Rental Car "inside scoop" - scratch and dent evaluator

          As a part-time "temporary" driver for Enterprise, Alamo, and National (ERAC, yes they're all one company) I've learned a few tidbits of information which could benefit those of you who rent from these agencies:

          •  Of the three sister agencies, National considers itself the top.  Accordingly, National cars are relegated to one of the other agencies as soon as they reach an arbitrary (and ever-fluctuating) "high mileage" point.

          •  National rarely, if ever, will offer mid-size, compact, or economy cars.  Unless you're looking for a specific model of luxury car or SUV (National's bread and butter) go with Alamo or Enterprise.  This guy explains how to get a deal (I don't advocate his suggestions, but it is interesting that in his mind—that of a car salesman—it's not lying, it's just being savvy).

          •  Never, never, never rent a car from any agency without performing a thorough examination of the vehicle (both inside and out).  Document every scratch, burn, dent, or ding no matter the size.

          •  Every ERAC employee knows they'll most-likely be terminated if they damage a car.  Minimum wage employees, like myself, move all vehicles from car-return areas, to the service areas, to temporary storage, from temporary storage, and back to the "ready" lines.  And we are referred to as "temp drivers" because eventually we are either hired on full-time (for being careful, conscientious, and competent) or terminated.  Most full-time ERAC employee's know better than to move a car; some managers prohibit their manager trainees and/or service associates from re-positioning cars (even from one spot to the next) because of the accident=termination policy.  If you rent a car without checking it, you risk being blamed for employee damage.        

          •  The below scratch and damage evaluator card is what employee's of ERAC use to determine if you are charged for discovered damage.  The actual card is printed on clear plastic.  I added the inches above the card so you can insure yours is to-scale.


adriano said...

Very helpful article, thank you. I had a car with Enterprise and a small scratch on a bumper has appeared. I don't know if it was whilst in my custody or whether it was there before. It is just under 2 inches long. The guys at Enterprise held up the damage evaluator card and it passed - it was less than two inches long. Phew! No charge.

Anonymous said...

It is very helpful when collecting a car. The last car I rented (from AVIS) had to have a large number of notes on the rental agreement as I was worried about any damage I could see with the naked eye. I may use Enterprise in future