National Car Rental
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
I recently rented a car in San Antonio on Dec 29th, I dropped it off in Austin (returned it). The Austin location didn't process the return properly and I was charged an extra week for the rental. I have called numerous numbers, departments and although they are all very pleasant - they are trained to come across as helpful - they did not rectify the situation... So due to their inept processing, their mistake, my rental currently sits on my credit card at $1,001.00. Amazing, and I rent 75ish cars a year at least from this company all over North America. I can't imagine how they treat others that aren't as frequent a renter. Avis Here I come... Very disappointed in National Run Around and Terribly inefficient Customer Service... They just blow smoke and sugar coat, I will take my business elsewhere.
What a nightmare dealing with this company has been. I was billed for damage to the car that I did not do. I took pictures of the car a few minutes after I picked it up that showed a very small crease in a fender that I had not noticed in the dark parking garage where it was parked. Upon returning the car, the receiving agent never saw the damage and I pointed it out to him. The process after that has been the nightmare. I was told lie after lie. Airport car rental managers to agents at the damage recovery unit. Almost as if they have been coached. Never again will I rent a car from National.
I will never use this company again. I made a reservation online a month ago. When I arrived to get my car at DFW, they said that because I had a Tx drivers license that I could not rent the car with my debit card. I had called 2 weeks ago to confirm that I could. So I got stuck at SEE for 3 days until my return flight home. They do not rent cars to people who have a driver's license in the same state. When I called corporate, they would not do anything about it either. I even had a round trip ticket to show that I was going back to WI on Sat. Plus I showed them my renters insurance bill showing that I do not live here any longer. But because I didn't change my drivers license on Friday after I got married, it doesn't count.
I really don’t know what’s their point to have a grace period. It says there is a 29 min grace period. Between 29 min and 2 hour 30 min there will be an hourly charge. I was late for less than 2 hours and got a full day charge because the hourly rate is half of the daily price and nobody has informed me about this. Customer service said when you are late for over 1.5 hour. It will count as 2 hours. So basically it means if you are over 1.5 hours late, there will be a whole day charge.
The grace period showed online is just a joke. Customer service are all Indian accent and really hard to understand and doesn’t seem want help and just tell me to ask local position. And the local phone cannot be reached so I drove all the way to the airport. The guy there was nice and tried to help us but National has a really bad system. When they put my name on the computer they couldn’t find my reservation but when I call them they could find the reservation although it also took them a long time. And he told me hourly rate is half of the daily rate.
National Car Rental struggles with sufficient vehicle inventory to meet rental contract obligations, which is a significant issue if you require a specific type of vehicle. When dealing with National, it is important to consider parallel bookings with more reputable car rental companies, since National’s policy is to overbook reservations for specific vehicle types, which ultimately results in unpredictable, and unreliable vehicle reservations. In my experience, vehicles were unexpectedly downgraded from premium SUVs to a van or other small-sized SUVs. There is often unethical behavior by management to overcharge for downgrades.
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I made my reservation online and knew I would need a “credit card” to get a car as per usual. In the recent past that has always meant any card with a major credit card symbol on it, including a debit card (I prefer not to have a credit card). After arriving at the airport to get my car I was told that I was not able to rent a car as the policy had changed in June. Now I’m totally stranded. They would not take cash, they would not take a card over the phone, they would not let someone make the reservation at another location in person with a card. The major issue was how much they “enjoyed” shooting down any possible option I could think of.
The customer service line sent me out of country and they refused to help, only referring me back to the local office. At every turn nobody would help and could have cared less that I was stranded. I will never choose National, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise again as they are all one company. I will be telling my story probably for the rest of my life every time “car rental” comes up.
The rental process at the Key West location is the biggest joke! They make reservations for rental with no cars available. When arriving for our 10 am reservation and the waiting area was full with no cars available but everyone had reservations. Three rental companies (National, Alamo and Enterprise) work from the same inventory and tells everyone they are next but nothing is coordinated. First off, why are they making reservations for vehicles they do not have. Several people were not going to make their flights leaving from Ft Lauderdale and Miami.
