Rust on rented car

I rented a car for 96 hours. When I returned

it they discovered a rusted chip and dent

on the rocker under the drivers door. It

hadn’t been documented as there before.

I’m denying that it happened during my use

because #1 I had the car 96 hrs and the area was rusted (I literally drove the car

40 miles round trip 4 times and had it parked in garages at home and work).

#2 the location would have easily been

overlooked.( rained the 3rd day in am only)

The car was full of dings when I got it and

still had yellow windshield marks from the

body shop. (They didn’t take them off

before renting me the car)

Enterprise of Annapolis, MD

Bare metal can rust in a matter of hours, so you’ll have to come up with something better than your story thus far. Chances are it was there before you rented the car, but unless you documented the damage on the rental form, you’re probably on the hook for the bill. They gave you the opportunity to walk around the car and you didn’t see the damage at that point, did you? They also gave you the opportunity to purchase insurance against this type of damage - I’m assuming you declined.

Not sure what yellow windshield marks means, and what that has to do with the rock chip.

Bare metal can rust in a matter of hours, so you’ll have to come up with something better than your story thus far…true, but there is a big difference between embedded rust and “fresh” rust.

When I returned
it they discovered a rusted chip and dent
on the rocker under the drivers door. It
hadn’t been documented as there before…It goes without saying the rental company did NOT get down on thier knees and inspect the rockers, they need to use a little common sense.

Sounds like they’re just trying to stiff you for some extra fees; which is not entirely out of the norm.
No suggestion as to what to do about it because if you signed off on what was listed previously and it does not show the current flaws they may have you.

About all I can suggest in the future when renting a vehicle is that you spend 15 minutes going over it with a fine tooth comb, make sure every flaw is notated, and even some digital camera pics would help to bolster your argument.

Did you talk to a supervisor? If not, you might try that. When I’ve rented from Enterprize, they provided a diagram of the car from different views. The diagrams were marked where damage existed at the time of rental. If you still have that diagram, check it. It may say “various scratches” or something like it on the driver’s side. If so, you are off the hook.

Back to the supervisor: If you are certain that you did not do it and the supervisor is not impressed with your reasoning, remind him that you are sincere and that you will never rent from them again. You might also calmly mention that you will tell you friends, neghbors, and work associates, too.

If you used a platinum mastercard or visa, then their rental coverage may cover it. I would call tyour credit card company before I laid out any money.

“remind him that you are sincere and that you will never rent from them again.”

If you begin by telling them that they have already lost you as a customer, you are not providing them with any motivation to help you with this problem. It is much wiser to state that you have been a faithful customer for X number of years, that you wish to continue to be a customer, and that you are very disappointed with the treatment that you have received from their employees.

Telling a supervisor at this rental company that they have already lost you as a customer and then asking him/her to reverse a decision is sort of like throwing yourself on the mercy of the court immediately after insulting the judge. Not a productive strategy, IMHO.

Sue, for cry’n out loud, be careful about the advice you recieve in this forum!
Sure, rust can happen in a matter of hours…if you live next to a large body of salt water and a major airport, and you leave the car alone, unmoved for about 2 million hours. The paint job on any car, especially a GM product, will only be as good as the person who applied the paint. A body and fender mechanic can take hours on “Preping” a car for paint and ruin all those hours by a simple finger touch in an inconspicuous place.
Virtually EVERY car manufacturer except Ford has had recalls on paint and paint sealers on some makes of their cars. Such manufacturers can also make Body and fender mechanic mistakes along with supply/product source mistakes. I don’t know why Ford doesn’t have this problem - they just dont.
The problem you were involved in is a matter of improper application of paint, and you may have simply bumped a place on the car that had a poor application of paint. I have experienced similar problems when I have rented cars. My reply to the clerk is, “And you’re sure the person before you did the same kind of in-depth evaluation of the car as you did, and you are willing to put your franchise into costly litigation which will likely have the outcome of myself not being at fault because of the per-person variables involved, and results of multi-user faults?” Rental agencies will always opt to having insurance take care of dings. OR…Try the one I used just recently, “You think I abused the room the last time I was here when I know your people are way too busy to evaluate the room after each occupancy, and do you really want me to evaluate the room before I sign for it, and make this a standard proceedure each time my agency uses your facilities, which will gradually lead to a situation where the State will simply use another hotel chain?” Its all a people factor.

