Maybe I am lucky but pretty much every car rental experience I’ve had (with the exception of one particularly nasty run in with Thrifty) has been overwhelmingly positive. Maybe that’s because the vast majority of the time I rent from Alamo or maybe its just dumb luck. When I hit the airport it always seems that the agency I’m renting from has the shortest line. That lucky streak came to an abrupt halt with an ugly Philadelphia car rental experience this week.
I hit the ground running as my United Airlines flight from Chicago to Philadelphia landed 40 minutes early. I was in a hurry because I wanted to trade the stock market close. All I needed to do was grab a car and go. I fly to Philly about once a month and never had a problem before — why should this be any different? Wrong!! The previous trips I rented from Alamo. This time Budget had a great rate and I fell into the trap.
First, I just missed the Budget shuttle when I exited the terminal. Then when I finally arrived at the Budget counter there was a line a mile long. I would say there were about 25 people ahead of me to rent a car. And three agents working at their stations — a fourth was added after much complaining from exasperated travelers. When I finally reached the counter 45 minutes later and, after the usual sales spiel, signed my contract it took another 9 minutes for a Budget employee to pull up my car. To add insult to injury, Budget illegally added an almost $6 “fuel surcharge” to my bill even though I returned the car full.
Philadelphia Car Rental — Budget “Mistakenly” Adds Illegal Fuel Surcharges in Philly
IF YOU DO RENT FROM BUDGET AT PHL CHECK YOUR INVOICE!!! I have rented from them twice and each time they “accidently” added a fuel surcharge to the bill. They will remove it when requested saying it was just a mistake. I am sure that this practice is illegal and I’m sure that at least half of their customers never catch the “error’ by this less than reputable Budget concession. Do yourself a favor AVOID BUDGET CAR RENTAL in Philadelphia. When your travels call for a Philadelphia car rental head to Alamo, Hertz or Avis and save yourself a lot of time and a scummy “fuel surcharge.
Also check out my seminal article on saving money on car rental The Number One Way To Save Big Money on Car Rental.