When you step up to a rental car counter, do you automatically anticipate an adversarial relationship with the agent? Lots of us do, and with some good reason: The fear that the agent will try to get us to pay for something we don’t need—or gouge us for something we do need—is real and rental car companies do employ tricks for those purposes. You can avoid some of these with careful planning, but others you can’t. The biggest point of contention, almost everywhere, is the collision- or loss-damage-waiver (CDW/LDW). Legally it really isn’t insurance, but most consumers and many rental car agents call it “insurance” anyhow. And at somewhere around $30 a day, it can as much as double the cost of a rental. Just how much is that cost inflated over the company’s actual financial risk? A few years back, one company told travel agents they could offer customers the unbeatable rate of $0 a day, provided the customer bought the insurance. Rental … [Read more...] about 10 Dirty Secrets of Car Rental Companies
Car insurance rates by state
Infrequent travelers often say cheap car rentals are the best way to get off the beaten path while abroad. They’re usually wrong. Sure, it’s tempting to dub the base price of a car rental a “steal.” But when you factor in taxes, the cost of gas outside the U.S., the type of car you’ll need, and insurance, it’s usually far from a deal. But there’s an easy way to keep the overall cost of a rental low—it’s a trick that can cut the base price by about 50 percent, and save you some gas money. American car rental companies offer one particular convenience factor that their counterparts in other countries often don’t: Access to an automatic transmission. In Europe and Beyond Renting a manual-transmission car (also called stick shift) is the best way to guarantee car rental deals in Europe. Automatic-transmission vehicles are becoming more popular abroad, but there are still significantly fewer automatics available, and … [Read more...] about This One Trick Could Save You Hundreds on Cheap Car Rentals
Is rental-car collision insurance overpriced? Yes. Here's how much: A car-rental company once informed travel agents that it could offer clients an unbeatable rate—$0 per day—provided only that the clients bought insurance. Even though rental companies sometimes call their policies "insurance," technically, they're not. The policy is really a waiver of the company's right to collect damages from you if you damage the rental. By whatever name, however, the price is outrageously high, at up to $30 per day in many cases. You know it's overpriced when you can buy equivalent coverage from third-party sources—proprietors that make a profit—for less than $10 per day or get it free through your credit card. Work-Around: Your regular auto insurance may cover you in a rented car, at least within the U.S., although many such policies do not pay for the full list of charges that rental companies add to a collision bill. You're better off using the free coverage … [Read more...] about 7 Worst Car Rental Rip-Offs and How to Beat Them
While online booking and check-in are nearing their full potential, there is now a clear demand from the travelling public for self-service on other steps of the passenger journey including automated security checks, which are now acceptable to 70% of respondents compared to 58% in last year’s survey. Similarly, demand for automatic boarding gates is now at 70% compared to 57% last year. Two-thirds of survey respondents would use kiosks for other purposes including booking/changing a flight; purchasing additional services (e.g. baggage fees, meals), printing bag tags; self-transfer; claiming delayed baggage. In addition, there has been dramatic year-on-year growth in the percentage of passengers using airline websites to book hotels, up from 21% in 2009, to 38% in this year’s survey; car rental, 19% to 35%. Similar growth is being recorded in other ancillary revenue streams including purchase of travel insurance, bus and train tickets and duty free items. This year’s … [Read more...] about 70% of air passengers want self-service for more steps of the journey
The Italians, Egyptians and Zimbabweans are vying for first place.I’ve travelled a lot around the world – my country counter is now over 30. One thing I’ve noticed throughout my travels is that the quality of driving around the world varies considerably. I’ve devised my own award for the worst offenders – the Juan Manuel Fangio Award for Outstanding Defensive Driving.Let me explain.Case Study Number One: Italian DriversI have a theory – the amount of religious paraphernalia on a car’s rear view mirror is a reliable indicator of how crap the drivers are. The more crucifixes, rosary beads, or evil eyes wrapped around the mirror, the more dangerous the driving is. I first tested this theory in Italy. By heritage, I am half Sicilian and half Northern Italian. A visit to Italia was a home-coming of sorts for me, even though I’d never been here before in a physical sense. However, my first encounter with my Italian heritage was to be – … [Read more...] about The Worst Drivers in the World
