BA/Avis car hire - additional driver

Old May 6, 22, 12:33 pm
  #1  
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BA/Avis car hire - additional driver

We are going on a BA Holiday to Denver later this month (flight and car hire)
We are only Blue members of BAEC,but I believe we get an additional driver free with our car rental.
We have never done this before and wondered if there was any problem getting the extra driver free.
The reason I ask,is that there doesnt seem to be any reference to it in our booking.
Any advice or information would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your help.
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Old May 6, 22, 12:52 pm
  #2  
 
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Have regularly booked with BA and AVIS, including to Denver, and never had any problem adding second driver. If you want peace of mind, book the car and then call AVIS direct quoting your reference and they will add the additional driver.
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Old May 6, 22, 1:25 pm
  #3  
 
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I always book a rental car with BA because it gives you the bonus of a second driver for free. If you have a printed copy of your car rental voucher it does mention it on page 3. We encountered a problem once when we were refused and I had to find and show them the relevant bit and they relented. I always highlight it now.
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Old May 6, 22, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by AHGOLF97 View Post
We are going on a BA Holiday to Denver later this month (flight and car hire)
We are only Blue members of BAEC,but I believe we get an additional driver free with our car rental.
We have never done this before and wondered if there was any problem getting the extra driver free.
The reason I ask,is that there doesnt seem to be any reference to it in our booking.
Any advice or information would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your help.
Also agree never had any problems with 2nd driver, print your rental contract and highlight as suggested.
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Old May 6, 22, 4:50 pm
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+1 for having no problems in this scenario. Avis have always honoured it easily. Just have the paperwork as backup. I know youre going to Colorado but as an FYI a second driver is free in California for all rentals for all companies, however you book.

I also once had a situation in the USA where I had booked an Avis rental directly and wanted to add a US colleague to the rental/insurance as we were doing a longish trip while I was there; we drove back to the airport rental station to ask to add him and they said if hes your colleague then hes automatically covered, off you go. No paperwork checked or issued, nothing. Seemed very relaxed and even puzzled as to why we had come in to ask!

Additionally if you have time then get an Avis Preferred account setup online with avis.co.uk and get the app and call BAH to get them to add your new preferred number to the rental. They did this for me once after I failed to input it at booking stage. The rental should then appear in your app. You have to put your driving licence and payment card details onto the Avis system as part of setting up the preferred account so they can do the paperwork in advance and charge the deposit but it should mean you dont need to queue at the counter at some rental stations - you go straight to a board in the car park which tells you where your pre-allocated car is and you get in and go. Even if that doesnt always work out then you can still use the preferred queue or skip to the front of the main queue.

And further if you have a priority pass lounge card directly or through Amex gold card you can ask Avis to bump you straight to Preferred plus level which gives a free second driver however you book and some other benefits - I did this a few days ago through the messaging portion of the Avis app. Just gave them my Priority Pass card number and it was done in a day or two. I then found out that Mastercard World Elite cardholders get the top level Preferred Presidents Club with even more benefits. My wife has the new Barclaycard Avios plus card and I have a supplementary card so I thought I would try it and found an online form where I just had to put name, email, Avis preferred number and what program I was claiming status match/elevation from and selected world elite. No proof was asked for and I am now the top level in Avis preferred. NB even if you dont have priority pass or world elite cards, note that no proof was asked for 😉. Not sure it will get me a whole lot more as I dont do that many rentals, but you never know.

Skipping the queue is the best benefit even at base level.
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Old May 6, 22, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by allycat53 View Post
I know youre going to Colorado but as an FYI a second driver is free in California for all rentals for all companies, however you book.
In California, that now depends on the relationship between the renter and the additional driver:

https://blog.autoslash.com/all-about...iver-fees/amp/
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Old May 6, 22, 11:47 pm
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Weve been booking our US car hire through BAH for the last 10 years and never had an issue as Spouse/Partners are covered in the US, not just California:

https://www.avis.com/en/help/usa-faqs/additional-driver

Was made aware of this by a Preferred desk agent in Dallas back in 2016 having queued to add my wife.

