Rental Car, best options

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Barefootgirl
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Rental Car, best options

Post by Barefootgirl » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:18 pm

I rarely rent autos, but will be picking one up in the coming week, for 10 days via National Rental Car.

I noticed that approximately 40% of the overall price involves locality fees and surcharges (yikes, Florida, go figure).

Can anyone suggest the best credit card to use to pay for the car that might offer the best benefits for rentals (like insurance, etc.)?

Thanks
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ResearchMed
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:20 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I rarely rent autos, but will be picking one up in the coming week, for 10 days via National Rental Car.

I noticed that approximately 40% of the overall price involves locality fees and surcharges (yikes, Florida, go figure).

Can anyone suggest the best credit card to use to pay for the car that might offer the best benefits for rentals (like insurance, etc.)?

Thanks
About those fees... are you by any chance picking up the car at an airport location?
Sometimes it is considerably less expensive to take a shuttle, or even a taxi, to the closest off-site location, even when renting the same category car from the same company.
That can eliminate some/much of those extra fees.

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livesoft
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by livesoft » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:23 pm

As for credit card, it seems unlikely that you are going to get a new credit card in the next week. It also seems likely that you are the person most familiar with the features of your own credit cards.

That said, the last time I rented a car, I used a Citicard which gave a 5% cash-back on rental cars and provided for some rental car insurance, so we declined all requests for addiional insurance.
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by Barefootgirl » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:25 pm

I have a lot of credit cards. I can go through them individually, but also know the BH community comprises several travel hacking wizards that can cut to the chase with best options, give and take you know.
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sperry8
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by sperry8 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:23 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I have a lot of credit cards. I can go through them individually, but also know the BH community comprises several travel hacking wizards that can cut to the chase with best options, give and take you know.
Do you have the United Visa card from Chase? It offers primary insurance (so you don't have to go through your personal insurance first).

If not, it would be best to list your cards so we can take a quick look at the best one.
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frisbee
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by frisbee » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:31 pm

Try pricing the pickup from a non-airport location (dropoff doesn't matter). I've saved hundreds taking an Uber/Cab/Public Transportation to a off-airport location. Kayak can help you there. At Miami right now, the difference for 10 days for Enterprise is $270 off site vs. $700 at the airport.

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Watty
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by Watty » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 pm

Most rental car reservations can be cancelled without a penalty. Keep shopping. A good last minute rental over Christmas may be hard to find so don't cancel your current reservation until you have a better one.

As others have said the airport rentals can be very expensive. I have even rented a car for one day at an airport then dropped it off the next day at a suburban location, and picked up a different rental car right then for a longer rental. I then dropped that car off at the airport on my way out of town. There can be a fee for dropping the car off at a different location but sometimes it is free or minimal.

Check very carefully on where the location of the non-airport rental car office is at since they can be hard to find and may be open limited hours. Sometimes they will be inside a place like a car dealership so they may not be obvious from the street.
Barefootgirl wrote:Can anyone suggest the best credit card to use to pay for the car that might offer the best benefits for rentals (like insurance, etc.)?
Your current car insurance will likely cover you in a rental car. Check with your company to make sure. Ask what coverage you have both for damage to the rental car, or the separate coverage if you are in an accident and hurt someone.

Many but not all credit cards(Visa, MasterCard) cover damage to the rental car (CDW collision damage waiver). To get this you would usually need to not buy the coverage the rental car company offers. Call the 800 number on the back of your card to ask about this. This would not cover you if someone is injured.

American Express has a special program that covers damage to the car(not injury) for about $25-$30 per rental(no per day). You have to call them and sign up for that before the trip and they will automatically charge the fee when you use the card.
Last edited by Watty on Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by Barefootgirl » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 pm

I have an Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Preferred (no Reserve yet) - I think both of those offer primary insurance as well. Not sure about my Citi Thank You Premier (I need to check it)

Citi Aadvantage Red Aviator which I am using to get free checked bags.

