'ved rented from Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise and a few others I can't think of off the top of my head. I can't say that any one company stands out as particularly good or bad in terms of accessibility. The only distinction I can think of is that Hertz tends to be more expensive. Some companies require 24 or 48 hrs notice to provide a vehicle with hand controls. That's never been a problem for me. I do suggest calling the company the morning of the day you plan to pick up the vehicle to verify that they have your reservation and are providing the exact type of vehicle you requested, with the controls the way you want them.

    In almost 20 yrs of renting cars, I've had a handful of incidents that were real problems. Either my reservation was lost and they didn't have any cars on hand with controls when I showed up at the counter or they provided a vehicle that I couldn't use easily (a van or a 4-door sedan). Each time, I got a discounted price. I chalk up those errors as part of life. Just about everyone has experienced the loss of a reservation somewhere. I don't take it as anything specifically related to disability.

    C.

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