Hertz has become known for broken systems that don’t track their cars properly. It seems that just because a vehicle is returned, and gets re-rented, that doesn’t mean Hertz knows it ever came back. And though they claim otherwise, they seem to have a hair trigger for reporting cars stolen (or at least threatening customers that they will).
The rental giant argues that this is rare (a small percentage of total rentals) and a thing of the past (they’ve made process improvements). But it seems to keep happening. And though it may represent a small portion of transactions, readers of this blog keep reporting that it happens to them.
Fortunately for Jason Hertz only threatened criminal prosecution over a vehicle he rented and returned, and he shares in the comments about another reader Hertz threatened to have arrested for making the simple mistake of renting from them.
Happened to us recently. We are Hertz Five Star members. Received text messages and a letter in the mail threatening arrest/legal action. ..[T]here was nothing abnormal about the rental whatsoever.
I called customer service and they saw the rental was closed properly, and agents at the location itself saw the same. Only Hertz vehicle control did not. While Vehicle Control said it must be “just a mistake”, they refused to send me any documentation confirming this, continuously claiming they “did not have the resources to provide us anything like that”.
We had to get a manager at the rental location to at least send us an email stating that the Vehicle Control messages were incorrect, and our contract had been closed.
If you’re going to keep renting from Hertz, document that you’ve returned the car. And if you get pulled over for driving a vehicle that’s been reported stolen, even if you properly rented the vehicle from Hertz, remember no sudden movements. Have your license, rental contract, and insurance available before the officer approaches the vehicle or announce your acttion to get these clearly and don’t make sudden movements.