A Rental Car Puzzle

Have you ever noticed that whenever you rent a car, when they give you the keys to the vehicle, there are always two sets of keys?  But the two sets of keys are attached to the same key chain, and no matter how hard I’ve tried, I have never figured out a way to detach one set of keys from the other.

What could possibly be the point of giving customers two sets of keys that can’t be separated?  The downside is that if the keys get lost, two sets of keys are gone.  Also, the keys are much bulkier in my pocket than otherwise would be the case.

The only possible explanation I can see is that since no one carries around two attached sets of keys to the vehicle they own, people are less likely to confuse their own car keys with those of the rental vehicle.  It just doesn’t seem like that could be the logic, however.

So can anyone explain to me the real reason rental car companies do this?


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  1. leonard freedman says:

    There is no logic to tying the two keys together. If you lose a key you pay for it. If you lose both keys, you pay for both.
    When I rent a car with my wife, it is convenient for each of us to have our own key. I want both keys when I rent a car, I just want to be able to separate them.

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  2. Richard Schwwartz says:

    Some rentals are not returned to the same depot. Usually this is planned, but sometimes it is not. A key at a depot that doesn’t have the car is useless.

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