OT Renting a car

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OT renting a car.
A friend just came back from Florida where she rented a car but took none of the extras offerred.
The rental guy tried to sell her INSURANCE but she said she was covered by her own insurance, but he said not for LOSS OF USE. What does that mean, she can't use the rental car! Don't they just give you another one if you break the first one?
He also wanted to sell her a full tank of gas so that she didn't have to fill the tank at a gas station before she returned the car. She took that to mean a FULL tank of gas even if she was only half empty. They were charging 3.05 a gallon and she filled up near the air port for 2.93, I think, or 12 cents a gallon difference, so if they were only going to charge her for half a tank that would have only been maybe $1.20, which she would have gladly paid. But he called it a FULL tank of gas. Also, do they ever lie about how much they put in? Since the customer doesn't see the pump.
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That means that if she wrecks the car, or it's stolen, the rental company is entitled to compensation for the "loss of use", while the car is gone or being repaired. They can't rent out and earn money for what they don't have.

This is nothing new. Major rental car companies have offered this for at least a decade. Usually, their price for gas is a little less than you can get it for locally. So, if you think you're gonna drive enough to be able to wind up with a tank that is near empty, it's a good choice. You get the gas at a favorable price and don't have to worry about where to fill up on the way to the airport. If you're only gonna use a 1/2 tank, it's a bad deal.
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On 1 May 2007 10:47:23 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That makes sense, but I've never heard of it before. So if they normally get 25 dollars a day for the car, is that what they bill someone for loss of use? Even though the 25 dollars is accompanied by costs they don't incur when they don't rent the car?
Do they bill for just the time it takes to fix the car, one day for a dented fender, or do companies try to pad that?
And the customer owes this only if the accident is his fault?
It seems like this would be a bad deal for someone who has his own insurance that will pay for most of the costs anyhow. Rather than pay full insurance price, he should be a self-insurer forthe loss of use charge and pay it out of his poeket.
Is this some charge they came up with recently when too many people used their own insurance when renting?
A little more below.

I never have any idea how much will be left in the tank after a week of driving. Once I go past one tankfull I could use 1/8 of the next tank or 7/8ths. But the odds are almost 100% I won't be empty and need a full tank when I bring it back. If they are going to charge for a the full volume of the tank, it sounds like it is almost always a bad deal.
BTW, Alamo didn't charge 6.00 dollars, only 3.05, but some companies used to charge an enormous price, maybe some still do?
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mm wrote:

It's been the case for ages.

No. It will likely be at a much higher rate.

I don't get your meaning. But if you are trying to look for a loophole, forget it.

They bill it for the actual time it takes to get it back into use. They don't do their own body work, so it can take awhile. The question about padding is too conspiratorial and there is no way to answer that.

No; he owes it if the car is taken out of service regardless of fault.

Again, this is not something that has a specific answer. It is speculative.

No. People using the insurance provided by credit cards came after.

They do whatever is allowed.
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@bigfoot.com says...

They will typically bill loss of use at their standard published rate for the car, which is sort of like the standard published price for an airline ticket -- what you pay if you can't qualify for any discounts and you need it right now. Wouldn't be surprised if it's double the rate your friend actually paid for using the car.

They bill for the time that it's not available to rent out, which could include delays while waiting to get it into the shop, waiting for parts, time for paint to cure, etc. (With no effort to pad the claim, my wife's car was off the road for eleven days to replace an outside mirror that got knocked off on vacation.)

No, the customer owes it if the car isn't returned in rentable condition at the time it is supposed to be returned. Such as being stranded in a rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula after a flood took out a road. (Google that one for an extreme case, the car was out of service for *months*!)
There may be other responsible parties to collect from depending on the circumstances, but the *customer* agrees to the loss-of-use charge in the rental contract.

No, it's been around for a long time, as an alternative to going to collections with customers who put a rental car in the shop for six weeks only to discover their insurance doesn't cover $2000+ in loss-of- use charges.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

They can make a case for loss of use IF, AND ONLY IF, they rented EVERY OTHER car on the lot.
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says...

If that were true, it would certainly cut down on loss-of-use insurance claims.
Unfortunately, it isn't, and it doesn't.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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Actually, my (an insurance agent-though not currently selling THAT particular line of business) understaning of loss of use does mean the car has to be in demand. If they have others that are sitting idle, then loss of use is not collectable.
One can't MAKE money on a loss. At least that is the idea.
CP
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Here's the deal. Take the insurance. You walk up to the counter, and turn in the keys. You walk away. It makes it all a simple transaction for a few bucks more. Anyone who is so cheap should have to endure all the bullshit that their cheapness brings down on their head.
Steve
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wrote:

