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National Car Rental Consumer Reviews

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Car Smelled, Employees Stole Clothing Left in Car
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

KANSAS -- We rented a car in Orlando, FL to be returned in W Palm Beach. The first thing we noticed is the car reeked of marijuana! After that no real issues with the car itself but when we returned the car, in a hurry to catch a plane at West Palm Beach airport, we left a sports coat and expensive ladies' cardigan in the trunk. We notified them as soon as we noticed, I believe the next morning, and our items were never found. And we know that's where they were. So obviously some of the employees in West Palm Beach at least are thieves.

Van Rental Experience
StarStarStarStarStarBy -
Rating: 5/51

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- I just want to say thanks to the management team for pick up at the Greensboro NC airport and a job well done. I have a business that operates during furniture market times in High Point, NC and my clients fly in from all over the world and can be picky when it comes to what they ride in.

I chose National because I needed a van for some clients who booked at the last minute and I could PUT from the airport. The first van I picked up had a medium dent in the back and the seats had medium coffee stains on just about every seat. Not wanting to deal with my clients' comments I asked for another rental van which I knew would most likely be impossible since the HP market was in full swing.

Red, Lauren and Todd went the extra mile to make me feel comfortable about that request and hunted around until they located me another van that was much better with very clean seats and exterior. It took a lot of work because they were really busy and I understand that. The detail guy in the shop washed it and brought it up ASAP. With that kind of customer service I will be back in the spring and next fall as well to rent.

Company Response 10/25/2017:

Thank you for the awesome compliment. It's great to hear you received such great service from Red, Lauren and Todd. We'll be sure to pass this along to the Greensboro location's upper management. We look forward to seeing you next time. –Carol H.

Worst Customer Service Ever!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

LAX, CALIFORNIA -- We will NEVER use National again! Picked up vehicle from airport location in March. Car hadn't been inspected prior to us taking. Had gashes in tire, they wanted us to return the vehicle to LAX from Anaheim. We weren't going to sit in traffic for over an hour. They sent out AAA to replace, only to be told by AAA it was a donut & not suitable for highway driving. We were heading to San Diego in 2 days. Again National wanted us to return vehicle to airport, finally agreed to we could replace at John Wayne Airport.

Upon calling John Wayne told they didn't have same vehicle, only small cars. After long argument with LAX they agreed to bring replacement to us, but would be between 4-6 hours. Through all this they charged us $59 to AAA to come change the tire. We missed an entire day's ticket at Disneyland amounting to $364 US for 4 of us & when we did return the vehicle nobody was willing to do anything about it.

We've had NO satisfaction from National's Regional Manager at all on this. Not even an courtesy call to apologize. This is pathetic. Used other car rentals in the past & never had such poor customer service in my life-time. Will never recommend them to anybody, if fact will go out of our way to tell everyone to stay clear of National. The most helpful reviews and complaints are factually correct, include details from your firsthand experience, and have photos.

Company Response 08/11/2015:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please send us a detailed email to with complete details such as: contact information, reservation/rental agreement number and reference #150811-003315. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like to look further into this situation for you. Thanks for posting and we look forward to hearing from you soon. -Tatiana

Car Rental
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- Rented a car from the National Car Rental at JFK airport, was told $409 for four days after reviewing and agreeing to the price. On my return I was told the car was only for three days not four and I was charged additional $136. After reviewing it with the manager she said she would honor the $409 quote that I was given. After several days I was charged by National Rent-A-Car $136 on my checking account which was not authorized. After reviewing it with the manager she said she would honor the $409 quote that I was given.

After several days I was charged by national Rent-A-Car $136 on my checking account which was not authorized by me. I guess this is a common scam that National pulls on customers. This is my last National car rental I will ever get. Very unprofessional, extremely sneaky

Company Response 07/21/2015:

We'd be happy to look into your situation. Please email with your contact information, reference #150721-003215 and reservation/ rental agreement number so we can address your concern. -Tatiana

Damage Underneath the Bumper
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Rented a reg vehicle. All they had left was a Suburban LT left for me - I briefly walk around and didn't see any damage. When I return the vehicle I got blame for a damage bumper way underneath that you couldn't see walking around the vehicle. I have been renting cars for 18 years now. In the last year our company switch from Avis to National and now I see why they switch back. National acts like that you have a preferred status but when they can try to back charge you for something they will. I was going to look at the vehicle with the asst mgr. He told me there was no need that he would look at himself.

The lady that check me in to the asst mgr were so rude and not professional at all. If they had work for me they both would of been fired on the spot. Their both answers to me were, "Oh well, ** happens. You are responsible. We can't help you even thou you are a Emerald Club." The same issue happen to one of my co-workers 2 months ago and he went thru the same thing. I am lucky that our corporate have extra coverage on our vehicle. But I still have to go thru paperwork and send it so they can take care of it. I am glad we as a major company have switch back to AVIS who actually cares about their preferred customers.

