Why do I have to pay for the flat on my rental car?

When Alicia Reise and her husband rented a car from Hertz in England recently, they had no reason to believe the car was in less than perfect condition.

But there were two little problems. First, Reise thinks one of the tires was faulty. And second, the car didn’t have a spare tire; instead, it came with a canister that could be used to fix a leaky tire, she says.
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Can this trip be saved? If “everything is covered” why are you charging me for this flat tire?

One of the most common car rental complaints I get — no, the most common — involves travelers who declined the optional collision-damage waiver and ended up with what what they believe to be a fraudulent claim.

But it rarely goes the other way — which is to say, having the insurance but then not being covered.

Well, meet Tom Brouillette, who rented a car from Rent-A-Wreck in Albuquerque, NM.
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Help! My car rental company is taking me to court

tireQuestion: We recently rented a car through Hertz in Scotland. When we returned the vehicle, we asked a representative if he wanted to inspect it. He declined.

To our surprise, we later found a $250 charge on our American Express for a damaged tire. But that didn’t make sense. If it had been damaged we wouldn’t have been able to drive the car back to the airport.

We disputed the charges, and American Express sided with us, noting that Hertz had not sent enough information as requested to validate their claim.

We thought all was said and done. But now we have received two letters from Hertz claiming that they are starting legal proceedings against us.

I called Hertz and they claimed they did not receive anything from American Express regarding the dispute. Our credit is perfect and I am very, very worried about this. Do we just need to pay and move on down the road? — Tracey Brown Osborne, Dallas

Answer: The lawsuit threat is probably a bluff. I’ve talked to enough car rental claims specialists to know that in all likelihood, the letter from Hertz was a form response to losing its dispute with American Express.
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