Beginner Car Rental Questions

 
Old May 24, 12, 10:31 pm
  #1  
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Beginner Car Rental Questions

I have never rented a car before, so my apologies for the stupid questions!

I am 23, have an Ontario license, and want to rent a car from NJ for a weekend.

Questions:

I found a very good rate on Expedia. In some places it says 'base rate' but in others it says 'includes taxes and fees.' Can I expect to pay over and above this listed rate? How much?

I am under 25 so I will have to pay the young driver fee ($25 I believe?). If I want to register an additional under 25 drive is it just the additional fee or do I have to pay the underage rate again?

I am quite confused about insurance. I know my credit card has a very good insurance program but the agreement says it does not cover 3rd party damage. Would that be covered by my car insurance? I do not own a car but am listed as a driver on my parents' car. Any other insurance I should look to purchase?

Thanks so much!
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Old May 25, 12, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by sadiqhassan View Post
I have never rented a car before, so my apologies for the stupid questions!

I am 23, have an Ontario license, and want to rent a car from NJ for a weekend.

Questions:

I found a very good rate on Expedia. In some places it says 'base rate' but in others it says 'includes taxes and fees.' Can I expect to pay over and above this listed rate? How much?

I am under 25 so I will have to pay the young driver fee ($25 I believe?). If I want to register an additional under 25 drive is it just the additional fee or do I have to pay the underage rate again?

I am quite confused about insurance. I know my credit card has a very good insurance program but the agreement says it does not cover 3rd party damage. Would that be covered by my car insurance? I do not own a car but am listed as a driver on my parents' car. Any other insurance I should look to purchase?

Thanks so much!
There are no stupid questions, especially when it comes to rental car.

You can expect to pay 20-25% more in taxes & fees for a rental car than the "base" price

You will be assesed a young drivers fee $15-$25 depending on the local policies since it can be different wherever you go. My suggestion is to compare rates. Most of the time im going to Hertz since they have the 144314 CDP (discount code) that waives fees for underage drivers 20-24. If you want to register an additional driver that is underage just ask the local rental car company. Also if you are a Hertz #1 Gold member your fees are waived for underage drivers and I think you can add an additional driver at no cost, but im not sure.

Ok, so with insurance be very careful. Your car insurance may cover rental car damage but you have to ask your insurer about this benefit as not all policies cover rental cars. Your credit card may give you LDW/CDW which is insurance that covers the car, but it might be Secondary which means that your regular car insurance would have to be "exhausted" (all used up) for the Secondary coverage to kick in. or if you dont have any insurance your the Secondary becomes the Primary insurance.

On a side note: Your credit card might not cover "loss of use". Loss of use- means that the rental car company is still charging you for the number of days it takes to fix the car; so basically you are still renting it. The way to avoid this is to buy LDW/CDW or if your card includes loss of use then you are safe from that.

Also even if your insurance or credit card has LDW coverage, it usually does not apply to anything thats higher than a Premium car or Mid Size SUV. Again you have to check with the companies to see what is the limit in car class.

LDW/CDW Loss Damage Waiver/Collision Damage Waiver- Covers the rental car against accidents
SLI Supplemental Liability Insurance - 3rd Party Damages i.e. If you hit another car or run into a building you would be covered under this insurance
ROADSIDE- Is basically roadside assistance and covers tires that LDW does not cover and towing, etc.
PAE - Personal Accident Insurance - Covers the driver and passengers of the car against Death or injuries
UMP - Uninsured Motorist Protection - If a Uninsured motorist hits you UMP would pay for the damages and medical bills etc. This one is usually bought with PAE

There might be other coverages, but these are the basic ones.

My suggestion is to at least have Loss Damage Waiver with every rental in some form (Credit Card, buy from Rental Company, etc.) , but its really up to your discretion on what coverages you should take.

Also some companies will try to sucker you in to buying everything, especially when the rental agents are making commission so be careful. Even though im in the 20-24 age range I was offered to upgrade to a Chevy Camaro for $25.00/day which I declined because I knew that
1. I would probably be pulled over in a heartbeat
2. My Credit Card insurance probably wont cover it since its in a higher "class" than the Midsize SUV
3. Even the local policy dont allow underage people to rent convertibles
4. Its just too expensive

Sorry for the long post, but thats the basics to rent a car

The Camaro would have been fun though

Last edited by am1108; May 25, 12 at 6:04 pm
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Old May 26, 12, 1:10 am
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Originally Posted by sadiqhassan View Post
I found a very good rate on Expedia. In some places it says 'base rate' but in others it says 'includes taxes and fees.' Can I expect to pay over and above this listed rate? How much?
am1108 took care of pretty much everything, but I wanted to point out that Expedia (or any other booking channel) should be pretty clear about whether the total is the base rate or includes all taxes and fees.

I use Travelocity to find the best rates (their pricing grid is the easiest to see and understand) but then I go directly to the rental company's site to process the actual booking. The prices are usually the same but there's a lot less hassle on the rental company's own site, and you usually get a good, detailed breakdown of all of the charges. I usually then print out my final confirmation page from the rental company site, since if there's any dispute or question about charges at the rental counter, the printout from the company's own site usually resolves it quickly. (If you do book through Expedia or another third-party site, you can usually pull up your reservation at the rental company site and print it there. There, too, you can verify if the price you saw on Expedia is everything or just the base rate.)
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Old May 26, 12, 11:56 pm
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Renting on travelocity or Expedia sites you pay upfront

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
am1108 took care of pretty much everything, but I wanted to point out that Expedia (or any other booking channel) should be pretty clear about whether the total is the base rate or includes all taxes and fees.

