Car rental companies handle the renting of cars in the rental industry. Their handling includes setting prices, conditions, restrictions, and offering incentives to entice customers. That’s all part of the business.
When you book a car, you may end up getting grossly dissatisfied with it after picking it up. In that case, most renters would want to explore the option of swapping the car for a better alternative.
This article looks into the possibility of swapping rental cars while examining the policies of different companies on the issue.
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Here’s the Short Answer to Whether You Can Swap a Rental Car:
If you are absolutely not satisfied with a car you have rented, many rental companies will offer you the chance to swap. It’s better, easier, and faster to do this early, so be sure to inspect the car and check if you’re okay with it right before you pick it up.
Can You Switch a Rental Car Once the Rental Has Begun?
Renters have the right to demand a replacement for their rental cars even when the rental has begun. At that point, the onus is on the company to find you a car that matches the initial contracts and fixes the issues you had before.
However, in all fairness, if you demand a much better and pricier car, the car rental company will have to charge you more. As long as you can agree to that, you’ll likely get whatever car you want if it is available on the lot.
We must mention that swapping rental cars is better done when you book with a major rental company. This is because the major rental companies have the facilities in place to take care of renters’ swapping needs. The not-so-big companies may, however, not be able to fulfill that responsibility.
You can switch a rental car even after the rental has begun for a number of reasons. It could be problems with the interior, including dirt, scratches, and dents. It could also be a paperwork issue or a problem with the amount of mileage on the car.
While all of those look like serious, justifiable issues, your complaint could also be as simple as an innocent change of mind. If you don’t want the car anymore, all you have to do is speak and the rental companies will try to find you something else.
However, it’s better to be polite with your request/demand as it could influence the type of replacement car you get and how fast you get it.
Some rental companies may even allow you to switch the car at one of their other corporate locations. However, this is strictly subject to the company policy.
Can I Switch My Enterprise Rental Car?
You can switch any rental car that you booked/picked up at the Enterprise rental company. First thing you should do is take it back to the company location you picked it up from.
After this, the company representatives will likely quiz you about the reasons you want to change the car. Ultimately, whatever the reason is, they will try to satisfy your demands as a customer as no company wants bad press.
To further improve your chances of making the switch, you can tell them how important the change is for you in very lucid and convincing terms.
However, it is possible that Enterprise has no cars left on their lots that fit your rental contract. In that case, they might ask you to pay more for a pricier car.
Can I Switch My Avis Rental Car?
You can swap your car at the same corporate location you picked it up from. Once you get to the location, speak with the representatives and be polite but firm with your swapping request. During the conversation, you’ll have to give reasons why you want to swap the rental car.
Avis is renowned for customer satisfaction, so you can trust they will do everything they can to switch your rental car. You should also be prepared to pay more than you already have, in cases where they can’t find a commensurate car.
Can I Switch My Hertz Rental Car?
You can swap your Hertz rental for another one even when the rental period has begun. This is much easier under the Hertz loyalty program known as Gold Choice. This program offers free swap/upgrade to any of the cars under the program.
If you are not registered under the program, you can also swap your Hertz rental car. All you have to do is speak to a Hertz representative about it, and they’ll do everything they can to make the switch happen.
While you don’t need big excuses, the chances of getting a switch are higher when the reasons are serious.
Can I Switch My Budget Rental Car?
You can switch your Budget rental car to another one at the location you picked it up from. Just speak to the company representative and make sure your reasons are genuine, as that could help quicken the process.
And even when your reasons are as simple as not liking the looks of the car, Budget will typically make the swap happen subject to availability.
Can You Upgrade Your Rental Car During the Rental Period?
You can absolutely have your rental car upgraded. A rental car upgrade simply means you get a better, bigger, and more efficient car than the one you booked. It could also mean you get cool features, like a convertible roof or some advanced safety features.
Most companies offer these upgrades for free under elite status programs and coupons. For instance, Budget offers upgrades to car reservations using a coupon code. You could also get free upgrades using memberships and elite status credit cards.
However, most upgrades would come at a cost, especially if you are a regular renter with no memberships or special credit cards. You’ll likely be charged extra fees depending on the category you are looking to upgrade to.
We would have you know it is much easier to do this before the rental starts at all.
Can You Downgrade Your Rental Car During the Rental Period?
You can absolutely downgrade your car during the rental period. Some renters on rental forums claim they have done this before, and all they had to do was call a company representative to ask if a lower-class car is available.
Since customers rarely ask for downgrades, companies offer downgrades when they can’t provide the exact cars booked. In such cases, they often offer the downgrades with a compensatory reduction of charges.
Under What Circumstances Can I Swap My Rental Car Free Of Charge?
You can swap your rental car, free of charge, if you have some very important things in place. They include memberships (e.g. Costco and AAA), elite status credit cards, loyalty programs, and coupons.
So, if you have any of those, you may be able to swap your rental car for free.
Another circumstance that may lead to getting a free swap is when you get a proportional car during the swap. This means that the company will typically not charge you if you get the same car or a car of the same vehicle class as a replacement.
Also, some renters in online forums testified to getting free swaps simply for being nice to the company representatives.