What’s up everyone,
Quick blog post today. Not complaining just giving you all a heads up in case you find yourself in a situation like I found myself in.
Recently I was in Barbados and I had to rent a SUV for my trip based on the type of trip that it was. The usual companies I use to rent vehicles from were all sold out of SUV’s so I ended up using a company I have never used before. Ace Rent A Car.
Now my 9 to 5 job is in insurance so I get discount codes for many different car rental agencies because of the relationship the company I work for has with these insurance companies. I had a discount code for ACE but it was not applicable in Barbados which was weird because many of the other discount codes I get are valid in Barbados.
I reserved a KIA SPORTAGE. When I got to Barbados I ended up getting a SUZUKI VITARA. Now renting cars WEEKLY I know that you will not always get the vehicle shown in the picture you get something similar. I asked ACE if I can switch the Vitara for the Sportage when it comes back. They told me they don’t even have the Sportage as part of their vehicle fleet. Interesting… my reservation clearly states that. Why would they have vehicles for selection that they don’t even have?
After waiting for about 30 minutes to get processed I was just like okay fine it is an SUV just grab it. Then I got the kicker.
My credit card has it’s own insurance coverage. 99.999999% of the places I have ever rented a car from recognize the insurance coverage on my card and I just pay the fee for the rental and I decline the additional coverage offered by the Car Rental Agency. I was told that if I want to use my own credit card coverage they must hold 1000USD on my card. WHAT? Now I understand a deposit. 250USD is the standard. But ONE THOUSAND USA DOLLARS?
I wasn’t comfortable with that because of a situation I had in Jamaica where a company tried to swipe my card 4 times back to back for 250USD each swipe and my credit card locked down because of it. Getting the money BACK was an even BIGGER nightmare.
So I had a choice. I either had to pay 1000USD as a hold on my card or pay for the additional 12.00USD daily for their insurance. I don’t like these large hold amounts cause car rental in the Caribbean is very anal. Next thing you see some microscopic scratch caused by RAIN lol and these people want you to pay for it. I basically paid 12.00USD a day extra for a coverage that I do not need. I felt swindled.
Because at the end of the day you are tired after flying for almost 6 hours, you don’t want to stand and argue with a company about a rental car. You want to get home, get a shower and lay down. They know this and they take advantage of this.
I usually call these companies BEFORE I get to the islands to make sure I am fully aware of the ins and outs of renting a car from them. Even companies that you see in North America that you basically speed through lines and get fast service, when you get to the Caribbean it is usually some other company that is “representing” them. So if you are used to Budget in America, Budget in the Caribbean will probably be NOTHING like the one in America.
My advice is:
- Call beforehand and get all the details
- Make sure you check what vehicle you are actually renting before you select it. You may have to pay a cancellation fee
- Be prepared that the companies are just representatives the customer service will probably be nothing like you are accustomed to
- Be prepared to extend your trip by about 1 hour because most of the information that you have to give them is on paper. And you would think that you would be in a computer if you were there before. Nope. You will have to fill out the form ALL OVER again.
- Be prepared for additional fees that come out of no where like “picking up at airport fee”.