I use Travelocity to find the best rates (their pricing grid is the easiest to see and understand) but then I go directly to the rental company's site to process the actual booking. The prices are usually the same but there's a lot less hassle on the rental company's own site, and you usually get a good, detailed breakdown of all of the charges. I usually then print out my final confirmation page from the rental company site, since if there's any dispute or question about charges at the rental counter, the printout from the company's own site usually resolves it quickly. (If you do book through Expedia or another third-party site, you can usually pull up your reservation at the rental company site and print it there. There, too, you can verify if the price you saw on Expedia is everything or just the base rate.)
So if that is ok and your good with your rate, car etc... But I usually find that with car rentals I check rates from time to time, as the rate for Mco gets lower closer to my pick up day. Therefore I can cancel my first car and get the better rate when booking right on the car rental site. Good luck and bring your own Gps as that will save you money not to rent theirs per day.
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Old May 27, 12, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Packup View Post
Renting on travelocity or Expedia sites you pay upfront
Welcome to FlyerTalk.

Actually, that is incorrect. You do not pay up front on Travelocity or Expedia. You pay up front only on Priceline or Hotwire when using their special bidding functions.

Also, note that most FTers don't read the "post title"--what I quoted above. I almost missed what you said until I took a second look at your post trying to figure out why it didn't make sense and then I saw the post title. Better to leave the title blank and put it in the body of the post.
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Old May 27, 12, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Packup View Post
So if that is ok and your good with your rate, car etc... But I usually find that with car rentals I check rates from time to time, as the rate for Mco gets lower closer to my pick up day. Therefore I can cancel my first car and get the better rate when booking right on the car rental site. Good luck and bring your own Gps as that will save you money not to rent theirs per day.
A lot of times rates do drop the closer you get to the date, but usually its better to reserve it and keep checking up on it at least if its once a week. They do that because there are "no-show" factors. Its like the stock market because if the demand is high then the prices are jacked up, but when there is availability prices are low. On weekends (Fri, Sat) "no-show" on reservations run as high as 45%. Also remember that some people cancel reservations because the either
A) Found another mode of transportation {bus, train, etc.}
B) Sharing one vehicle instead of renting multiple
C) Customers sometimes make multiple reservations to get a lower price, then they cancel most of them close to the rental date and
D) Travel plans change. Which makes the rental companies lower the prices that same week to lure in last minute travelers.

also another couple tips I want to add are...

1. Never rent without a reservation (walk up rates) because rates will usually be higher than if you had made a reservation

2. The "weekend" starts Thursday in the afternoon for most rental car companies so your rate can be cheaper if you dont need the car until then

3. Be careful with using debit/check cards as they may do a credit check and you might be declined if your credit is bad.

4.Most of the rental car companies I know have a "hold" that they require so you can rent the vehicle.

5. When you are signing to rent the car, make sure the prices matches up with what you have booked and the additional options that are bought, because there are cases where people get charged for insurance/services that they did not buy or agree to.

Most of this is listed in the Disclamer, Local Policy sections when you are booking. The key is to be aware and be careful. Good luck on your rental

Packup is right when he says bring your own GPS because you can be charged an extra $13.00/day... same goes for the toll pass options too (if you have one)
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Old Jun 20, 13, 3:16 pm
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Good morning I'm new in this forum. I have a question and I hope someone will help me.
It's the first time I've rented a car and I need to understand how car insurance works.
If my car is damaged by weather conditions (hail or other) does insurance cover these damages?
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Old Jun 20, 13, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by bea.star View Post
Good morning I'm new in this forum. I have a question and I hope someone will help me.
It's the first time I've rented a car and I need to understand how car insurance works.
If my car is damaged by weather conditions (hail or other) does insurance cover these damages?
If you buy the rental company's coverage (LDW), yes. If you do not, then you are responsible for any damage (including acts of God). You should check to see if your personal car insurance will cover your rental car. Be sure to ask about any exclusions, too--my insurance company won't cover loss of use, which is the fee the rental company charges to keep the car on rent to you (after you've returned it with damage) until it's fixed and back in their fleet ready to be rented again. LDW does waive loss-of-use fees (as well as administrative fees and diminution of value, other fees typically charged in the case of damage to your rental vehicle).
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Old Jun 21, 13, 4:05 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
If you buy the rental company's coverage (LDW), yes. If you do not, then you are responsible for any damage (including acts of God). You should check to see if your personal car insurance will cover your rental car. Be sure to ask about any exclusions, too--my insurance company won't cover loss of use, which is the fee the rental company charges to keep the car on rent to you (after you've returned it with damage) until it's fixed and back in their fleet ready to be rented again. LDW does waive loss-of-use fees (as well as administrative fees and diminution of value, other fees typically charged in the case of damage to your rental vehicle).
Thank you for your answer.
do I have to contac Dollar to inform them of the damage suffered by hail?
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Old Jun 21, 13, 6:36 am
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Originally Posted by bea.star View Post
Thank you for your answer.
do I have to contac Dollar to inform them of the damage suffered by hail?
I don't think that's necessary. Usually it's a good idea to contact the rental company if you've been in an accident, but for minor damage not involving another vehicle, I don't think there's anything in the rental contract requiring you to notify them.
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Old Sep 28, 13, 11:56 am
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Does the rate includes winter tires?

Wanted to rent a car for the very 1st time. used carrentalsaver and found out that Dollar offers the lowest rate in Prague, Czech Republic. However, there's no where in my reservation process online stating whether winter tires is included or not. Furthermore, there's no mention about underage surcharge, I'm 24. Can anyone please help? Thanks a lot.

Regards.
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