You could earn 550 Gold Plus Rewards points when you add Loss Damage Waiver on your car rental with Hertz — enough to redeem for a free weekend day — with any vehicle rental through Saturday, December 31, 2016 when you reserve the vehicle to rent in advance.Adding the Loss Damage Waiver — or LDW — to your car rental will supposedly protect the car by covering any unexpected damages to it to give you piece of mind……and if you are still not sure about what is Loss Damage Waiver, then you can watch this official video from Hertz designed to sell you on purchasing Loss Damage Waiver for the vehicle which you rent.There are three ways to add Loss Damage Waiver to your car rental with Hertz:Select Loss Damage Waiver — or LDW — when you book your reservationGo to the Hertz counter and add it at the time of picking up the vehicleUpdate your Gold Profile with the Loss Damage … [Read more...] about Earn 550 Gold Plus Rewards Points When You Add Loss Damage Waiver On Your Hertz Car Rental
The most recent Business Outlook Survey conducted by Auto Rental News of franchised and independent car rental companies reveals that “40% of respondents believe their rates will increase in 2016. In the same survey conducted two years ago, 30% believed they’d increase. This is an opinion survey, but directionally positive on the tenor of operators.”That outlook — reported in this article by Chris Brown of Auto Rental News — may be great news for rental car companies and their stakeholders should it come to fruition; but it will most likely be bad news for you.Airfares were not the only part of the overall travel costs which had been increasing in the United States back in 2014.“Once on the ground, travelers aren’t going to find much relief”, Scott Mayerowitz warned in this article for the Associated Press. “The average nightly price of a hotel room in the U.S. during the first half of this year was … [Read more...] about Could Rental Car Rates Rise in the United States — and What Can You Do?
If you are able to position yourself to rent a car from much of the eastern United States — such as New York or Boston, for example — and drive it to Atlanta and eleven destinations in Florida this fall, how does a rental rate of as low as $9.95 per day one way sound to you?Hertz has this offer in effect right now for six originating rental car locations — with more locations to be added in October and November. You can rent a vehicle — economy car class through full size car class groups as well as convertibles — for up to a maximum period of 14 consecutive days.Keep in mind that only select classes of cars which are available for this offer will actually start at a rental rate of $9.99 per day and is not similar to the offers of some rental car companies where that flat rate is applicable to more or all eligible classes of cars.For the example shown on the right of renting a car for four days on a one-way trip from … [Read more...] about Starting at $9.95 Per Day, Drive Rental Cars to Florida and Atlanta One Way This Fall
Today I stumbled across a report that an assistant econ prof. in North Carolina put together which surveyed 20 years of government health surveys and compared them to then-current fuel prices. Charles Courtemanche’s digging uncovered a link between the price of gas and fat. Basically for every $1 increase in the price of a gallon of gas, the obesity rate could shrink by 10 percent as they walk or turn to bikes for trips to the neighbors, parks, schools, and limit their car use to commuting and ferrying people around. Nice.AsI choked on paying $5.22/gallon to fill-up my car in Aspen last week, I started wondering how much gas would have to cost for me to sell my car altogether. In that dream state, I then started wondering what my life would be like without a car: would I have even been in Aspen? How often would I see my relatives? And perhaps more importantly, how would I ever make it to a remote backcountry trailhead without one. The one thing I did know, however, is that … [Read more...] about High Gas Prices = Slimmer People
The 58-pound Australian shepherd is rappelling down a sheer cliff near 2,425-foot-tall Yosemite Falls. Actually, Gus's owner, Mike Bigelow, is doing the rappelling, while the dog–suited up in a chest harness that connects to Bigelow's waist Normally, a 250-foot rappel wouldn't faze Gus, a copper-mottled fluffball who'sequally comfortable hanging from helicopters, riding shotgun on snowmobiles, andcharging over knife-edge ridges. Gus is a member of YODOGS, the relatively new K-9 division of Yosemite's 41-year-old, world-class search-and-rescue (SAR) team. With 21 other canines, he participates in as many as 12 missions a year searching for missing hikers amidst Yosemite's wild, glacier-carved terrain. Over the past decade, in the park and surrounding counties, YODOGS teams have found nearly a dozen people, two bodies, and numerous clues and artifacts. They've also narrowed search zones by "clearing" areas–eliminating giant swaths of searchable terrain–in record time. … [Read more...] about Yosemite Rescue Dogs: Could This Dog Save Your Life?