We were a family of 7 inclusive of an elderly, an infant and a toddler. I booked a car abt 3 weeks prior to my trip to Phuket with National Car. However we had some issues with regards to the card I used to make payment. Apparently I can use it to make payment for the car but I cannot use it to secure my deposit. Its a credit/debit MasterCard. However My husband was not satisfied with that and e-mailed them further and even attached a picture of our card in the e-mail.
We were still told that our card is unacceptable. We were advised by the staff to cancel our booking through our agent. The staff said should we choose to keep the booking, we would not get a refund should they reject our card in Phuket. We needed a car so we still tried to contact National Cars staff but this time via their reservation hotline. Yet, we were still told the same thing, our card is unacceptable. Having went through all that clarification, we finally decided to cancel our booking.
So, on the 26 Oct 2017, we touched down in Phuket and saw National Cars booth directly infront of us. We decided to just try our luck and approach them. Imagine our surprise after all the trouble we went through with the supposed unacceptable card, the staffs in Phuket said my card is acceptable after all. So I told them to try retrieve my old booking which they managed. However, I was told that instead of the amount I originally paid, I now have to pay 92 SGD more. It was infuriating! How could their staffs have different knowledge on what can or cannot be accepted? And to advise us to cancel our booking when you're lacking knowledge of your job scope, I think it's ridiculous that I have to fork out more money due to their staffs incompetency.
The worse thing about all of this is that, I e-mailed National Car Thailand regarding this matter and that I demand a refund for the excess I have to pay and all they replied me is, "I'm sorry but we cannot refund the difference. Your deposit will be returned to you soon." Very, very disappointed with their customer service. No explanation as to why the refund cannot be made even though it was their staff's fault, no nothing. They refused to acknowledge my e-mail afterwards. First and last time we'll rent a car with National Car. Untrustworthy, negligent and little respect for their customers???
They lured me in with a very low rate (about $20/day). After quickly reviewing the car with me and marking down various scratches, they hammered me when I returned the car in the same condition I received it in. The rental price doubled because of a 'dent' underneath the car which they say I caused (I didn't cause it). In Krabi Thailand, National Car Rental is not honest. The company's headquarters takes no responsibility because it is outside of the US.
I travel extensively for business. My company pre-pays for car rentals when making travel arrangements. We have the choice of two providers. On a trip to Charlotte in June, I opted to rent from National. It was a simple one day trip to meet with a client; June 28, return June 29. After returning the car at the airport location I realized I forgot a sports coat in the backseat. Having already gone through security I could not make it back to the return area without missing my flight.
I contacted National customer service within 30 minutes of the return explaining the situation asking if the coat could be returned. The service agent was understanding and empathetic stating they would note the loss, send a message to the local office and attempt to have the coat returned. Waiting until the following week I contacted National customer again, same story, same understanding, and empathy. This time I was given instructions on how to file a claim online. Also online is the ability to review the found-log for the local office and contacts. Yup; same date, same time, same item description was on the log. It seemed reasonable that it was the item in question.
Sent off a request to investigate the item to the local office, received a rapid confirmation, excellent! The next message was to inform that the office could not locate the item, bummer. I accept that it was my error while at the same time; reported within 30 minutes, confirmed twice with customer service, followed National policy to file online, item noted as found on the National location log for the return date; overall a disappointment.
We rented a car six months before traveling to Venice and there was only one attendant at the counter. She spent 45 min. with one customer while 6 others were waiting in sweltering heat. It was finally our turn and she refused to give us a car because I am 80 years old. AGE DISCRIMINATION! I am extremely fit and walk 14 kilometers a day and am mentally fit. Years of experience with no accident, but refused a car not on ability, but AGE. They will however rent to 18 year old with no experience. We were shocked and stranded in Venice with no car. The result was that we had to pay $566 extra Canadian dollars for 12 days to get a car through Hertz, since we had no reservation. Our total cost was $1,736. for 12 days. NEVER EVER RENT FROM NATIONAL.
