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  #1  
Old 05-05-2008, 04:46 PM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Why do they give two keys with every rental car?

Why do you get two keys for your rental car, both of them connected by some plastic connector that does not open?

If you could at least take them apart, you could put one aside, in case the other got lost. But no, you can't take them apart.

Anyone know why?
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2008, 04:50 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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I don't think I've ever gotten two keys for a rental car, unless one of them was a trunk key.
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:32 PM
Bill Door Bill Door is offline
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I usually get a "real" key, and a valet key, that opens the door and starts the ignition, but will not open the glove compartment.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:34 PM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
I don't think I've ever gotten two keys for a rental car, unless one of them was a trunk key.
Hmm, maybe this is an Avis-only thing? (I use Avis, mostly)
I could swear I got them from other rental car companies also.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:42 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Could be. I usually rent from Enterprise and Fox, and have only gotten one key.
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:43 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
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Just rented a car last week from National and got 2 keys. Both on the same ring, unable to be opened.
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:47 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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I asked once and was told that "people lose one all the time". When I pointed out that both keys are together on a non-opening ring, they shrugged.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2008, 05:50 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is online now
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I will guess that:

They gave two keys originally so you could give one to your spouse, etc. or keep it elsewhere in case it got lost. At some point they realized that they were losing keys because people would forget and turn in only one. Some "bright" person suggested they put both keys together in a way they could not be separated not even thinking why they gave two keys in the first place and completely canceling any good.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2008, 08:00 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Just rented from Enterprise in Akron two weeks ago. Got one key. Have rented from them perhaps 10 times in 10 years. Only got one key.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2008, 08:06 PM
garygnu garygnu is offline
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My wife just rented a Prius from Avis and it came with a single... uh... Smart Key/fob thing.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2008, 08:28 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Dollar also gives you the two-keys-permanently-together.

I'm wondering if the deal is that they want to make you ASK for the keys to be separated, in case of there being multiple drivers; the answer would have to wait for someone to post who has ever actually ASKED for the keys to be separated.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2008, 09:03 PM
cherry cherry is offline
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Same here with Hertz, rent cars at least twice a month and doesn't matter the type of car we get at least two sometimes three keys on a welded shut key ring.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2008, 09:57 PM
MC$E MC$E is offline
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My speculation is that they want to have both keys with the car when they sell it or otherwise dispose of it. The way rental cars are moved around the country based on demand, it would be a PITA to make sure the second key/fob made it to the sale. Much easier to keep it with the car than in some "key warehouse" in Poughkeepsie.
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2008, 10:19 PM
Sigene Sigene is offline
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Renting car from Hertz right now....1 key.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2008, 11:33 PM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherry
Same here with Hertz, rent cars at least twice a month and doesn't matter the type of car we get at least two sometimes three keys on a welded shut key ring.
Welded?
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:03 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC$E
My speculation is that they want to have both keys with the car when they sell it or otherwise dispose of it. The way rental cars are moved around the country based on demand, it would be a PITA to make sure the second key/fob made it to the sale. Much easier to keep it with the car than in some "key warehouse" in Poughkeepsie.
People on this website agree with you and it seems to make sense, so this may be the most likely answer (though we have no official confirmation from the rental car companies themselves)

ETA: Though, on the other hand, when they sell the car, don't they need to find all the relevant paperwork? So, why not store the extra key with the car's documents (title, etc)?

