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Sailust | Cancun Spare Tire Scam

Cancun Spare Tire Scam

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I got scammed by the National Car Rental at the Cancun Airport. Here’s a reply to a thread I posted on TripAdvisor:

This happened to us too. It’s a total scam.

I got a car from National in Cancun for two days. January 11th and January 12th, 2009. I was going to have it longer but decided I would save the money and just bus it.

When I returned the car, surprise, surprise, no spare tire! Although the jack was still there, and there was no forced entry. Who steals a spare tire out of a trunk? And magically without making a mark. And leaves the stereo and everything else.

Everything became clear. When I picked up the car, the attendant pointed out that there was a spare tire and jack, he even showed me, which I thought was a little odd. I didn’t get a good look at it because I wasn’t planning on getting scammed. I can’t even say for certain if it was in there to begin with.

I started to raise my voice and tried to reason with them. I said how could this have happened without there being a mark? Someone must have had a key. Does this happen a lot of Cancun? Are there spare tire thieves preying on rental cars at National? I plumb accused them of robbing me. I said I wasn’t paying and I wasn’t going to sign the receipt. Later I realized that I already signed two credit card receipts when I picked it up. I’m going to try and cancel it with my credit card company. They charged me 2700 pesos, that’s nearly $200 for a spare tire. I mistakenly bought the full coverage insurance and thought if I crashed the car, I wouldn’t have to pay anything.

Their reactions sealed their guilt. They were not moved by my reasoning or anger. If it had been stolen, you would think they would have been sympathetic or surprised. They bowed their heads in shame and maintained their well-practiced stone-like posture. Eventually, all they rebutted with was, “you were responsible for the tire.” Not, “Don’t accuse us” or “we didn’t do it” or “this thing happens all the time” or “I’m sorry for your misfortune.” At least they could have faked it. They just kept saying, “you were responsible for the tire.” It’s not there and you have to pay us.

I’m sure they took it out after they showed it to me when I went in to sign the papers. These missing spare tires can’t be a coincidence.


  1. Mom Says:

    Sounds like National is running a side business. Glad you stuck up for yourself. I haven’t checked your website for awhile after reading about you almost getting robbed. You know how I worry. Be careful. You look great–like your haircut. Love you.

  2. Dionna Says:

    We just got scammed at national rent a car in cancun! We rented it at the airport too!! We turned the car in and the spare tire was missing!!! They charged us 377$$$ for one spare tire! This is so ridiculous, no wonder why no one goes to mexico because they rob you. They didnt look suprised and they kept whispering and told us that it was there and now its not. There were no signs of a break in and i think they pulled the tire out when we were inside signing papers. DO NOT RENT A CAR FROM NATIONAL IN CANCUN!!!! You will get robbed!!!!

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