Car hire extras - are they necessary?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by flamingo, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. Going to Florida in a few months time, and when looking into car hire (usually able to borrow, but not this time :( ) , I saw that the collision damage waver, Excess Liability Insurance, etc. doubles the cost of hire. I can't quite understand what these extras are for, and the small print is bugger-all help.

    What's the view, are they necessary or just a cash-cow for the car hire companies? :?

    Thanks for the help
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    It depends how willing you are to take risk.

    Collision damage waiver or excess waiver will prevent you paying the full excess in the event that you have a minor shunt, or someone damages the hire car in a car park for example. The excess can be as much as $1,000. If you have the money to pay the $1000, and want to take the chance, then don't buy it. If you are not so confident - buy it.

  3. Thanks for that, the company websites are very vague on the subject, and won't specify how much the excess is.
  4. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Following extensive research, and many years practical experience, I may be able to help.

    1. Some of the stuff they try to sell at the desk is a 'commission earner' for the employees.

    2. You need virtually all the insurances you can [although some are not necessary]. However, most companies are very vague about it all.

    3. I ALWAYS rent through THESE GUYS ... and I usually end up with Dollar Rent-a-Car DOLLAR. Do it with Airline Network, not direct with Dollar ... you'll find it's cheaper!

    The reason I use Airline Network is that they include, in the price, all the Insurances you need ... no bullshit at the desk, when you're tired and wanting to get to the hotel. Just start the booking process [without paying, of course] and you'll see what I mean. Once you've got as far as choosing your car, click on the Terms And Conditions link and you'll get the pop-up.

    I've done it for you ... a Jeep Grand Cherokee at Miami through Airline Network with Dollar at £23 a day ... HERE ... now click that Terms and Conditions link :wink:

    The only dick-dance is on fuel ... whether you return empty, fill up yourself or whatever. I have eventually settled for the "Buy A Tank of Gas" [which costs about £40]. You drive off with a full tank, and you return the car with as little as you dare. It's not necessarily the cheapest, but it saves you trying to find somewhere to fill up on the way to the airport.

    And don't forget to check the latest rules from TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
  5. Always a great adrenaline rush trying to return it as close to bone dry as possible, but this deal does generally rip you off. You will always be paying for a full tank and giving them some fuel back (unless you do doughnuts in the carpark until you run out of fuel and push it into the rental car-park...) and if you do splutter to a stop 2k's out and miss the flight then its a very false economy. IMHO its better to avoid the stress, fill up when you are within 20k's of the end and avoid the white knuckle ride in. The needle will still be at the top and you can walk away with the mild (ok, very mild) satisfaction that you have cheated them rather than vice versa.
    Happy holiday
  6. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Basically I agree ... I know the area where I go, and I know how much fuel I need to get me the 25 miles to the airport! Depends on where you are, of course ... there are no filling stations on the DC Beltway and the Dulles Airport Highway! But, not always the cheapest solution and potentially stressful to a "stranger in town". :wink:
  7. Thanks guys! Special thanks, Blue, for doing that legwork for me! I'll bring you back an alligator! :)
  8. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    No probs, mate, they're just bookmarks on the PC!

    I've done this one or two times a year for the last 10 of so ... even the guy at the Dollar desk at Dulles recognises me now!
  9. Just pay for an extra insurance product that covers all the extras you mentioned and a few more potential 'liabilities' i.e. If you have tyre go 'pop' -you pay, if you damage the underside - you pay, if the windscreen cracks - you pay, so a single payment once a year covers all these eventualities and more. It is a shrewd investment.

    Go to

    Believe me , it makes sense!
  10. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    I have looked at that quite carefully, and bottled out. :roll:

    1. OK, I can afford to pay the excess ... sorry :)

    2. I worry deeply about having 2 insurances covering the same thing, and then having US Lawyers arguing for years over which policy has primacy in the particular case.

    I will however re-visit to see if anything changes my mind.
    ... edit = that would cost me £218 a year. 8O

    As Mrs B_S commented in the West Drawing Room when I was mentioning this thread ... "it's OK until somebody quietly changes their Terms and Conditions". i was therefore quite glad to see my test-run for Flamingo came up with the usual website and all the other bits and pieces.
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Flamingo ... this has just come to me from BA Club by email ...

    there's a SALE on ... HERE

    Not just Club Class ... look down the page.

    Any help? Or too late?

    And check PMs, please! :wink:
  12. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Flamingo has just reminded me, by PM, of the way they try to sell an upgrade at the desk. They'll quote the daily rate, of course ... be quick on the maths to work out how much more you'll pay. I'd guess they get commission for doing that. But you have your pre-paid Airline network Voucher ... you chose your vehicle in the calm of your own home, not at the desk after an 8 hour flight!!

    BUT ... WAIT ...

    ACTUALLY ... I've found through Airline Network [DON'T go direct to Dollar!!!] that they quite often don't have the one you've pre-booked. That is THEIR problem ... you then get a free upgrade. Open your mouth too quickly and you will end up paying for something they're just about to give you for nothing!!!

    Three out of the last 4 trips [through Dulles] my good friend Amir at the desk has been over a barrel ... he'd run out of Jeep Grand Cherokees and had to give me [for nothing extra] a Dodge Durango instead. Oh dear, how sad!
    [For the uninitiated, just Google those vehicles ... the Durango is like a leather equipped house on wheels ... lovely jubbly!]. Depends on how long you're staying, but the price difference against the "full-on USA experience" might be worth the extra. 8)
  13. Dear BS
    'If' you foul up and have a prang then you pays the bill then reclaim on the policy ---that is how I understand it?
  14. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    My "prang" mentioned above involved nothing ... I returned a very slightly cracked car. My rental insurance covered everything, I just gave it back and it was their problem ... I like that approach. I never heard another word ... literally. No paperwork, no nothing ... utterly NADA. THEIR car, THEIR insurance ... I just happened to be the driver.

    If it had been a massive accident, it might have been different. But somehow I doubt it ... just make sure [in the USA] you get the Police report reference number.