For several years we used National for all rentals due to customer service, pricing, being able to select your car. Several months ago we stopped due to their prices increasing a great deal, then their selection was down to the point you would only have a very small selection to choose from. Today I selected them since their prices were pretty much in line with the other companies. I was shocked when they told me there would be a $200 hold for a deposit. This deposit is only for Alabama license holders in the State of Alabama. Are they serious? They could not explain to me the reasoning, but gee I love the attitude you get when you ask questions.
I reserved a vehicle 15 days ago to be picked up on 07/27/17. I told the clerk I would pick up between 12 and 1:00 p.m. When I arrived, it was 11:55. They first tried to overcharge me, but I showed the receipt with the quoted price. Then I was told I was an hour early, my vehicle wasn't ready. I reminded the person that I reserved that vehicle 15 days ago, an hour early shouldn't matter. She told me it hadn't even been returned by the previous person. So, I was supposed to wait for an hour because the vehicle wasn't even there. I sat down to wait and wasn't very happy about it. A few minutes later, the person at the counter came over and told me since I was so rude, they were canceling my reservation. A couple I was sitting next to had been waiting for 2 hours and all 3 of us were totally shocked. I've never seen such poor customer service. Had I walked in from the street, it would be expected to have to wait. But, with a reservation, that is just unacceptable!
My wife, Mihae, and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The experience was marred by the incredible expense and, frankly, questionable practices of the rental car companies in Masset, BC. We had when we rented a car from National Car Rental in Masset, BC on Graham Island of Haida Gwaii. While my wife did sign the contract before renting the car, it does not justify their false advertising on the web.
We flew to Masset from Vancouver and were picked up by a National Rental Car representative, Mr. **. He drove us to their office near that airport. My wife, who's a pharmacist, had found that the BC Pharmacists' Association (BCPHA) had a deal with National on the web. So, when Mr. ** handed her the contract, we had naively assumed that they would honour that deal on the web. At no point prior to signing that contract, did Mr. ** make it clear that they were not honouring the deal with the BCPHA. That we discovered *only* after returning the car when Mr. ** very heatedly declared that he's an independent licensee and that no such deals are valid with him. (To be fair, Mr. ** did later apologize for what he termed as being "abrupt," but we certainly did not appreciate his behaviour.) If no such deals are valid with him, then he should stop receiving business through the National Car Rental website or other related websites.
Yes, Mihae signed that contract, but what alternative did we have? If she hadn't signed, then we would have been stranded. We were at their mercy! And they knew that! To top it off, the final bill for the car rental was more than $700.00 for the week!!! That was more than our accommodation. That was more than the airfare for each of us! It was an outrageous cost for renting a car for one week. Mihae has been in touch with the BCPHA and with National Car Rental. We have yet to receive any satisfaction. Ideally, that would be a partial refund consistent with the deal that National supposedly offers members of the BCPHA. But, at the very least, National's false advertising on the web must cease. And they must rein in their rogue "licensee."
We just canceled our rental agreement with National which was through Rentacar.com. We booked it to get the car in the Detroit Airport and they had us picking up the car in a city over a half mile away and when we called they had no clue how to help us. Got hold of a National representative was totally clueless but she did cancel our reservation. Asked what the commercials were about "any car and just walk to it and pick it out"... "Oh no" you have to go to the desk. Wow, at one time they were pretty good but we're done with National.
Worst car rental experience. Rented a car for the weekend. While at the store someone hit the back bumper. When I return the car I was charge 500 deposit for the damage. Few days later I receive a bill with pictures of damage in the back and FRONT bumper of the car. I called them 5 times so they can explain to me what was going on. They never bother calling me back. When finally I was able to reach someone it was a lady with a bad attitude telling me I had paid already and I could get my money back and as might as well get an attorney. Stay away from this place.