Company Response 06/30/2015:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention . Please send us a detailed email to with complete details including: Renter's full name, current phone number, location rented, rental agreement (RA) number, “DX” or claim number and reference # 150630-002787. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like to look further into this situation for you. Thanks for posting and we look forward to hearing from you soon. -Tatiana

Rental Car Damage Not Visible in Plain Sight
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Two weeks ago, I returned the rental car (2013 Chevy Malibu) after a 4 day rental at National Car Rental at LAX. After a minute of wait, a representative walked towards me from the far side of the (vacant) lot came towards the car, walked around it and told me that there was a damage to the car. I asked her where the damage was. She said something like "front...". I couldn't get the second half of what she said. I walked to the front of the driver side and couldn't see any damage. She ducked down and showed me the damage to the bottom of (rather under) the side skirt below the driver side.

Standing about 2 feet away from the car and looking down, I couldn't see it. I had to duck down to see it. My trip was a normal Monday through Thursday normal rental which I do several times a year (I rent from National for at least 100 days a year for the last 3 years). There was nothing unusual about this trip nor I hit any object on the road. I do walk around the car to look for any damages. But, this damage wouldn't be visible if you stand in-between cars parked in the emerald club aisle and walk around it. Yet, the representative claimed that it was my responsibility and started writing a pink ticket.

I subsequently called the Damage Recovery Unit (DRU) and spoke to a representative about this incident. I explained her how walking around the car wouldn't help finding this damage as it was in the bottom and one has to duck down or walk several feet away and look at the bottom to see the damage.

The DRU representative told me: The damage was not reported during any previous rental (if the damage is not visible in plain sight, how anybody can find and report it?). The branch manager at LAX location determined that it was my responsibility (on what basis? Walk-around the car without ducking down will not reveal the damage. There is also no video/picture record of "before and after" condition of the car). There is no way to override the manager's decision. She also told me that there is no further means to escalate or contest this. (Unbelievable!)

First they (themselves) determine that it is my responsibility without any proof that the car was damaged during my rental and then there is no way for me to contest this! I'll update this post as things progress in this case.

Update: 11/22/2013 - Early this week, received a letter from National Car DRU an estimate of the damages. Also today, I've written to the email address provided by the National Car Rep.

Update: 11/22/2013 - After posting my first update for the day today, I noticed something in the picture of the damage in the claim report sent by DRU. (I'm unable to attach it to this review for some reason.) There are 2 pictures showing the damage and they clearly show the reflection of the person (on the car door) taking the picture, ducking down to take the picture of the damage. This makes it evident that the damage wouldn't be visible if we walk-around standing next to it. I've sent another email to the National Car care email ID mentioned above with that picture.

Update: 12/3/2013 - I got a call last week from the National Car rep. She was very professional and went through my case details with me. Based on the information I provided and that the damage was less (total of about $430), she would close the claim and not pursue me for any damages. I subsequently also received a letter from National DRU confirming this. I'm glad there is somebody to whom I could escalate and resolve the issue. Thanks National!

One lesson learnt is to take picture/video of the condition of the car before leaving the lot. Not just walking around but to duck down and check the fender etc! Also, to do it when returning the rental, I've started doing it in more detail! I know the looks I get for doing it. But, I know what I've been through! So, I don't care!

Resolution Update 12/03/2013:

National car rental closed the claim

Platinum Service
StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 3/51

ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA -- I rented a small economy car for a week to visit my children. I'm 43 and was expecting my 1st grandchild. I get to the airport AEX and all they have is a luxury Tahoe. At first I thought wow... an upgrade for no extra money but the thought of the gas cost made me hesitate. It was a bad thunderstorm when I flew in and I decided to go with it. The manager told me to come back in 2 days and he should have something to switch out. I was okay with that.

After one day of driving, I spent over $60 in gas and realized that by the time I would go back and switch the vehicle I would have probably put $200 in my gas tank! So I called customer service, which was a nightmare, hoping I could find a location to switch out vehicles sooner than my original plan with the AEX location. Well after hours, the customer service line rolls over to people that have a hard time understanding me and vice versa.

They gave me names of Enterprise locations near the town I had driven to which was about 2 hours from my original pick up location. I felt like as an Emerald Club member I should have gotten a better level of service. I would have thought that customer service would have arranged the switch for me. I didn't even know Enterprise and National were affiliated. So I did all the legwork on my own trying to switch out this car and save my gas allowance for the trip.