Various cash back, hotel and airline cards, no cards specific for car rentals, a Discover It
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sperry8
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by sperry8 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:42 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I have an Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Preferred (no Reserve yet) - I think both of those offer primary insurance as well. Not sure about my Citi Thank You Premier (I need to check it)

Citi Aadvantage Red Aviator which I am using to get free checked bags.

Various cash back, hotel and airline cards, no cards specific for car rentals, a Discover It
Yes, Chase Sapphire Preferred also offers Primary coverage... that is a nice perk. No need to want your car insurance going up in the case of an accident. Remember, they only cover CDW. So you may still need to go through your insurance if someone is hurt. Oh and to be eligible you must decline the CDW offered by the car rental company. Watty said you must accept but that is incorrect if you want the credit card coverage to be active.
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traveltoomuch
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:51 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I have an Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Preferred (no Reserve yet) - I think both of those offer primary insurance as well. Not sure about my Citi Thank You Premier (I need to check it)
CSP has primary coverage; that seems like your best option. I think Amex Platinum only has secondary coverage. I know Citi Prestige is only secondary (in the US); I suspect the Premier card is no better.

texasdiver
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by texasdiver » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:33 pm

If you are a Costco member try their travel web site for rental car reservations. I usually find they have the best price. Usually with National or Enterprise.

I used to play games trying to find the cheapest off site airport rentals. Now I don't bother and prefer the convenience of renting inside the airport even though I know it cost most.

As for best card? I just use whichever. My own auto policy covers anyway.

If you have an Amex card you can activate their premium coverage which costs extra per rental. Google it for more info. You only pay when you rent a car. And you can do what some do and rent on the Amex card with the premium coverage then when you return the car undamaged change the bill to another card and avoid the extra insurance charge

lazydavid
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by lazydavid » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:06 pm

texasdiver wrote:As for best card? I just use whichever. My own auto policy covers anyway.
Unless you have a separate rider, you might be in for a nasty surprise if you ever need to make a claim. In addition to having to pay out your deductible, a standard auto policy does not reimburse you for other fees charged by the rental agency, such as loss of use, which is generally charged at the full un-discounted daily rental rate. So depending on the damage, you may be out of pocket many thousands of dollars, despite the accident being technically covered by your insurance.

The solution is to add an "non-owned vehicle" rider to your policy. I think I pay something like $23/6 months which covers both me and my wife. It eliminates the deductible on cars we don't own, provided they are not owned by my employer or rented for more than 30 consecutive days, and also pays out for any associated fees that are incurred. Basically provides the same coverage as the supplemental insurance offered by the rental agency that they charge you like $19/day for.

Nate79
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by Nate79 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:34 pm

I suggest you read the actual credit card rental insurance terms. Probably all of them are different. Amex platinum for example is secondary but does cover reasonable charges such as loss of use, medical expense, etc. However, it doesn't include any liability insurance and it doesn't cover any damage to anything but the rental car (for example it doesn't cover the other car in the accident).

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KSOC
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by KSOC » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:41 pm

I've used this website the last 3 times I rented.http://www.carrentalsavers.com/mastercard.html

No issues great price. Use my Citi Mastercard, waive all insurance.
Just reserved a full size car for $20 a day at BWI for January. 3 days for $99.
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frisbee
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by frisbee » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:47 pm

Checkout Autoslash.com. I've used it several times. Basically, you book through them, and if they find a lower price, they let you know, and you can rebook.

RudyS
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by RudyS » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:59 pm

KSOC wrote:I've used this website the last 3 times I rented.http://www.carrentalsavers.com/mastercard.html

No issues great price. Use my Citi Mastercard, waive all insurance.
Just reserved a full size car for $20 a day at BWI for January. 3 days for $99.
THANK YOU! Best price for major (Avis/Hertz/National) company for a rental 2/22-3/5 I could find using the usual discounts was around $800. That's an intermediate car, drop-off at different Florida airport. I just checked carrentalsavers and found National at $850, but Avis for $480! Just booked Avis!

