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Two rental car keysEach Friday, we feature a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip comes from reader Pat G., who says:

“Two tips: With so many cars having keys with a built in chip, the cost of replacement can be a few hundred dollars for each key. We pack a long lanyard to snap into the ring, making it easier to find the key as well as handy for carrying around the neck. If we are issued two keys on one strand ring, we stop at a hardware store/section and cut the metal cord. This is ok with the rental agencies, and helps prevent lock outs, and double fines for losing BOTH keys. It also allows either of us to access the car independently of the other.”

Personally, I hate it when the rental car agencies put two keys on the same ring. It makes no sense to me. You might want to check with the rental company about cutting the metal cord, but I like the idea. Thanks, Pat!




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5 Comments On "What to Do When You Get Two Rental Car Keys"
  1. Richard J DeAgazio|

    I have been annoyed by the 2 two keys on one ring. I questioned the practice with a counter agent and told him that I was going to separate them as they are too bulky to carry in my pocket. He told me that there would be a substantial charge if I did that! HERTZ

  2. Dieter Geihtner|

    I rent cars for over 200 days a year and I ALWAYS separate the keys. I carry a Leatherman (in my checked bag) to cut the cable holding the 2 keys together and 2 key rings. I often work in rural locations and am terrified about locking myself out of a rental car.
    However, I ALWAYS carry some small zip-ties with me to pit the keys and the rental car company’s barcode tag back together before I return the car so that I make sure that they know both keys are there – If you don’t and they don’t see both keys, you might get charged a replacement fee.

  3. Dan|

    Indeed, I hate it when they give you two keys cabled together….and it seems to be happening more and more. The trouble is that car keys are not keys anymore but bulky remote controls! And, when they’re tied together….well, that makes for a very large bulky bulge in your pocket. And, of course, I’m not one to brag. But, trying to deal with this lump of “keys” is a problem! It’s difficult to get them in and out of your pocket…and, difficult to use in the car. What are they thinking? I always cut them apart! But this often requires hefty wire cutters…that most don’t have access to. Grrrrrrr!

  4. Ian Livingston
    Ian Livingston|

    From reader Christopher B.: “They put both keys on the same ring because the car is not always returned where rented.”

  5. Jeffrey s mastin|

    I thought I was the only one with this. I don’t cut it per se. Somehow thankfully it always comes apart as if someone put a metal rod in there and twisted it. I give it back zip tied together. Yes I understand why they do it so I make sure they are connected back together when teturned