Last week I picked up a car from the Emerald Club Aisle with no discernable damage. 9 family members will also attest that there was no notable damage to this vehicle when I got it and when I took it back no incidents in-between. When I returned the car, the attendant went straight to the right front fender and noted a VERY SLIGHT misalignment of the bumper to the fender–nothing that one would notice upon casual inspection and barely discernable even when you get up close and look for it. She then crawled under the car and reported the entire airfoil missing. Manager immediately fills out a damage report against ME. I did no damage to this car. I had no way of knowing–sort of crawling under the thing at time of pickup–that I was getting a damaged rental car. And it appears I have no recourse to protect myself against being charged with this repair and turned over to collections if I don't pay.
I've found several accounts of this nature online with National. And the unseen damage/ "missing airfoil" are noted as a common scams in CBS news articles, etc. on the internet. I am kicking myself for not getting the VIN and license number, taking pictures, etc. But in truth, what good would that do me unless I'm willing to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to contest this. Rental car companies can hit consumers false, and possibly fraudulent claims based on their word against yours as to whether the damage was there before you picked up the vehicle. What recourse do I have?
They put a damaged car out on the lot, whether by accident or intentionally and can claim any previous damage against me and/or any number of renters before or after me, bill me, turn me over to collections, defile my credit rating... and I can do nothing about it? I have no legal leg to stand on? They have the car in their possession. I live 3 states away and had a plane to catch so I couldn't adequately respond to the claim at the time or now.
I rented a car from National for 6 weeks, military training, and had the worst experience. First they required me to come back in around the 30 day period because I was not a certain member. I found this very frustrating, because I had to drive 40 minutes to a location. Second, they added bogus charges that the military did not cover. I will never rent from them again if I can help it.
Tuesday May 30th, I fly into Ottawa. It is 12:50 AM and we are late, late, late as the plane was delayed, delayed, cancelled and changed. Sitting in Toronto, I call National to inform them of my flight change and the fact I may be close to their closing time of 1 AM. They assure me that there will be no problem, change my flight in the system and say that this will now be visible to the operators in Ottawa, not to worry.
At 12:55 I am getting off the plane, calling National again, saying "please don't close I am coming down the walkway now and I will be there shortly." Once again an understanding agent says to me, "no problem. How long will you be?" I tell him about 5 minutes. I go as fast as I can with my sore limping gait. I bypass luggage because I can come back to it. I round the corner at 1:02 and you guessed it - National is closed up tighter than a drum. Less than impressed I call National as it is 1:05 in the morning in a city that is not my home and I feel like I have done everything right. They are less than helpful telling me that the other locations in the city close at 6 PM...wow - great customer service.
Then they ask if another rental agency is open...which they are, but I have already determined there is nothing they have they can rent me that I can drive...because they are sold out. I get so frustrated I finally say goodbye and hang up. Next day I call, and I get hung up on. Then I call again and finally I get some good customer service from Angela and she assures me that I will get a call from the regional manager. You guessed it again. NADA. No one word...no follow up. I have to say, normally I love National, but all I can say is when you are in OTTAWA ON, DON'T DO IT - rent from someone who actually cares.
I have always rented from this car rental company. All of a sudden drivers carrying Alabama drivers license are now required to come up with a deposit of $200.00 in addition to the price of the rental. It is very strange though that only Alabama drivers are required to do this. I think there should be better ways to handle whatever loss the company is subjected to without inconvenience to customers.
husband is on disability, but he said they need a credit card now. They confuse people. They only accept credit card now, but will take a debit from those who fly out. Cry confusing. I want them to know the bad situation they have put us in.
Charged for repairs to car, that did not do. I rented a car from National Car Rental in January of this year 2017 in Victoria BC. I always rent and love the Kia Soul car. That vehicle pulled into the lot when I arrived to rent. It had lots of km, but wanted the car. I did not check underneath the car, and that is not the process, but this is the very beginning of my issue. About a week or less into my rental, I took the car back to Mike ** at the Agency Rental Lot. The Emission Control Light was on, and I indicated this to him. He was not nice to me, could only focus on the gas that I must fill the tank when returning the car. I had no intention of turning in the car.