I finally got an answer from the Enterprise in Opelousas. ** was the associate who helped me. She acted as if I was bothering her. I tried to be polite but it was a challenge. I was so frustrated. Multiple phone calls, no resolution, and the customer service line hung up on me repeatedly. It was beyond frustrating. I switched the Tahoe out for a VW Jetta. It was filthy, only had 1/4 tank of gas and nobody mentioned that. If I had not questioned it, I could have been on the hook for an entire tank as that is what my original paperwork stated. ** at Enterprise handwrote a note on my original agreement.

I was so sick of all of this that I just left. Well, 2 minutes down the road and the car dies. I recrank it and decide to go back and get the Tahoe because a gas guzzler is better than a broke down beater any day. I go back, and they are closed. So I spend the rest of the evening trying to get from place to place. My nerves were shot. The next day, I call the original place I rented from. They did not have another car but told me to head that way and they would work it out. So I did that.

The entire staff and manager were awesome. They apologized for everything, gave me a gorgeous Malibu and one day credit on my rental. It was a great resolve to my dilemma. I still spent way more on gas than I wanted to but I felt respected and I appreciated ** helping me so much. I don't feel like there is an issue at the National Rental Car location. There is an issue with the Emerald Club customer service you receive via telephone and there is an issue entrusting your customers to Enterprise because they do not treat you like a valued client but rather an inconvenience.

Company Response 08/26/2014:

Tamara, our team could make the proper management aware of your concerns and experience. Please email us at: with your contact information, rental agreement number and any additional details you would like to share about your experience. Please attach reference #140826-002879 to your email. Thank You. –Christina

The Station Manager Almost Killed Me!!!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALAGRY, ALABAMA -- My name is **. I am a customer of National Car Rental for over 3 years. My Club number for national is: **. I was in one of your location on 24th November 2012. I just wanted to give you some feedback about the service I got on that day from your employee.

I booked a car online for a week on 24th November around 4:15pm. I usually book and pick up car from your airport location in Calgary. As that day your location was closer to me I choose to select your location for my rental. I called your location around 4:35 to make sure they are still open and have a car available for me as I understand I booked it last minute. When I went there the lady told me I am getting a KIA SUV even though I booked a mid-size car. They were doing a free upgrade as they didn't have any mid size car available. I personally owned a KIA before and did not had any good experience.

I thanked her and asked: "€œwill it be possible for me to get either a ford edge instead as I see there are 2 parked in the lot."€ She told me one for oil change and one need to cleaned. I asked her again that what if I don'€™t need a clean car. I am OK with a returned one. She asked me to wait and she said she will talk to the manager and went in to the lot. I came out and I see her talking to the manager. I asked the manager that, there were over 10 ford (edge, explorer, escape) were parked and if I can get any of them doesn't really matter as I just don'€™t like KIA.

She told me all were sold out, and I should be happy because even I booked at last minute and she is giving me a car. She also mentioned I am getting double upgrade as she was offering me the KIA full size SUV. I requested her that "you have the other cars available. Please give me any of them." She told me again all those car were sold out. I asked her again that cars are usually sold by the size. Never by make or model. And someone will be happy too by getting a full size KIA rather than a escape. She replied: "€œthis is your only choice I am giving you, you take it or not, I DON'™T CARE. If you don'€™t take it you can leave. I need to go€."

I was kind of surprised with her behavior and I request her one more time that other cars are available I can see, is there a reason I can'™t get it? She asked for the keys back for KIA and I was happy by thinking that she is going to give me a different car. I asked her "so which car am I getting?" The reply was nothing. I told her I need a car, I have a reservation and you have to give me a car! She said: "no I don'€™t." Then I asked her who was the station manager? I was shocked by her answer that it was her.

I then went inside with her asking for her card. She went inside the room and swearing (I could hear by standing beside the counter). She came back with your card and said "I don'€™t have my card at this point. This is the person I report to, and I will write down my name." Name: **. She also replied that she manage both location in downtown!! Then I asked her one more time for the car. As I need the car. I didn'€™t made any other reservation. She then asked me to leave very rudely and said she will call the cops if I don'€™t leave? I asked her to call the cops and then she went to the main door turned of the light and swearing all the way. She also tried to lock me.

The main surprise was still waiting for me, that she came back to me and pushed me from the desk to the door. I was just thinking where am I? I was trying to select the record option in my Blackberry as she was swearing and she just didn'€™t gave me any time. I asked her if she could give me one moment, just tried to buy some time for her. She kept pushing me and swearing and saying "try to get me fired if you can" and kept swearing. On my way out I asked the name for the other lady and she said "I am not giving you my name." I believe you have surveillance and you can look through it.