It's not your place to spend other people's money.
There is a constant theme here, including regarding home repair, about doing things right, as if the people who don't want to do that are cheap. Maybe they need their money to support their kids, or their parents, or to give charity, or for when they are out of work, sick or old, for a nursing home if it gets that bad.
Not everyone expects their children to support them in their old age, and a lot of people don't like the instructions they are given, that they should spend down all their money until they are poor enough that medicaid will pay for their nurses. Some people want to pay their own bills with their own money, and not sponge off of all the other taxpayers. It's one thing if they worked hard and didn't waste their money when they had it, and still can't afford medical expenses, but it's sponging if they spent more than they needed and then depend on others later.
When they drive they have liability insurance, because they can do a lot of damage if they hit a person and it will take all their savings or more to pay for that. Plus in most places it's the law.
But even if the car is out of use for a month, plenty of these people have enough money to pay for that. When they don't buy this loss of use insurance, they act as self-insurers. On average it's a lot cheaper to be a self-insurer becausae one doesn't have to pay for all the paperwork and the profits and waste of the insurance company.
Of course it is more convenient to take the insurance, then turn in the keys and walk away. Some people give up convenience because they are short of money. You'd probably also look down your nose also at those who buy homes they can't afford who lose them when interest rates go up. You have an upper limit and a lower limit for other people's spending.
I suspect you want people, even those with less money than you, to live your standard of living, and claim they're cheap when they won't buy things you'll buy, and profligate when they buy things you can't afford.
Doh't insult people you don't know by calling them cheap. (Don't insult people you do know either, for that matter.)
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Your money, your choice. I'm thousands of dollars ahead. I have good insurance coverage so I"m not about to give my money to a rental company. What they charge you for a few days is equal to my total payment for both my cars for a month.
This is from the Dollar web page 1.. UMP-Uninsured Motorist Protection is now offered at $7.99 per day. SLI-Supplemental Liability Insurance $12.95 per day. That comes to $147 plus tax for a week.
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For me, it's a deductible travel expense. So, I take it, don't worry about it, and walk away no matter what happens.
Steve
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Whether they can "make a case" for it or not, is irrelevant. I'll bet that the rental contract has language binding the customer to those terms, and, once the customer agrees to that by signing the contract, the only case that the rental company needs to make is that the customer agreed to pay in the event of loss of use, they have a signed contract to prove it, and therefore they are due the money.
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Not true. If customer demands a car of that type, and they don't have it they can/do lose money for loss of business. Not everyone wants a compact car or an suv.
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mm wrote:

Did she happen to mention whether she was renting from one of the "big" companies?
Some major credit cards give you theft and collision damage insurance for car rentals paid for with their card. Here's the description of the plan on my AMEX card:
http://tinyurl.com/389e82
I think letting the rental company charge you for the gas they put in if you return with the fuel gage below the "F" mark isn't a bad deal even at a significant premium price per gallon if it saves you having to look for a gas station near the return lot in what quite possibly be unfamiliar territory to you. And especially so if you're worried about making a flight on time.
Speaking of fuel gauges, here's what's going to be in some 2008 SUVs.
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/fuel_gauge.jpg
Jeff
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even if you think you bring it back completely full, you can be charged $6.00 for every gallon that they can fit into that tank. They hold a meter device up to it & it reads the volume. I have done this both ways. It cost more to try & take the cheaper way out. It is definitely not worth the BS.
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longshot wrote:

Never had any problems like that. I always use a national company. When I receive the car I take note where the filling stations are nearby. Then when the time comes to return the car I fill up nearby. Only once was I asked if the tank was full and I said yes, filled up at the "xxx" gas station, and that I had the receipt if they desired a look.
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I believe it's Dollar, I have used them in Tampa several times. The full gauge is somehow checked electronically & they charge you.
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It's Alamo. She used to compare prices before every trip, but they were always the best, so she just calls them now.
Her brother used to work in Palm Beach or West Palm Beach, so that is the airport. Now she visits a highschool friend in DelRay.
No one at Alamo has ever pressured her before to get these extras.
He tried to rent her the next bigger car, saying it was on sale for half off, but was somehow still 80 dollars more a week than the compact she had reserved.
And he said, "Everyone buys the gas." as if she'd be a wierdo if she didn't buy it. These tactics don't work on her.

Well, she goes every year, so she knows where the gas station is. She usually gets a very cheap airfare. Usually she takes the 7AM flight but this time it was 9PM.

I'm confused. Which is the cheaper way out? I woudl think that would be buying gas at a gas station, where they don't charge 6 dollars a gallon. So why do you say it costs more to go to a gas station?
Or is that, in the final analysis, the cheaper way?

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Must be more pressure to make more money. Most of the "extras" are pure profit and the gas is expensive. Only time I buy the insurance is out of the country. I don't want to be sitting is some foreign jail because of a $100 dent.
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