I had a similar problem and I think the rental company was Enterprise, but it was three years ago, so I’m not certain. At any rate, I did ask to see someone higher up than the person who inspected the car on its return. I don’t know what happened, but the inspector claimed after inspecting the records that the small ding was in the car when I rented it and I was off the hook.

I’ve also noticed that some rental companies remove the key fob so the door can’t be unlocked without the key. The rental cars didn’t have a lock cylinder on the right side, which made it inconvenient to open the door for a female passenger.

Enterprise underwrites their own insurance. What they do is take your deductable, but they won’t fix the car until it is not rentable. Then, depending on whether it is money wise to fix it or auction it, the car’s fate is decided. They don’t actually make money on renting cars.
I suggest that if you need a rental for a road trip or something other than a an airport visit, go o a major car dealer. Ford, Toyota and other major dealrs rent cars to people other than their customers. There is no option for <so much $ a day insurance>, but they aren’t making money off of charging every one for damage. The Manufacterer actually owns the car, and pays for its maintenance. The dealer keeps the money for the actual renting. Pretty cool, huh?

I’ll update my earlier post. My wife had an Enterprise rental car–our University rents cars from Enterprise when cars aren’t available from its fleet. She had the same experience She picked up the car when it was raining to drive to an airport 55 miles away. When she turned the car in, the inspector claimed that she had put a “substantial” dent in the driver’s door, which she had not done. She told the inspector that he should check his records and if there was a problem to call her employer who had rented the car. She never heard another word. We’ve both had the same experience with rental car companies trying to charge for damages that we didn’t do.

Squarebolt - I don’t think you have a clue as to what you’re talking about! Put down the pipe.

…They don’t actually make money on renting cars…

How do you think they stay in business? You think they buy a car for its future investment value? Granted, they don’t pay retail for them, but the car has taken a substantial hit in depreciation over the 2 or so years they keep it.

…The Manufacterer[sic] actually owns the car, and pays for its maintenance. The dealer keeps the money for the actual renting. Pretty cool, huh? …

Cool maybe, but probably not true. The dealers I worked for here in the midwest owned their rental fleet. The registration was to the dealer. Manufacturer wasn’t involved at all.

Geez Norm, I don’t live anywhere near an ocean or major airport, but the brake discs on the front of my cars rust within a few hours of raining.

Actually, I do have a clue. I’ve been in this industry for 30 years.
The rental companies underwrite their own insurance, and make money off the the customer’s deductable and charging the customer’s insurance company for repairs. IF the damage isn’t severe, the car stays in service. IF the damage is enough to warrant an immediate repair, then they will either fix it or auction it, which ever is more money wise.
Not all manufacturers supply dealerships with a rental fleet, which is why I didn’t use the word ‘ALL’.
What works in your area of the country doesn’t make it the same through the whole country. So, study your info before calling people out.


the manufacturer owns and pays for maint… the dealer keeps the money??? what economics class did you go to? this is NOT renting cars, but a dealer way to pay for monthly interest. this is how those miles get onto ‘new’ cars.

sounds like you work/have worked for shady, shoddy dealers.

another reason to stay away from stealerships.

Good point.

Good advice. So far we haven’t heard word from Enterprise. Maybe the figured your point out for themselves.

Squarebolt, this isn’t even worth my time, but I have to post to set the record straight. Again, I’ll reiterate that I don’t believe that you have even the faintest clue as to what you’re talking about. I don’t care if you’ve been in the industry for 30 years - you obviously don’t understand how it works.

I won’t deny that the rental agencies make money off the premiums they charge for CDW etc. but it certainly isn’t their profit center and certainly isn’t relied upon to keep the lights on. They make money by renting cars and charging a rental fee that brings in more money each month than that particular car’s liabilities each month. Otherwise, if a customer opted not to take out the damage waiver insurance the dealer wouldn’t make any money on the deal. I’ve been renting cars a few times a month for 20+ years and have never purchased this insurance and see very few people at the renal counter purchasing this coverage.

I received a bill for $360 for the repair along with a letter stating that I had
15 days to pay. I called the loss department and told them, as I had told the
employee at the rental agency, that I didn’t do it. He told me he would investigate.
Guess what! The damage HAD been documented on an earlier lease. No apology was
given to me. I told them I would never use them or recommend them to anyone.
Guess they’ve never heard of customer service.