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.
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.
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.
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.
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.