Before I share my experience, I have to explain a few things.
I’ve rented a car from Budget before for many times. I absolutely loved them.
They’ve got cheaper rates compared to the other rental companies out there, they’ve waived my underage surcharge which has saved me hundreds of dollars and they’ve always been very friendly and helpful.
But I’ve decided never to rent with them again, at least for now.
I recently made a reservation for a regular car. Nothing special, just a regular economy car, just for 1 day.
I needed it to drive from the airport to the DMV in order to renew my license extension.
I had renewed my license before, but the DMV – as usual – was failing to deliver in time, and I still had not received my new license, so I had to go back to the DMV.
I had reserved a car for the 1st, while my license expired on the 2nd.
When arriving at the airport, with my baby daughter and 4 bags, they told me they could not rent out a car to me, because their system told them they were not allowed to rent out a car to me because my license was revoked.
This was not true.
I had renewed my license and been on the phone with the DMV asking where my new license was a couple of times, giving them my license number etc.
Never was it brought to my attention by the DMV on the phone and while I was there that day that my license was listed as “suspended”.
As a matter of fact, after Budget declined me and refused to rent out the car I had prepaid and needed to actually drive (with a valid license) to the DMV to get my license extension renewed, I made sure to double check with the DMV the status of my license.
The bottom line, is that Budget refused to give me a car, while my license was valid.
I demanded to speak to the manager, who did not care to help me even further. She honestly looked like she hated her job.
She couldn’t care less for the fact I had just arrived with a baby and 4 bags and told me to rent a cab or ask someone to come and pick me up, which made me furious.
I couldn’t believe it. The Budget who had always been so good to me, had changed and couldn’t care less about its customer.
I needed a car, and so I simply went to the counter next to Budget and talked to a Hertz representative explaining my situation.
They helped me, saved my day and gave me a few discounts.
They saw my license was valid, told me that if my license was not renewed by the next day I would be liable for everything, and if I would have my license extension renewed that same day, everything would be fine.
I got in the car, drove to the DMV and renewed my extension.
Two days later, I brought back the Hertz car and made a new reservation with Budget.
Budget’s rates are always better, and usually go the extra mile, or so I thought.
I got to the Budget place (different one), and the same exact issue appeared.
While now, my license was renewed, the guy said it’s not showing in the system yet.
I was furious, and had to rent from a different company yet again.
I’ve learnt that Budget’s system is connected to the DMV, and knowing that the DMV often times gets overwhelmed and backlogged, it’s a terrible system to rely on.
The matter of the fact is, that I was declined by budget twice now to rent a car, both while having a valid drivers license, while other companies allowed me to rent with them.
Both times, Budget representatives refused to go the extra mile and acted cold like they couldn’t care less.
It was a strange experience, which I’ve never had with them before.
Either way – DMV’s fault or not -, I will never ever rent from Budget again.
Not necessarily because of the DMV issue, but because of both representatives’ reactions after I asked them they wanted me to do while standing in front of them with a valid drivers license, 4 bags and a baby all by myself.