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No rental company will guarantee a car type. They can’t- they ate totally dependent on the cars that are returned to them. Most will offer and upgraded car at no extra cost or provide lower class at a better value.
Here is what Budget says about reserving a specific make and model- if you make a standard reservation it’s not guaranteed but if you choose the Street Fleet option, on most cases they will guarantee the car.
Yes. Although our standard fleet isn’t reservable by specific make and model, our Street Fleet is. Book your choice of any of our Street Fleet vehicles, and we’ll do our best to have that exact car waiting for you at the pick-up counter. And once you're behind the wheel of your favorite rental car, if you decide to keep your vehicle for a few more days, that's no problem at all. Since Budget offers each customer this same flexibility, please understand that we can't guarantee that the specific make or model you choose will always be available – some of our renters undoubtedly will decide to keep their favorite car longer than they originally planned, which might overlap your rental request. But if we have the car of your choice at the location when you arrive, you'll get it!
Express your unique style by arriving in a smooth-riding Cadillac STS, a sporty Crossfire, or one of our other distinctly different vehicles. Dream It. Reserve It. Drive it. With Street Fleet - you choose!
Sometimes they're really out of cars in your reserved category. They can find you a car at a competitor's, or they can give you a better category. You should always pay the amount for the category that you originally reserved, nothing extra. Rental car agencies try to upsell their customers on just about everything. I think the agents are paid a bonus for upselling. Just be polite and say "No, thank you".
A few years ago we booked a car from a major rental company for a road trip to the Eastern US (PA, VA, etc.) We requested a full-size car, which would have ideally gotten us a Chevy Impala. Plenty of room for luggage, etc. and comfortable for the long drive from STL.
Got to the rental office (across I-70 from the STL airport) at 7 AM on a weekday morning … and no Impalas ready to rent. No full-size Fords (Fusion?) ready either. Everything needed to be cleaned up. The rep kept trying to offer us vans, SUVs, and higher-class cars for more $$, but of course we weren't having it and politely but firmly declined. Finally, in desperation, she gestured to a couple of cars parked at the curb in front of the building and said, "Here, take one of those." So we did.
"Those" were BMW 5-series sedans. First (and probably) last time we'll ever rent a luxury vehicle, especially for the price!