I got out of your station and I was shaking and thinking about the customer service experience. Now **, I am a manager in a customer service business too. And sometime I have to deal with some customer opportunity. But this is the first time I got such experience where the customer (myself) didn't swear or raise the voice but the employee was yelling and swearing. In some bad situation I had to ask some customer to leave, but that was when the customer were swearing to me or my staff and there were some sort of threat.

Now my question to you **, what have I done wrong? As a customer asking for a different car was it my fault? Or making the reservation in 11th hour was not expected by you guys? What was the actual reason that ** had to push me out of the location? What would be the reason that she turned off the light me being inside. Was there any valid reason that she was swearing at me? I would like to apologize if I have done something wrong, but I personally believe that either ** was tired or stressed out for whatever reason and she was totally out of her mind. There is no way she can push me without letting me know.

If I didn't leave she could call the cop but when she pushed me and when she turned the light off I was really scared. And her searing words are non describable. **, I am not trying to get anything out of this. I could took that KIA SUV and went to the airport and they would be more than happy to change the car for me. It's not about the car, it'€™s the behavior I got. I am not a person who will complain. You can look through my rental history and National always did above and beyond for me and I do appreciate this.

All employees in Toronto airport Calgary airport they always says: "€œdon'€™t worry we will take care of you, you are one of our elite member." But that day I just asked for something very small and she could easily take care of that. If she couldn't she just can swear or push me, neither try to scare me by turning off the light. I believe this kind of behavior should be corrected. If you need any further info or if you like to discuss anything about the situation feel free to contact me.

Did I mention 24th November (the incident day) was my birthday and I was trying to take my wife and kid for a surprise dinner? Thanks.

Absolutely Horrible
By -

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I was sent on a business trip to Kansas City, MO and my only available option for a rental at that time in the class of vehicle I needed was National. I usually rent vehicles once a month or so on business trips for my job, and usually use Enterprise with no problems what-so-ever. I knew from stage one of the experience that National would be different. After the extremely rude treatment by the employees at the desk (rude as in they acted like I was bothering them by walking up to the desk and asking them to do the job that they chose to accept and get paid to do), my car was very dirty.

They have a policy where you choose any car in the lot in your class. So I picked another car, that one was dirty too. I had to look through about 5 Chevy Impalas before I found one that was relatively clean. Even that car was in poor condition as little things where broken inside such as the lever to lean back the driver's seat.

After my stay in the area was extended by my company, I needed to call National to extend the rental by 9 days. I called their 866 number, waited on hold for 20 minutes, and received a call center in India. I absolutely hate companies that utilize Indian call centers. I could barely understand the rep, who I had to ask "What?" to 5 times to understand him saying "May I have your RA number?" and he became very angry that I was having a hard time with HIS poor English, again, when HE chose a job that requires dealing with English speaking people. He said he could not help me and transferred me to a number that was disconnected.

I hung up, called again, waited another 20 minutes, received a different Indian service rep with a language barrier. I explained what happened, and this rep said she would transfer me to the correct number. Again, number was disconnected. I called a 3rd time, was on hold a 3rd time, explained that the number I was being transferred to was wrong. The 3rd rep obviously did not understand what I was saying and transferred me to that same disconnected number. The 4th time I called I received the same rep from the 1st call. This time he transferred me to a wrong number, a private residence.

Now this was at 10:30 PM when I was making these calls, so the gentleman who was woken up was rather angry about it. So finally I looked up the Kansas City office number myself. I called that number, received an automated answering service, and guess what... was transferred back to the Indian Call Center when I chose what I thought was the appropriate selection for whom I needed to speak with.

After calling back and spending 10 minutes choosing different options on the automated line, I FINALLY received someone at the desk in Kansas City. I explained to her how frustrated I was, and she completely blew me off without so much as an apology or "thank you for your patience." Completely and utterly unprofessional. I spent 2 hours, literally 2 hours, just trying to get a hold of someone who could help me, my company was spending over $1400.00 on this rental, 1/15th the value of the car they rented us, and I don't even get an apology for their inept call center.

So here's the best part. After explaining to her what I needed, she said she couldn't help me, and transferred me back to the Indian call center. I drove the car back the next day, handed them the keys, walked over to Enterprise, and settled for a smaller car and good customer service.

Avoid National Car Rental St. Lucia - Bad Experience
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

NEW YORK -- Avoid NATIONAL CAR RENTAL St. Lucia – bad experience. Car was rented knowing there was problems (it was just in garage for repairs – 125,000 miles). They said they would replace car if we had problem when we rented it. They didn't find another car. They left us stranded – we rented from a more expensive company who rents quality cars. Now they want to charge me for a bad car, bad experience.

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National Car Rental Rating:
Star Half star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.4 out of 5, based on 25 ratings and
81 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
National Car Rental
7700 France Avenue SoutH
Minneapolis, MN 55435
1-800-468-3334 (ph)
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