Last edited by Polerius; 05-06-2008 at 01:08 AM..
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  #17  
Old 08-11-2011, 04:16 PM
MCheaney MCheaney is offline
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Avis also supplies 2 keys that are fastened together with a steel cable. All they say is that the keys are expensive and people loose them. How does that argument help them? Loose one, loose both and have no backup. Together the keys will not go in my pants pocket. I had a second driver (my wife) on my new Ford we rented so I cut the wire. Avis complained when they were turned in but never quoted a "Rule" or point out ANY small print in the rental agreement. Their argument does not make sense even after many emails to Avis. It may be that it is a "Policy" by some junior executive that does not think the hired staff is smart enough to keep track of two keys so they tell them to fasten them together. Another thought is that the new cars delivered to Avis (or Hertz) come from the factory WITH the keys fastened together and the rental folks aren't equipped with tools to separate them. I used wire cutters. Next time I will take some black nylon zip-ties or a loop of thin steel cable to reattach the two together.
Ask for the owner's manual and notice if your rental has floor mats. No manual, and no removable floor mats. I asked and they said the manual is with the spare tire (???) and not in the glove-box. Their reply was "People keep the manuals...". I asked why didn't they just charge them $50 each for the manual or fasten the owner's manual to the keys.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2011, 05:31 PM
lost4life lost4life is online now
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Anytime I was given two that couldn't be separated, they always told me not to separate them for the resale reasons given above. If they lost a key, apparently it cost them something on the resale end (probably reconfiguring the locks), and tracking all the keys is something they're not interested in doing.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2011, 05:35 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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I rent 3-4 times a year from Hertz and I've only ever received one key.
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  #20  
Old 08-11-2011, 06:14 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polerius View Post
ETA: Though, on the other hand, when they sell the car, don't they need to find all the relevant paperwork? So, why not store the extra key with the car's documents (title, etc)?
A rental car company might own more than a million cars. So I'll bet they have a way of handling titles that doesn't involve a million pieces of paper.
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  #21  
Old 08-11-2011, 09:25 PM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
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Concerning titles, In my state, the owner of record can get a new title for a couple of bucks. Storing all those titles and keeping up to date on where they are would be a lot more expensive. When I told a cop friend of mine I had misplaced my title, and kept putting off getting a new one, he told me not to bother, no one ever has them. If I got it now, eventually I would either lose that one, or find the old one, so it would be better to wait until I actually needed one. (like moving to another state, or selling the Car.)

I am sure Avis, Hertz, etc have all their cars titled in states that keep electronic records.

Tris
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  #22  
Old 08-11-2011, 09:45 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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I rent from Enterprise occasionally here in Chicago when my car is in the shop. I almost always get 2 keys (sometimes a regular key and a valet key) on a standard key ring. I asked about this, and I was told they preferred to keep both keys together so THEY didn't have to keep track of one and possibly lose it. Whatever.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2011, 06:46 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Whatever, until I lose them and have to pay to get two keys made.

Another area where it works for the company, but not the comsumer.
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2011, 07:43 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Una Persson View Post
I asked once and was told that "people lose one all the time". When I pointed out that both keys are together on a non-opening ring, they shrugged.
Drives me bonkers. That and the stupid fob and plastic key chain thing is a huge mess in your pocket.

I ask once and they said it would be to hard to keep track of them if they seperated them. For chirst sake, two keys on one fob do me zero good. And if I loose them I have to pay for both. If you guys would just keep the 'extra' in a drawer somewhere, you could actually be of help if I lost one too.

Idiots.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:07 AM
Cowboy8467 Cowboy8467 is offline
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Last time I rented a car I only received one switchblade style key, that had the combo key/FOB.
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  #26  
Old 08-12-2011, 11:18 AM
brad_d brad_d is offline
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I've gotten both one key and two keys (semi-permanently bound together) enough times while renting cars that I consider neither circumstance unusual.

I've occasionally had to hunt down the owner's manual to figure out how to disable that detestable (to me) "feature" where the car honks at you when you lock/unlock it using the remote. (The steps to do that tend to vary by car maker and generally aren't intuitive.) Nearly without exception I've found the manual in the spare tire well, still in the shrink-wrap.
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  #27  
Old 08-12-2011, 07:05 PM
pullin pullin is offline
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I rent from Avis a lot (business travel). I get two keys every time.

I've wondered about this too.
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  #28  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:25 AM
al chambers al chambers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Dollar also gives you the two-keys-permanently-together.

I'm wondering if the deal is that they want to make you ASK for the keys to be separated, in case of there being multiple drivers; the answer would have to wait for someone to post who has ever actually ASKED for the keys to be separated.
I have rented from Hertz on a few occasions and have been irked by this.
I did go into a Hertz office with the keys and asked if they would separate
them for me, and they replied that they were not allowed to.
I then asked if I could separate them and they answered rather cryptically
that they were not authorized to give permission for this.

The problem is if you lose the ring you have to pay for 2 expensive keys.
If you lock them in the car the second key which would be a safeguard
is useless attached to the first key.

