A Rental Car Puzzle

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall via Compfight cc

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?


Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  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.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  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.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Gary says:

    i sent them an email and here is their response.

    Thank you for your email. My name is Tamika, and I will be happy to assist! I do understand that you’re requesting additional assistance regarding the keys that you received upon arrival to the location. Based on the information I’ve been provided, I do show that the keys cannot be separated. The reason these keys are attached together is because the key strategy is intended to keep customer rental rates down by keeping the cost of key management lower and This is the most efficient way to insure that when a customer purchases a used Enterprise vehicle it has its spare keys and fobs available.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to email me back.

    Kind Regards,

    Thank you for the response. Please tell the person that gave you the information that this answer is totally unacceptable.
    1. We needed 2 separate keys, and we don’t have them.
    2. Wired together, they hang off the ignition switch and hit the drivers leg, very irritating.
    3. Together, they are too big to fit in an average persons pocket.
    I don’t expect we will do business with you in the future.

    Dear Gary,

    I do understand your frustration with this matter, but this is the way the keys are provided to everyone. The locations never provide separate keys for the reasons I have provided in my previous email. I have, however, forwarded your email and contact information to the Regional Customer Service Department over this location so they can be sure to inform the location of this matter.

    In the meantime, if you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to email me back.

    Kind Regards,

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0