A question about Car rentals

Old Apr 8th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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A question about Car rentals

We are flying into Idaho Falls on June 7 and renting a car for eight days. My question is should I buy the additional car insurance for $20 a day through the car rental agency? We are covered under our state farm policy so I really don't see the need of buying additional. But on the rental car page it says something about if we have a wreck that they can charge us the daily rate for everyday it's being repaired!!! So what should we do???
iluvmyrott is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2006, 05:02 AM
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The "out of use" fee is something they cooked up in the past few years since everyone caught on to the insurance scheme. Someone here posted that that fee can only be applied if they have no other cars to rent out - but I do not have confirmation on that from a verifiable source. Might check fine print, or even your insurance company might know.
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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If you use a Gold or Platinum level credit card the insurance is also covered.
Have you shopped on Hotwire or Priceline for the car?
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Speaking of rentals,
Doing a search for something else, i read that when renting a car, you should tell them you're 'driving it around town', and NOT tell them you're taking it out on the road for sightseeing. I'd never heard that before, is it true? Can someone elaborate?
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 05:21 AM
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I rent all the time, and what I do, for peace of mind, is buy half the insurance- the part that coverages damage to the vehicle. I would depend on my own insurance/and credit card insurance for liability if needed.
I have experienced scratches, dings, even a stone through a window-and never had to worry. Its worth it.
You need to tell them where you are going though- because the rental companies note it on the report and if you have a problem elsewhere, they can and will charge surcharges.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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Never heard of "driving around town". You are renting a car for your purposes.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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As long as you make sure there are not exclusions on car for where you can drive it, I seriously doubt the rental company cares if it is around town or around the state. We had an insurance rental (Enterprise) and we were prohibited from taking it out of New England. Have also had cars which had limited region. Also, did a one-way car rental to be returned in California - car then needs to be a "California car" that meets California emission standards.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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I never get the extra insurance. I go to my insurance agent, she types up that we have all the necessary insurance. Which we do now that we have a newer car, last year we paid alittle extra on our insurance for the period we used the rental, a whole lot cheaper that what the car rental places want to rip you off. I just used National this year, no problems, they did not even ask if I wanted or had the insurance, even though I was prepared to present proof if they had.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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I'm not a US citizen but this post may help others in my position if faced with similar circumstances.

18 months ago, I had almost 5 months of the worst of battles with Dollar and the agent in the UK with whom I reserved the car. Following a long an harrowing flight from the UK, I went to Dollar airport desk with my reservation docs in hand, all pre-paid, US insurance and all. Was told that I didn't have the right kind of insurance and unless I paid about $550 extra, they would not allow me to take the car. I have rented cars in the US for many years as I need to go there for work as well as leisure, and although I knew they were wrong, I couldn't argue as the 8 hour time difference meant that the agent I booked through in the UK, would be unavailable. I needed the car to get to my destination and I had no option but to pay up using my VISA card.

Upon my return and trying to obtain reimbursement, the rental agent here in the UK was worse than useless - prevarication, lame excuses, delays in responding, etc. My attempts to contact someone at Dollar who could understand, let alone resolve the problem, were fruitless and cost me a whole lot more in international telephone calls.

The upshot of it all was, VISA sorted everything out, to my eternal gratitude, not Dollar and not the rental agency here in the UK. However, faced with bullying and intimidatory sales tactics in a foreign country, and after a long flight, I have some sympathy with folk who just sign on the dotted line.

I have to say that was the only time in the US that anything like it has happened. I think I'm reasonably astute and aware of such tactics, but this one time there seemed no way out if I wanted the car, and I gave in. Dollar would not accept the documents that stated I had all the insurance one could possibly require in the US and an aggressive salesperson said, 'Ma'am, if you want the car, you pay the extras.'

When booking a car now, I insist on 'not Dollar, thank you.'

What would Americans do in a similar situation abroad?


Thank you
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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The "loss of use" fee is included in the coverage that comes with some credit cards now. However, if you are renting from a big company it is unlikely that they will be "out of cars" and therefore able to charge you for "loss of use". You can make an online reservation with that company, for those days, and present it as proof that they indeed had cars available those days.

Avis charges a $100 "processing and handling" fee and perhaps other companies do, too. Bottom line they'll get you one way or the other IF you have a collision. However, in Idaho I'd probably be less worried than someplace like Los Angeles or Boston.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Some car rental agents do everything they can to scare you into buying extra insurance. The best deal is to rely on your own insurance and to rent a car using a credit card that includes additional coverage.

If you never have accidents, chances are you won't have an accident during your eight-day rental.

However, if worry will spoil your vacation, $160 may be a bargain for peace of mind.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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I'd suggest getting the damage waiver (DW).

Until recently I never took insurance either - until I had a hit-n-run - had to turn in a car with a bad dent and scratch on it. Buying the $9.95 a day DW would have saved me mucho bucks.

MaryJoMargaux: my sympathies. Me, too, I try not to rent from Dollar even tho I live here in the States. Thrifty is another one. Advantage is the worst.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Easy Traveler:

Why didn't your own car insurance cover the damage to the rental car?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Very helpful information in the responses here.

Bunkhedena, I imagine that you are suggesting that 'your own car insurance' would automatically cover damage to rental car in the USA? That's not the case here in the UK. When my car needs its regular service (not sure what you call it in the US), I have to phone my insurer to get cover for use of the courtesy car the garage gives me for the duration. This would also apply if I rented a car anywhere in the UK.

I quite like Alamo, they never give me grief.

MaryJo

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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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I wonder what would happen if you gave them the old "Jerry Seinfeld" response.

" I want all the insurance you offer because I am going to beat the hell out of this car".

Has anyone actually ever done this?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Way to go, GMoney!

MJM
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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The "loss of use" charge is definitely a new wrinkle. I presume it's a way to make up for the fact that most people no longer take the CDW since they've discovered their credit card company will cover it.

However, not all credit cards cover "loss of use." You'll need to call to find out if your specific card provides this coverage. I found out that my American Express did not cover it, but my Visa card did.

As to the issue of telling them where you'll be going, I've always found it to be more of a sales ploy than really caring where you're taking the car. I noticed that everytime we fly into PHX, we (and everyone else on line) is asked if we're going to be going to Sedona or the Grand Canyon. I've found that if you say "yes" they then try to talk you into upgrading to an SUV. If you say "no" they switch gears and try to tell you that you have too much luggage and/or passengers and need to upgrade to a larger car.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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To he UK citizen. An "acquaintance" on another board, also from England, was lamenting that UK citizens are absolutely required to have the extra full insurance. He is quite well travelled also, so if you got it waived, consider yourself very fortunate.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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A little prevention might also help. Have only had a few cars with proper air pressure. Most are low. Had a tire blow out on a Dollar car, they said was my fought. Had another Dollar rental from Missoula, Mt who gave me a car with two tires which had the steel belts showing through. One blew in Glacier National park and was up to me to get a replacment. They finally paid me back less the day I lost getting a replacement in Canada (closest tire store). Be sure to check you have spare w/air and tools to put it on. Also check for chips in the windshields & now the covers over some headlights. Make sure they mark it on your copy of the damage report & initial it.
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