• Jun 14, 2006

The folks over at SmartMoney.com have compiled a common-sense list of the "Top 10 Things Your Retntal Company Won't Tell You."  In point of fact, we'd reckon that most of the pointers are forehead-smackingly obvious, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth a quick refresher, or a good opportunity to relay your own tips to fellow Autoblog readers in comments.

1. "We're a tax magnet."
2. "We track your every move."
3. "Our prices are etched in sand."
4. "You probably don't need our insurance."
5. "Your reservation doesn't mean bupkis."
6. "Special orders are our bread and butter."
7. "The little guys charge less."
8. "We're cutting corners anywhere we can."
9. "Think gas prices are high at the pump? Look what we charge."
10. "We offer some terrific deals - on Thursdays when the moon is full."

[Source: SmartMoney.com; New York State Insurance Department]



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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Check out the coupons at http://www.DealTaker.com
      Car Rental coupons are here: http://www.dealtaker.com/coupons21.html
      • 8 Years Ago
      As far as car rental insurance I found out the hard way. I rented a car from enterprise in Dec of 05 they never said anything about there insurance. Until I Hit a pothole in Baltimore Md. I bent the rim and the tire went flat. They charged me my $500.00 deduct from my insurance and would not let me get another until I paid it well that is when they said something about there insurance. They are still trying to charge me
      $600.00 on top of the $500.00 they already got. That is crazy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was in Key West with a group of friends and had to leave, so we called all the car rental places for pricing. Only a few would rent to people under 25 (was 23 at the time), and Avis offered to pick us up. When we got there, there was a bit of a dilema. We were paying for an economy car, but they had none. Not only that, but the only cars they had left, they weren't allowed to rent to people under 25 (SUV, Luxury car, minivan). In the end, we got a Caddie Deville for like $30, and had a nice drive back to Miami (with sat radio, too).
      gbh
      • 8 Years Ago
      I used to rent cars about 2 weeks out of every month. It was great. I would make sure I arrived after the masses grabbed their econoboxes. Almost always got at least an upgrade to a Chrysler convert. Like most other business, the more you buy, the more they will upgrade you gratis just to keep you around.

      Lately, I do much less fly and drive. But when I do, a little web work always seems to get me into something not too horrible (Taurus or TownCar) for $20-30 a day.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As for No. 9, it's funny that SmartMoney would comment on the cost of renting a car when you pay more to rent a $200 chain saw for one day than for a $25,000 automobile.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I had the same experience at the West Palm Beach National Rental Car in February. I arrived 30 minutes ahead of my reservation, which was for a Pontiac G6, but because the lone G6 on the lot was still being washed, I ended up with a Chevy Trailblazer.

      As for rule 10, great deals can be found for those willing to do research. Check out the FatWallet.com forums to find dozens of car rental discount codes -- not to mention other e-commerce discounts too. I snagged that G6 reservation with tax for a week in Florida in February for $159.

      However, one caveat about using random discount codes... while the Web sites will let anyone reserve a car with the codes, some codes require associations with an organization. In the event the clerk asks for proof, and you can't produce it, have backup reservations at another rental agency.
      • 8 Years Ago
      4. "You probably don't need our insurance."

      i rented a van, bought the insurance (never know, i was piling 10 people in to go to a concert out of state) for $22, smacked it into a stone column at the top of my driveway (before we even left), dropped it off... - nothing out of pocket or on my car insurance, just had to fill out some paperwork. $22, i'll pay that every time, at least for a one day rental....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just a warning for those who prepay for full tanks: the price per gallon might seem cheaper than the gas stations, but keep in mind that they charge ALL the rental car fees and taxes on your total rental, including the gas. That means $2.99/gallon can really mean $3.50/gallon very easily from some airports.
      Michael Leary
      • 8 Years Ago
      The price per gallon quoted by the rental company is for a full tank of gas... If you leave gas in the tank you are actually increasing the price per gallon on yourself. 20 gallon full tank and you paid 2.50 a gallon for a full tank or 50 dollars and then return the car with 5 gallons left in the tank you just gave the rental company five free gallons. NEVER BUY the FUEL SERVICE OPTION
      • 8 Years Ago
      1. Hotels are tax magnets too. Blame government, not the rental company.
      2. Why shouldn't they track your every move. It's their car.
      4.Tell the person, after the fact, with the 10 year old car worth nothing why their insurance won't pay off a totalled $25,000 dollar car, and I doubt you will pay it for them either. Also, most people do not carry liability in anywhere near the limits necessary in today's sue happy world.

      Most rental car companies try to be fair. Try looking at things from their point of view as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm a true believer in taking the coverage with car rentals, especially when renting in Canada, most rental companies offer zero deductible coverage, which to me translate to worry free travel. And if you can find a company with economical rates paying the extra $25.00 per day doesn't seem too bad. In my travels I found Thrifty and Dollar car rentals to be the best pricewise.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ditto:

      Went to Palm Springs. Our Focus magically became a Grand Marquis. A real grandma-mobile, but it beats being cramped. BTW, the largest trunk in a production car don't mean bupkis when travelling with a baby and two women.
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