I second the Preferred advice; it saves so much time. The latest version of the App is good, allowing you to browse alternative vehicles and swap out your allocation if you so choose. In certain locations it also supports express exit, so you get a QR code in the App and scan it at the exit barrier which automatically lets you out- no human interaction at all. Last month at SFO, from getting off the train at the consolidated car rental facility to hitting the highway took literally 5 minutes- brilliant!
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Old May 7, 22, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by shonerm View Post
I second the Preferred advice; it saves so much time. The latest version of the App is good, allowing you to browse alternative vehicles and swap out your allocation if you so choose. In certain locations it also supports express exit, so you get a QR code in the App and scan it at the exit barrier which automatically lets you out- no human interaction at all. Last month at SFO, from getting off the train at the consolidated car rental facility to hitting the highway took literally 5 minutes- brilliant!
Which app are you using? I find the Apple offered uk/eu iOS app (version 5.4.1) a little old style and sometimes a bit buggy. I can’t see a way to swap to an alternative vehicle for a rental I have in a week in USA but maybe I’m not close enough yet. I can’t remember seeing it on previous rentals either.

Last edited by allycat53; May 7, 22 at 1:34 am
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Old May 7, 22, 1:39 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by allycat53 View Post
Which app are you using? I find the uk iOS app quite basic and a bit buggy. I cant see a way to swap to an alternative vehicle for a rental I have in a week in USA but maybe Im not close enough yet. I cant remember seeing it on previous rentals either.
On the App, go to the relevant booking (view booking) then from the menu select your vehicle and it should have an edit button. It does not work if you booked via BA (or presumably other travel agents). It normally shows the full rental cost, even if you prepaid. And also, be careful if you have prepaid and select a cheaper car as it does not refund the difference, though you can use the credit towards extras such as topping up insurance. The alternative is to use the current cancellation flexibility and just make a new reservation!
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Old May 7, 22, 4:25 am
  #10  
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BA/Avis car hire - additional driver

Thank you everyone for the great advice and supplying some information that we were not aware of.
We both joined Avis Preferred and our booking is showing on the app.
We booked via BA Holidays,but we are not too bothered about the option to change our car.
It all sounds as though all is fine regarding us both driving. and thank you for your reassurance.
One final question -
Am I correct in assuming we dont need to take out excess insurance?
Thanks again for your help.
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Old May 7, 22, 4:44 am
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When we have used Avis through BAH we always had an additional driver in addition to a spouse free of charge.
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Old May 7, 22, 4:51 am
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I usually go with AVIS due to the second driver unless a competitor is so much cheaper that paying them for an additional driver is still cheaper than AVIS...

Having said that with the second driver hiring out of Italy in the last few years despite explaining that I should get a second driver free, and already having put my Exec Club details in the booking to get the second driver free, I still end up being charged for it. They don't understand that at the booking office and I have always been charged. I get the money back but it is a pain having to chase AVIS each time for it.
The only time I didn't get charged was when complaining and getting money back for the previous time they added comments in to my next booking, however the next two times after that I have hired from AVIS there I have again been charged at the time and had to chase for a refund. All of these were booked via BA or part of a BAH booking.
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Old May 7, 22, 6:28 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by AHGOLF97 View Post
Thank you everyone for the great advice and supplying some information that we were not aware of.
We both joined Avis Preferred and our booking is showing on the app.
We booked via BA Holidays,but we are not too bothered about the option to change our car.
It all sounds as though all is fine regarding us both driving. and thank you for your reassurance.
One final question -
Am I correct in assuming we dont need to take out excess insurance?
Thanks again for your help.
I have always found on US rentals with Avis, there is no excess on the insurance and it is fully comprehensive.
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Old May 7, 22, 7:09 am
  #14  
 
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Obviously look carefully at your specific booking for the terms of CDW and any applicable excess. They do vary by rental car provider and US state. Also look at what is not covered - typically windscreen/windows, tyres and roof may not be covered and there may or may not be a cap on your liability exposure for those items.

If you do decide to take top up rental insurance, typically any additional driver is only covered IF they are named on the primary rental agreement. The typical US additional driver (family member, business associate) that don't require naming on the rental agreement for the purposes of the rental company, will not be covered by top up insurance. So if you decide to buy top up, insist any additional driver must be named on the rental agreement.

Last edited by rjn21; May 7, 22 at 9:15 am
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Old May 10, 22, 5:59 am
  #15  
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Thank you everyone for your help.
The insurance seems OK and I have checked about the other driver as well.
I have a much better understanding after your advice and everything seems in order.
Thanks again.
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