Am I too dumb to rent a car in France?

Apr 14th, 2002, 04:30 AM
Posts: n/a
Am I too dumb to rent a car in France?

Renting through Auto Europe and I can't figure out whether to take the basic rate or the inclusive. I can use an AMEX Optima card which seems to cover theft and collision but, even after talking to the representative, I'm still fuzzy on the legalese. Is it just "easier" to take the inclusive? (I have no travel agent to turn to; you're it!)
Apr 14th, 2002, 04:39 AM
Phyllis Pearsall
Posts: n/a
not sure about this, but I don't think you have a choice. I think they offer the basic as a teaser.

I would go with the all inclusive. better safe than sorry. it's likely only 100 bucks??

Apr 14th, 2002, 05:00 AM
Posts: n/a
I advise people to make this decision based on what you have been comfortable with in the past.

Have you done any of the following:

1. rented a car without the additional insurance coverage (in your own country, or anywhere) 10-20 times in the last decade? if so, then maybe no reason to change what you're doing, just because it's France.

2. had to deal with actually making a claim against your credit card's "coverage" due to theft, collision (or liability), and - - a) how did that go for you? b) were you satisfied? c) did you end up with out-of-pocket costs anyhow?

3. learned enough French that you could have a basic conversation with a police officer or other driver in case you are involved in a collision?

My own answers are:

1. yes
2. a) badly; b) no; c) yes
3. yes

And I choose to decline the coverage provided by the car rental companies. In nearly 25 years of renting, I figure I have saved about $2000 and I am out of pocket about $600 (four separate incidents; two of those - - both in Washington DC oddly enough - - cost me nothing despite not having additional coverage; I think that good police reports were a big factor, and neither one was a collision, they fell under "comprehensive").

One last point - - right or wrong, I would advise NOT relying on credit card coverage if you are driving the car into Italy. I understand that many credit cards' coverage is NOT valid when driving in Italy.

Best wishes,

Apr 14th, 2002, 07:02 AM
Posts: n/a
Thank you for your response. From your criteria, sounds like I'd better go "inclusive". I'll be stuck with big deductibles, though. After seeing so many postings on this subject and still not "getting it", I wish someone had a service to evaluate the options. I'd gladly pay a fee to keep me out of trouble.
Apr 14th, 2002, 07:54 AM
Posts: n/a
I rented a car in France not really
worrying about what "everything" would
cost knowing that my buying power was
better there than in the US, and was
surprised when I got my credit card bill
that it was so reasonable for all that
I got. My biggest complaint was having
to find diesel fuel to fill up.
Apr 14th, 2002, 08:27 AM
Posts: n/a
I would add that it depends where you are driving. I just got back from driving in Arles, and I'm glad I had the insurance even though I didn't need it. Piece of mind is worth something. In a more "wide open" area I may not have needed it as much.
Apr 14th, 2002, 03:38 PM
Posts: n/a
to the top
Apr 14th, 2002, 04:42 PM
Posts: n/a

It is my understanding that if you live in the USA and own a car that is insuranced, when you rent a car here your own car insurance covers you for accidents. Your own car insurance will not cover rentals outside of the USA. Take the full coverage. If you depend on your credit card and have a fender bender, they will max out your card. You have to pay the damage and then your credit card pays you. This can take months and the interest keeps on ticking on your credit card. Also, if you want to fight with the rental agency it is in another country. I have had two friends that had fender benders that took 8 months to sort out and their card was to the max the whole time. When I am out of the courtry I want to "walk away". For me it is worth the extra money. I have been to Europe many times and I have always rented a car with all the insurances and I have never had an accident and I do not worry.
Apr 14th, 2002, 04:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Insurance is like playing the lottery. I don't believe there can ever be some guaranteed answer. Most people who don't do the full insurance are happy because they've never needed it, and of course they have saved money by not taking it. Those who have had a problem, swear by it because they know what a problem it can be trying to collect from your credit card or insurance agency. I just chalk it up as an expense of traveling. For peace of mind, I always take the full coverage.
Apr 14th, 2002, 08:38 PM
You're someone special
Posts: n/a
I feel so sad when someone has to use that word. You're not too dumb to be my friend.
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