Hertz should really take the lead here and do something about this
ridiculous situation.
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:39 AM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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I just requested Avis to separate the two keys, one for me and one for my GF, and at first the kid behind the counter agreed to try, but then his boss came up, and said, "Nope, can't do that, impossible..." and wouldn't listen to any of my reasoning or pleading.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2013, 12:51 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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They're not just on a key ring any more. I've had them with a crimped metal wire. Two keys plus that huge plastic thing, inseparable. I was trying to cut it apart on the metal door jamb, but couldn't, Next time I get one of those, I'm making a side-trip to the wire cutter section of Home Depot first thing. "I don't know what happened. It just broke. It was like that already."
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  #31  
Old 02-10-2013, 04:41 PM
bonitahi bonitahi is offline
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"Have rented from them perhaps 10 times in 10 years. Only got one key."

The same key worked for all those cars?
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  #32  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:07 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
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I rent from Enterprise all the time and usually get two keys inseparably linked, together with that pleasant little warning that the average key replacement cost is $225. I've never asked, but I always figured that the key replacement cost was per key and included a generous markup, so linking the keys together was just their way of making sure that if you lost a key, you lost both of them.
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  #33  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:14 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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The last few times I've rented wheels (mostly cars, but also pickup trucks), I've only got one key per rental.
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  #34  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:28 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC$E View Post
My speculation is that they want to have both keys with the car when they sell it or otherwise dispose of it. The way rental cars are moved around the country based on demand, it would be a PITA to make sure the second key/fob made it to the sale. Much easier to keep it with the car than in some "key warehouse" in Poughkeepsie.
On the nose. They do this so that the car goes to auction with both keys.
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  #35  
Old 02-11-2013, 10:32 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I asked if I could separate the keys once -- can't remember which company I rented from.

When I'm traveling with the dog, I like to keep the key in the ignition and leave the car running so the dog gets A/C, and then take the spare with me and lock from the outside. (Emergency brake on in case dog knocks car into gear and crashes.)

The rental agent told me that the keys couldn't be separated from each other and if I did it, they would charge me $250 when I returned the car. I didn't really buy that, but I didn't want to risk $250 and I don't remember what I did about The Dog Problem.
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  #36  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:03 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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zombie or no

with two keys then if one key has a battery failure then you have a second chance without having to buy a replacement battery in likely an unknown area with a dead vehicle.
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  #37  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:26 AM
hussle hussle is offline
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I work for a rental car company, in the side that deals with the paperwork and "spare" keys. The 2 keys thing is done in the US, and is moving to Canada, but its a new(ish) policy so it will take some time to become the normal thing. The reason has to do with selling the car, and making sure that the dealer who purchases the car gets a spare key with the car.

Why is it tethered together? The 2nd key is kept in a central location, often quite far away from the renting branch. When a customer loses a key the car, usually, must be reprogrammed to create a new key. This process renders the 2nd key at the central location useless. Might as well just have both keys together then as it simplifies the delivery process on the back end.
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  #38  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:28 AM
hussle hussle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
I rent from Enterprise all the time and usually get two keys inseparably linked, together with that pleasant little warning that the average key replacement cost is $225. I've never asked, but I always figured that the key replacement cost was per key and included a generous markup, so linking the keys together was just their way of making sure that if you lost a key, you lost both of them.
Sorry for the double post but I missed this.

The $225 is just a generic warning. The customer will pay just the cost of the key replacement, but that is quite variable depending on the make/model of the car so we just put a generic number in there, big enough to make sure people pay attention. Some keys cost a lot more then 225, some a lot less
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  #39  
Old 10-23-2013, 09:08 PM
ozomolv ozomolv is offline
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take off key ring

Well this is a first for me to ever have two pairs of keys. Its very uncomfortable if you are going to have the car for a couple of days. Especially when you have a set of house keys. Now you have to carrry two sets. The biggest problem is that these new car keys are very big and bulky. I asked enterprise if they can remove one from the ring and they said no. It was a pain in the ass because I have four keys. Two regular keys and two remote control keys plus enterprise key ring. So I was determined to take it off and its possible to open it up with out having to cut the cable. First just be strong and pull the key ring apart from where it connects. Onece it opens up you can take the key out and put the others away. It will be easier to open it back uP again when u are ready to return the car back again since you all ready broke the seal.
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  #40  
Old 10-24-2013, 08:23 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Zombies don't rent cars.

