Rental Car For Vacation ? FYI For Those Interested

malibu
chevrolet

#1

I just got back.



Background:



My 16 year-old daughter laid the guilt-trip on us, literally. It was so sad. She never got a travel vacation like her big brother got. Waaaa . . .



So, there I was . . . I’m too cheap to fly 3 people anywhere and won’t take my own vehicle far from home (in just a one week Spring Break window). I just can’t imagine how it would ruin everything if the car was damaged (collision, vandalism, storm [and we were in a tornado warning] ), or broke down.



The Real Information:



I checked with my insurer and was advised that my coverage would cover everthing on the rental, except “Loss of Use,” a per day fee (that could be very sizable) that the rental company charges for each day the car is out of service for any repairs.



Most rental agents could not gave me any information about this Loss of Use charge. One agent knew all about it and advised buying the “Loss Damage Waiver” coverage. The unlimited coverage was $27.99 / day and the $3000 limit coverage was $11.99 day. The LDW would cover any damage to the vehicle and would first be applied to Loss of Use.



When I opted for the $11.99 / day coverage I was given a better rate on the car. We took a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu for one week at $267 total cost that included unlimited miles. We took the car with a little over 2,000 miles on it, traveled in 10 states and returned it with just over 5,000 miles on it. Also, since I live in the sticks, I had to drive my own car 360 miles (round-trip to the nearest airport with rental cars available).



The car rental was the cheap part. Six nights lodging (several nights on the beach) and car gas were the expensive parts.



Off The Subject Notes:



We’ve talked here about Oil Life Monitors and interestingly, The OLM was 46% when we left and reached 0% just before turning in the car with only just over 5,000 miles total on it. CHANGE OIL SOON is talking to somebody else for a change. Not my job, but what’s up with the short interval ?



The car worked great, the trip went well, I’d do it this way again (the rental, the limited LDW).



I totally envy any of you living in St. Augustine, Florida (or actually anywhere in or near Florida, the south, the west . . . ) ! You might be seeing more of me, soon.



CSA


#2

If my destination is more than around 600 miles or so, I’ll fly, if it’s less than that I’ll drive my own car. IMHO the Loss-of-use charge is a crock I would never pay for it. If it came down to it, they would have to prove in court that the loss of use of the car financially impacted the company, that’s easier said than done.

5000 miles between oil changes is pretty normal IMHO.


#3

The car probably went a lot longer then 5k miles between oil changes. The 5k is only what was traveled during the time he rented it.


#4

CSA picked up the car with 2K miles on the odometer and took it back with 5K on it.

5K miles for a first oil change seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Driving 360 miles for a rental car is the part I don’t get.


#5

LDW is a big money maker for rental car companies, 99% of the time the customer doesn’t put so much as a scratch on the car, so that’s almost all profit. And of course you can fight the loss of use charge, you could force them to PROVE that had rented all the cars in their fleet and could have rented the car you wrecked they couldn’t collect anything for loss of use if they had even one car (in that class) extra to rent.

Now that said, I don’t rent many cars and for the short time I do rent I take the LDW so I don’t have the hassle if something does happen. Most rental cars agency will try and charge you the price to fix the car at the time you bring the car back, on your CC. Basically they’ll tie up your credit, even if your ins will pay for it. So if you do rent a lot use a lower limit separate card, bring you ins. policy with you, and make sure it’ll cover the car you rented.

As far as the OLM it looks at type of driving, and if the first 2,000 were city, most rentals stay inside the city, it will have you change the oil sooner than if you were driving on the highway. So it doesn’t surprise me with 46% left that you would drive another 3,000 to 5,000 on the highway before it requested an oil change.

My opinions are subject to change with new facts.


#6

Many credit cards (Platinum Mastercard, for example) allow you to waive LDW and all the other unnecessary charges. Another effort is to have you purchase personal effects coverage, which is usually covered under your homeowner’s policy.


#7

When I use to do a lot of business traveling…if we ever rented a car and added the insurance…then WE had to pay for it out of our own pocket. Our company would NOT pay for it. Every credit card I’ve had in the past 20+ years covers any damage done during a rental agreement…this includes renting a back-ho from my local Taylor Rental.


#8

“If it came down to it, they would have to prove in court that the loss of use of the car financially impacted the company”

Only if that’s what the contract says. Seems unlikely.


#9

“And of course you can fight the loss of use charge, you could force them to PROVE that had rented all the cars in their fleet and could have rented the car you wrecked they couldn’t collect anything for loss of use if they had even one car (in that class) extra to rent.”

Only if that’s what the contracts says. Seems unlikely.


#10

"We’ve talked here about Oil Life Monitors and interestingly, The OLM was 46% when we left and reached 0% just before turning in the car with only just over 5,000 miles total on it. CHANGE OIL SOON is talking to somebody else for a change. Not my job, but what’s up with the short interval ? "

The car had 2000 miles on it when you got it, you put 3000 miles on it. 2000 is 40% of 5000. Why is this even a question, much less interesting?