I did go get gas, he then wanted me to take the car to the Kia dealer to see why it was on. I determined that is not my position in a car rental. I was right in his lot and the dealer around the corner. Couple of days later Mike informed me I would be charged for $670 in repairs. I had run over "something" and later the story someone hit my back end with a trailer hitch. Nothing happened as that, I drive all the time and know if I would run over something and rip the total bottom of the car off and the emission control box.
Short of it all he charged me, I am out $670. I have placed a complaint in on their so called Customer Service Complaint System and ended up taking a lot of my time, to get nowhere and yes I will pay the cost. This is horrible cost, and I did not do this. Did his lot person do this before I got the car, something is incorrect here. I am an honest person and have never looked under a car before renting, and not on the sign agreement the perimeter is the only focus when taking a car.
I am upset with the time spent on this, all my time. Mike ** has not listened to anything I have stated, and will never or my family or friends ever rent from National. You are done as a company, very unhappy. Not one live person has contacted me through all of this. Unreal in this day and age. National you are done, and your Customer Service is a waste of time.
I have called several National offices about this receipt. I called April 3rd concerning the mileage on the receipt. It says the customer drove 530 miles over the course of 1 day, when the car was only used from the airport to a store, and returned to ATL. When I first called customer service, they were helpful and sent it over to the team that handles disputes, assuring me they would respond soon. Today, 2 weeks later I called again to get an update. The ticket is still open and I was transferred/asked to call 2 different locations. I was put on hold for quite a while. Finally I called an associate at McCollum who said he can re-send the ticket problem to the team, but this was done the first time and nothing happened. This has been a difficult and laborious process. I still have no answer and this charge is sitting in the expense report and unfortunately I still have no update.
I realized 5 days after we returned a rental car that my son had left his prescription sunglasses in the car. I contacted National Customer Service and was referred to their Lost and Found website (nationalcarlostandfound.com) and was impressed immediately, gaining hope I may locate the lost sunglasses. I easily submitted a Lost Item Report online describing the sunglasses and case they were inside. Within ONE HOUR I received a call and email that my item was located. Very impressed!! After speaking with the customer service representative coordinating the shipment of my lost item to my home, within 90 MINUTES I had a email receipt, including tracking number, for the shipment. I am amazed and thrilled by the quick service regarding my lost item. Good job, National Car Rental. Thank you.
National Car Rental, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I was creating a vacation budget before my arrival to Mexico. I called National and asked about the insurance options and rates in Los Cabos, Mexico. They stated that they have no insurance information or insurance prices that are offered and that a deposit is never required for a full coverage insurance purchase. Unbelievable! National offered a $20 per week rate through Priceline.
Upon arrival, reality had been revealed. OK people, here is the real deal... I was presented with a $20 per week rate which was true. Full coverage insurance was a whopping $800 plus a $300 deposit. There are three levels of insurance offered. If I selected no insurance, I would need to place a $1500 deposit onto the rental. Even the most basic insurance required a $1500 deposit.
A very nice couple that I met had also reserved car from National. The gentleman from the couple was facing the same dilemma as I. When he approached me at the counter, my National sales rep proceeded to badger him for trying to compare his insurance rate offer with mine. I was shocked at the rep's behavior. When I declined to accept the vehicle, the sales rep refused to let me take the handwritten insurance offer with me. What is going on here? What kind of scam is this? Low rental rates are offered with extremely high insurance plans and deposits. I don't know if Hertz or Avis did the same, but I will never trust National Car Rental again. There is no excuse for this. How does a multinational company not know what is going on with their branches in other countries? Because of this, my travel plans were ruined by using buses, taxis, and shuttles. I gave National Car Rental 2 stars because at least the $20 per week rental rate was actually a reliable deal.
I made a booking for a car rental through Hotwire for National in Yellowknife. When I got to the counter the customer service clerk insisted that the price was double to what Hotwire had given us and pretty much said if you want the car you have to pay the higher price. We tried to reason with her but there was no reasoning. We paid the rate and asked to be contacted by the manager to sort out the overcharge. I was promised on Monday I would get a phone call. 5 days later, still no call. National is such a big company you would think they would put their customers first. Not at this location. I will never use National again! Whatever happen to the customer is always right?? Especially when they have documentation to prove it!
