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I recently booked a car through a price aggregator site. After booking, I immediately received an email stating a reservation confirmation number. When I arrived at the rental agency, they said they had no car for me and to call the price aggregator site. I did. They told me that there was no guarantee that the car would be held and that I would have to go elsewhere to book the car.

I haven't read the fine print, but in the immediate FAQs and text of the email, no where does it say that the car will be not held.

I don't want to have to read lengthy terms and conditions every time I book a car. Is there a sure fire, yet quick way to make sure that my car is held when I reserve it?

  • Unfortunately nothing is guaranteed in life except death. Sorry. – user 56513 Dec 30 '18 at 17:22
  • @HonoraryWorldCitizen what about taxes? ;) but listen, obviously I am not talking about an absolute guarantee, but some guidance on avoiding this situation would be helpful! – Eric Brotto Dec 30 '18 at 17:26
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    You can always evade taxes, and sometimes get away with it. Actually many times. I actually typed death and taxes and then deleted the taxes part. To answer your question however, there’s no guarantee. You can call the location after getting confirmation from the aggregator and before you arrive. Remember even airlines bump passengers legally. Many people book and don’t show up, the rental companies have to hedge their bets or lose money. It’s the business model. – user 56513 Dec 30 '18 at 17:29
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    Guidance in reducing your chances of being bumped would be 1) pay in advance 2) check with the actual rental company 3) book direct rather than through an aggregator – DJClayworth Dec 30 '18 at 18:29
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Book directly with the car rental company and not with an aggregator.

Aggregators can have murky contracts with the rental car places and roles & responsibilities are not always clear. If you book with a smaller outfit or someone you've never heard off, check on-line reviews before you book.

While nothing is ever 100% guaranteed it would be exceedingly rare for a reputable car rental company to not give you a car at all. They may not have the class of car that you have booked but that typically gets you a free upgrade to the next available bigger class, but they will go out of their way to find you a vehicle.

I've rented dozens if not 100s of cars this way and never did NOT get a car. Maybe not the car I wanted or booked, but there was always a car.

  • This car company actually turned me away. I couldn't believe it to be honest. But thanks for the advice. – Eric Brotto Dec 31 '18 at 3:06

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