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  1. #1
    Gus
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    Default Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    If you're on vacation and want to really explore the area, a rental car is often necessary.

    The problem is, if you're under 25, renting a car is not always so easy. In an ongoing discussion, stacey says...

    "I don't have plans to hire a car as i'm only 22 and have found it hard to find a reasonable price for renting as I will have to pay extra due to my age."
    I did some research and found that drivers between the ages of 21 and 25 are allowed to rent a car, but they'll usually pay an underage surcharge, which generally ranges from $10 to $25 per day.

    Rental Car Agency Underage Surcharges (Minimum age to rent: 21)


    Thrifty: Surcharge for ages 21-24: $10/day
    Alamo: Surcharge for ages 21-24: $25/day
    Dollar: Surcharge for ages 21-24: $15-25/day (varies w/ location)
    Enterprise: Surcharge varies with location
    National: Surcharge for ages 21-24: $25-50/day (varies w/ location)
    Continental-Ace-Florida: Surcharge for ages 21-24: $10/day


    Car Renting Tips


    1. To avoid paying the highest rate, drivers need to compare fees and restrictions at the rental agencies in the area where you want to rent.

    2. Travelers are also recommended to contact the mom-and-pop car-rental companies that are not affiliated with national chains.

    3. Rent-A-Wreck of Miami rents vehicles to drivers over 21. If you have your own insurance, Rent-A-Wreck offers a weekly rate of $250 (including tax if you pay in cash), but you need to show proof of insurance.

    Does anyone have some tips to share for renting a car? What about car renters insurance, is it necessary?

  2. #2
    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
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    Default

    From my understanding, if you have your own car insurance, it is unnecessary to purchase additional rental insurance. Also, don't purchase the option to have them fill up your tank. It is much cheaper to do it yourself. :coolsmile:

    Here are some of Bill Gate's travel tips at Microsoft.com:

    Car rental insurance is usually unnecessary.

    When you rent a car, you'll be cautioned about the need to buy an optional collision-damage waiver. You may even be shown a picture of a car that was damaged, and for which the unfortunate rental customer had to pay thousands of dollars because he didn't buy the insurance.

    But don't be swayed. Check your car insurance policy. It usually will cover you. If not, then rent with a credit card. Visa, for example, will cover you for most car rentals (but read the fine print carefully). The optional insurance is almost entirely profit to the car rental company, and employees are offered hefty bonuses for engaging in hard-sell tactics. Often, such policies can double the cost of your rental.

  3. #3
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Car renters insurance is absolutely not necessary. Most major credit cards cover you, and sometimes your auto insurance does too. Either way, it's a total scam and should ALWAYS be avoided. Unless you're planning on ditching the car in the Everglades or setting it on fire or something. Then probably a good idea.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Car renters insurance is absolutely not necessary. Most major credit cards cover you, and sometimes your auto insurance does too. Either way, it's a total scam and should ALWAYS be avoided. Unless you're planning on ditching the car in the Everglades or setting it on fire or something. Then probably a good idea.
    A buddy of mine worked for a big car rental place, now only cause I've been told this will I pass along some knowledge.

    Some of the big agencies function very weirdly with the "optional insurance" In most cases...you can tell the agent at the place you are renting the car that you will take the insurance and will go to say another station(IE rent in airport, cancel in south beach) to cancel it later in the day, provided they upgrade your car.
    Basically...there's a rather big loophole with that as the person that you signed up for the insurance gets a bonus, and the other car rental place will cancel your insurance for free or a very minimal cost. Hence cheap upgrade :P

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    Member dylan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    I have only had a rental when some retard crashes into my car and then I don't even have to pay for it the insurance gets it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    The last few times I've tried to rent a car, the people at the check-in desk have suggested that if I don't purchase the optional insurance, that the car won't be street legal. I told them I was insured through my credit card and they were trying to say that I shouldn't be too sure. I've also noticed that the cost of this optional insurance has gone up a lot. I think they try to reel you in with low rental prices while they make their money back by overcharging for the optional insurance. They never even tell you how much it is until you arrive to pick up the car! Why not take care of it when you first make the reservation?

  7. #7
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    What company was doing that, Doug? I'm not a fan of them pushing the insurance either, but I've never had them threaten you with it not being street legal.

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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    What company was doing that, Doug? I'm not a fan of them pushing the insurance either, but I've never had them threaten you with it not being street legal.
    Depending on the region they push it more in their own way. The Car rental agent is on commission/targets for the optional insurance plans. I've had 3 big name company car agencies really push it, any which way they can. Sorry to hear you had a really unlucky encounter with someone most likely under the gun to sell some.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Matt, it was Thrifty car rental in San Diego. I just checked the old confirmation email, and they were suggesting that you could add collision insurance ahead of time at an advance (email) rate of $11.99 per day for $25,000 collision coverage with a $0 deductible. I booked this thru carrentals.com. And then, when I got to the counter in San Diego, they were saying that if I didn't purchase the additional insurance, that it wouldn't be street legal. Many times I've also had them say that if you don't buy the collision coverage, the rental car is not covered at all for any damage, only the other vehicle. Does anyone know if your credit card also covers this?

  10. #10
    Member Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    First time I hear that and I've had to rent cars a few times. Additional insurance is optional. Your personal car insurance is good for the rental.

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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    This thread is making me feel pretty dumb. I must be a salesman's dream, because I always take the insurance. Doh..... Thank God I haven't had to hire cars very often!

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    Member Catt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    I've also had them say that if you don't buy the collision coverage, the rental car is not covered at all for any damage, only the other vehicle. Does anyone know if your credit card also covers this?
    depends on the card, Doug. Mine covers theft, damage, and collision on the rental vehicle... just to make sure I sent them an e-mail asking them to put it in writing... which they did. I printed and brought that with me to the rental agency, and declined the hard-upsell on 'their' insurance. They then also told me my regular personal auto insurance also covers the rental - in the end, they added both insurances to my agreement.

  13. #13
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Alright then, I will avoid Thrifty. I think I used Dollar when I was in SD last month, and it was the most inefficient, slow, awful rental car line I've ever been on. And yes, I've rented cars at MIA.

    That said, while they took forever to do everything else, Dollar did not push the insurance.

  14. #14
    rk
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    As Catt said, not all cards cover all aspects of car rental, and neither does your regular auto insurance. You really have to check the details before assuming that. One thing normally not covered is "loss of use", e.g. if you damage a rental car, and it takes them a month to fix it, you will be liable for their daily rental rate x 30.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Is "loss of use" usually offered under most rental agencies' supplemental insurance coverage, rk? I don't recall hearing about this one before!

  16. #16
    rk
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    Doug, yes, almost all insurance offered by rental companies covers "loss of use". It is commonly called LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), i.e. it covers Loss of Use and Damage (scratches, dents, crashes etc).

    A few credit cards cover these items by default, some others cover it at extra expense (normally you need to sign up for this option with your CC company), and others don't cover it at all.

    Your own car insurance policy normally (not always) covers rental cars the same way it covers your own car, but this means you are liable for the same deductibles and limits. Loss of Use if normally not covered.

    Individual cases can vary, so you need to read the fine print on your charge card and car insurance coverage before assuming anything. Same goes for any insurance offered by the rental company.

  17. #17
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car Renting Tips For Young Drivers

    On a small repair, sometimes the rental car companies will waive the "loss of use" fee since the duration is so short. Last time I damaged a rental car, that is what happened.

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    Default thank you

    hi Your site is very helpful... Thanks...

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