#11

I’m interested. I’m thinking about doing the same thing (ie renting a car vs taking my car on a long trip):

Some background: Recently retired with unlimited vacation time, my wife and I are planning to drive from Michigan to visit some of our country’s national parks(Badlands, Glacier and Rocky Mountain and along the way, anything else we find interesting). We expect to drive about 5000 miles on this trip and are weighing the pros and cons of renting a vehicle vs driving ours. We’ll be on the road for about three weeks. Of course, we’ll have our personal car serviced (oil change and 50,000 mile inspection- as an aside, with our luck, the rental car is likely to be between service periods - aren’t they always? - last time we rented a car the change oil light came on about 50 miles into our trip, we drove about 1500 miles - after the car agency told us this was ok).

Here’s the deal: the rental car will cost $660 (by the way, I don’t purchase any of the car rental agency insurance). The cost works out to $0.13/mile.

We’d like to hear some opinions - does it make more sense to rent or take our own car and why? Or, are we just overthinking the whole thing and it doesn’t really matter?


#12

Wow. If you were a bone-fide employee of the co, than you were acting as their agent, and co. would be vicariously liable for any damages you incurred. Long story short, co. got you to foot the bill for insurance that covered them.

That would kinda rub me the wrong way.

Also, saying that “whatever the contract says, goes” is malarkey. Companies have people sign “liability waivers” ALL THE TIME that aren’t legally enforceable. Why? They’re hoping it discourages potential lawsuits before a party even gets to a lawyer (who would in turn tell him the waiver isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.)

In other words, the contract can say, “In the event of accident, we are entitled to your firstborn as compensation”–that doesn’t make it enforceable.


#13

It Sounds Workable. Have You Checked With Your Insurance Company About Extending Coverage To A Rental For 3 Weeks ? I Seem To Remember My Insurer Not Wanting To Cover A Rental Longer Than 2 Weeks.

The company must have means of servicing the oil change, either by reimbursement or possibly by having it done along the way at another rental car agency. If not then maybe they can find you a car with fresh oil in it.

CSA


#14

“The car had 2000 miles on it when you got it, you put 3000 miles on it. 2000 is 40% of 5000. Why is this even a question, much less interesting?”

Answer:
It seems that we see lots of people saying their OLMs indicate oil life in the neighborhood of 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Folks on this site recommend not going that long. Most say change it at 5,000. They think OLMs in general are too optimistic.

One lady even pointed out engine damage by going that long and it turns out the manufacturer is recalibrating the OLMs because problems were arising from the long interval.

So, I found it interesting that even with lots of highway driving, the OLM was recommending a fairly short or realistic change interval. I was surprised because I was expecting to see something more in the 7,500 to 10,000 mile range before the car reached 0%.

CSA


#15

"The company must have means of servicing the oil change, either by reimbursement or possibly by having it done along the way at another rental car agency. If not then maybe they can find you a car with fresh oil in it.

CSA"

Last time we called the rental car company and talked to a service rep. He told us “no problem” take our trip (at least we were on record). This time I’ll ask before we leave.

I intend to call my insurance company before we leave. I want to ask about the “loss of use” insurance and I’ll add the question about the length of time we’re gone.

Thanks


#16

"Also, saying that “whatever the contract says, goes” is malarkey. Companies have people sign “liability waivers” ALL THE TIME that aren’t legally enforceable. Why? They’re hoping it discourages potential lawsuits before a party even gets to a lawyer (who would in turn tell him the waiver isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.)

In other words, the contract can say, “In the event of accident, we are entitled to your firstborn as compensation”–that doesn’t make it enforceable."

That last bit is correct, but only because you picked an example that’s not legal, and something that’s illegal is not binding. That’s the first day of Contracts 101 or whatever they call it these days.

Other than that, the whole point of a contract is that it does mean what it says, and if the contract says you owe us a day’s rental for each day (or each time) the car goes in the shop, that’s totally enforceable.


#17

Ah. Thank you.


#18

Nothing said over the telephone or in person is “on record.” If it’s not in the document you sign, don’t be surprised if things don’t go your way.

That being said, have a good trip.


#19

Other than that, the whole point of a contract is that it does mean what it says, and if the contract says you owe us a day’s rental for each day (or each time) the car goes in the shop, that’s totally enforceable.

To a POINT…If the contract makes a statement that contradicts LAW…then that part of the contract is not enforceable. Many states have laws stating that a person has the right to get out of any contract within 72 hours after signing the contract. If the contract has a statement that says that you can’t back out of the contract within the 72 hours…then that part of the contract is unenforceable.


#20

Wow. If you were a bone-fide employee of the co, than you were acting as their agent, and co. would be vicariously liable for any damages you incurred. Long story short, co. got you to foot the bill for insurance that covered them.

That would kinda rub me the wrong way.

Doesn’t bother me at all…in fact I understand…and now that I’m the one setting policy I require the same thing of my employees…Our company covers this insurance ourselves so why should we pay for it. It’s spelled out to all employees who do business trips…that they are NOT to pay for any extra insurance.