But for normal people....the rental car companies are tasking the renter with keeping up with both sets of keys so that after a year when they sell the car, both sets of keys are still with the car being sold. If they separate them, more likely for one set to get lost and not be available when it comes time for the company to sell the car.
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  #41  
Old 10-24-2013, 12:04 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triskadecamus View Post
Concerning titles, In my state, the owner of record can get a new title for a couple of bucks. Storing all those titles and keeping up to date on where they are would be a lot more expensive. When I told a cop friend of mine I had misplaced my title, and kept putting off getting a new one, he told me not to bother, no one ever has them. If I got it now, eventually I would either lose that one, or find the old one, so it would be better to wait until I actually needed one. (like moving to another state, or selling the Car.)

I am sure Avis, Hertz, etc have all their cars titled in states that keep electronic records.

Tris
Hm, I keep important paperwork like titles and mortgage, wedding, divorce and birth certificate together in my safe deposit box. Previously they were in the fireproof safe in the small bedroom.

And we cut the wire holding keys together and give them back cabletied together. Never been gigged on it before.
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  #42  
Old 10-24-2013, 12:30 PM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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I have never had this when renting in the UK, or on the continent. Perhaps in smaller countries, the logistics are different and the rental companies have a central disposal point. They would certainly wish to keep the paperwork secure as replacements are not cheap. 25 at present for the V5C vehicle registration certificate. Replacement owners manuals are hard to get as well.
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  #43  
Old 10-24-2013, 02:51 PM
Mallard Mallard is offline
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I've rented a ton of cars and for years, got the "two key together" routine most times too. Not always though.
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  #44  
Old 10-24-2013, 02:57 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is online now
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One key last week from Thrifty. Also, it was a regular old fashioned put in the lock kinda key. Can't remember the last time I saw one of those.
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  #45  
Old 10-24-2013, 03:37 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
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Originally Posted by FatBaldGuy View Post
Just rented a car last week from National and got 2 keys. Both on the same ring, unable to be opened.
How'd they get the keys on there if it is unable to be opened?
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  #46  
Old 10-24-2013, 03:48 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Well, it took years but I got my answer... patience rewarded They just want to keep the keys together for later sale and they'd rather idiot-proof it.


And yes, with the newfangled smartkey devices it's become one cumbersome mess of plastic and metal to handle; on the bright side it's probably harder to misplace by sheer unwieldiness. Must be that what apparently sells are devices that work from your pocket, and that means you want a hefty battery and transmitter.


Lukeinva: Ring/cable loop gets permanently crimped shut after the keys/fob/company tag are attached, often in a manner that requires breaking the crimp or cutting the cable in order to open it.

Hmm... business opportunity for a service station near the airport: detaching/reattaching rental keys? Or maybe a new device for sale through SkyMall...

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-24-2013 at 03:51 PM..
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  #47  
Old 10-24-2013, 04:32 PM
Habeed Habeed is offline
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Originally Posted by hussle View Post
Sorry for the double post but I missed this.

The $225 is just a generic warning. The customer will pay just the cost of the key replacement, but that is quite variable depending on the make/model of the car so we just put a generic number in there, big enough to make sure people pay attention. Some keys cost a lot more then 225, some a lot less
What keys cost more than $225?!!!
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  #48  
Old 10-24-2013, 05:32 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Originally Posted by Habeed View Post
What keys cost more than $225?!!!
For current model cars, yes. Each key (or fob) these days, is basically an enclosed chip that delivers a frequency paired specifically with its car, that allows you to unlock the doors and start the car.

Without the chip in the presence of the motor control unit, the car is dead.
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  #49  
Old 10-24-2013, 06:31 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Ring/cable loop gets permanently crimped shut after the keys/fob/company tag are attached, often in a manner that requires breaking the crimp or cutting the cable in order to open it.
I hate this type of nitpicky crap but here it is: I think that is more of a swaging than crimping joint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaging

And they do that so the keys are together for resale?
It pisses me off that they'd rather inconvenience thousands of customers a day than be put out ONCE when they finally sell the car.
GAH!
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  #50  
Old 10-24-2013, 08:27 PM
Kiwi Fruit Kiwi Fruit is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
It pisses me off that they'd rather inconvenience thousands of customers a day than be put out ONCE when they finally sell the car.
GAH!
Indeed! I rented a Ford Fusion from Alamo that had the two keys on one loop and with the huge keys all tied together it was a very bulky unit to put in my pocket. We had the car for two weeks and it was a pain in the arse every time we parked and walked through shopping areas, parks, etc that I had to have a shoulder bag for the keys because they wouldn't comfortably fit in a pocket.
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