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KSOC
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by KSOC » Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:15 am

RudyS wrote:
KSOC wrote:I've used this website the last 3 times I rented.http://www.carrentalsavers.com/mastercard.html

No issues great price. Use my Citi Mastercard, waive all insurance.
Just reserved a full size car for $20 a day at BWI for January. 3 days for $99.
THANK YOU! Best price for major (Avis/Hertz/National) company for a rental 2/22-3/5 I could find using the usual discounts was around $800. That's an intermediate car, drop-off at different Florida airport. I just checked carrentalsavers and found National at $850, but Avis for $480! Just booked Avis!
Sweet deal!
Too soon old, too late smart.

marstaton4
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by marstaton4 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:34 am

Please pay attention to the paper work when you sign it declining the insurance waivers and add ons. Just had a case at Enterprise where I verbally declined it and was in a huge rush and didn't read the paper work like I should have and had an extra $40+ a day added in fees that I definitely didn't want. It took a lot of phone calls and complaining to get them to remove the charges.

jasc15
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by jasc15 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:17 pm

Something I've been meaning to ask my insurance company:

The last time I rented I declined the insurance. Usually the rep just says OK, I take the keys, sign and leave. But this last guy pushed on it a bit, when I replied that I have confirmed with my insurance company that I would be covered by them as if it were my own car. He replied saying that while I would be covered, I would be liable to pay for the car's time out of service during repairs. I declined anyway, but have been meaning to confirm that with Geico.

traveltoomuch
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by traveltoomuch » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:32 pm

jasc15 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:17 pm
...saying that while I would be covered, I would be liable to pay for the car's time out of service during repairs.
I've never dealt with this myself, thankfully. It's called "loss of use", and I have heard of rental car companies trying to get reimbursed for it. I imagine that the effective way to fight it is by demanding "fleet utilization records" - essentially, proof that their fleet was fully booked and that having this one car out of service actually cost them money. I keep being hopeful that credit-card-based cover (whether as primary or secondary payer) is wise to this scheme and knows how to fight it effectively.

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heartwood
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by heartwood » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:56 pm

traveltoomuch wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:32 pm
jasc15 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:17 pm
...saying that while I would be covered, I would be liable to pay for the car's time out of service during repairs.
I've never dealt with this myself, thankfully. It's called "loss of use", and I have heard of rental car companies trying to get reimbursed for it. I imagine that the effective way to fight it is by demanding "fleet utilization records" - essentially, proof that their fleet was fully booked and that having this one car out of service actually cost them money. I keep being hopeful that credit-card-based cover (whether as primary or secondary payer) is wise to this scheme and knows how to fight it effectively.
My one off experience was with damage to an Avis rental from a bad scrape in a shopping mall by a hit & run driver. I had AMEX premium car insurance ($19.95 for up to 42 days, primary insurance) on the rental. AVIS corresponded only with me. I did not respond to them, only to AMEX. AMEX handled it all. As I recall AVIS wanted about $2k including loss of use plus $100 in administrative fees. We requested the fleet utilization records; they were not provided nor was a response re the request received from AVIS. AMEX paid only the damage charges, not the loss of use or the admin fee. It took about 6 months to complete the process. AVIS still requested $300 (??) in loss of use + $100 admin. I talked with AMEX. Their advice was wait, see what happens. That was a couple of years ago; never heard from AVIS after the initial AVIS demand request. At no time did AVIS charge my credit card for damages or loss of use. The lack of closure was unsettling but I forgot about it until now.

GuyInFL
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:19 pm

Check www.hotwire.com as well

anonenigma
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Re: Rental Car, best options

Post by anonenigma » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:32 am

I had a reservation at Portland (OR) Airport through Costco for five days @ $26 plus taxes - a total of almost $200.

I had checked Hotwire but at the time the pricing was the same as Costco.

A couple of days before the trip, I got an e-mail that Portland prices had decreased. I've gotten those before from Hotwire, but the low prices were never for the dates I was traveling, This time they were. It said it would be $16 per day, but when I clicked it was down to $12.50 per day. By the time all was said and done, I paid $119 for a new (4300 miles) Subaru Legacy for a five-day rental.

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