I was not happy with the online van configuration selection. Once on the rental lot I was allowed to canvas all vans available. A service lot worker asked what I was looking for and I explained. He went off to check and came back to tell me what I wanted just came in and he had it cleaned and available to me in about 15 minutes. The Chrysler Pacifica was more than I expected, even changed my mind about vans.
We rented a car for travel on Vancouver Island, Feb 10 to 12, 2017, we were only there for 2 days. Our visit was on the heels of a very large snowfall to the Island. We returned the car at the airport for a morning of Feb 12, for our return flight at 11:10 am. At 5 pm that night, back home 1400 KM's away, we get a phone call telling us there are 4 or 5 rock chips on the windshield, and that they occurred during our rental and that we needed to pay for a new windshield. The employee insisted that we set up a claim with our own insurance company to get the windshield replaced right away.
With no one around at 8:30 in the morning to check the car in, we left the keys in the drop slot and the papers with the gas receipt on the counter, as instructed by all signs at the desk. The Manager in the Nanaimo office stated that she looked back on ten rental claims and "none" were for the Windshield. She claims they replace the windshield every time there is a rock chip. I find it totally unacceptable, to call and assume that someone would pay immediately for something like that. I feel that this is a company trying to take advantage of a non resident person.
I rented a car from National Car Rental to drive from Atlanta, GA to Columbia, SC. I turned the vehicle in at the Columbia Airport undamaged without the person receiving the car noting any damage. 10 days later I received a letter saying the vehicle was damaged when I turned it in. It was not damaged when I turned it in. I have disputed the claim for 2 months but they still insist that I owe them almost $5000. They sent me photos of the damage but it must have happened while they moved it around in their car rental lot because the vehicle was not damaged when I turned it in to their agent.
On Wednesday Dec. 7 I went to pick up my rental. It was prepaid by a corporate ACC. I went to the desk, showed my res. for a mid sized car. He told me they were out of mid sized cars. He offered me a upgrade or bump up as you call it. I asked again will the price remain the same. The response was no additional charge. Everything was fine. The car was great until I was told by my company that I had to pay for the upgrade. I don't know whose fault it was but I feel I should not have to pay for the upgrade.
National Car Rental expert review by Lauren Fix
National Car Rental was the first company to offer one-way rentals, computerized reservations and a loyalty program. The company is now owned by Enterprise Holdings.
Executive travel: National Car Rental focuses on providing white glove services to executive travelers, with Emerald Club options to skip the counter, choose any car from the Emerald Club Aisle and be on your way.
Loyalty program: Customers who enroll for free in the Emerald Club enjoy benefits such as skipping the counter, choosing any car from an Emerald Aisle and applying rewards points to rental days or other travel rewards. Choose Free Rental Days or your favorite frequent traveler program.
Convenient communication: With email, online, telephone and app connections, customers can make reservations more quickly than ever.
Pay tolls electronically: Drivers pay a small daily fee plus the cost of tolls to use the TollPass electronic toll payments program, thus avoiding long cash lines and unpaid toll violations.
Business programs: The National Business Rental Program for any size business offers travelers even more value, speed and convenience. The On The Go Meeting & Convention Program is for car rentals dedicated to the success of your meetings. They also offer Government programs, Military programs and association programs.
Age: National will rent cars to drivers as young as 18 with a major credit card.
Best for: Those traveling only one way, business travelers, vacationers, event planners, those with cars in repair and those who want a wide selection of vehicles and temporary workers.
Auto & Finance Contributing Editor
Lauren Fix, also called The Car Coach, is an automotive and auto finance expert. Her understanding of vehicles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print media and the Internet. She has authored multiple books and writes a column for several outlets, including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on major news and morning shows, discussing the latest updates on cars and car financing that will help drivers make smart decisions when buying, maintaining and financing cars.
National Car Rental Company Information
- Company Name:
- National Car Rental
- Year Founded:
- 600 Corporate Park Dr
- St. Louis
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 468-3334