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Car hire questions

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by keith, May 13, 2011.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    ok so I'm back in the rainy UK boooooo

    The car hire was as great as you all promised it would be so thanks for that :) it only took ten years or so of convincing :)

    So it went fantastically well. We used http://www.carhire3000.com/Home.do?affiliateCode=wdisney after recommendations and they were great! consistently the best price etc.

    The car we chose was a dodge charger or equivalent and it turned out to be provided by Dollar who also seemed pretty great to me.

    Now because this was my first time, I selected a platinum package which included a tank of fuel, all the insurances and cover for additional drivers over 25.

    I expected a hard sell but all they tried was epass and breakdown cover.

    So I have a bunch of questions for our next car hire where I'd hope to be a bit more savvy :)

    1. What insurance do you guys get? What's really really necessary and whats a nice extra?

    2. This extra tank of fuel business. Everyone says to avoid it because however it's included, it'll be charged at silly rates. So am I right in thinking you ALWAYS get the car full of fuel whatever you order? but if you havent paid for a tank of fuel it means you have to give it back full ? (which would work out cheaper no doubt)

    3. Breakdown cover.... It sounds pretty essential I mean what would I do without it if the car breaks down :/ Am I missing a cheaper option? do you all pay for it or risk it?

    4. With our December trip, virgin holidays included a "free" car hire of an economy car and minimal insurance which they say will not fulfill local requirements. So there are all sorts of upgrades there. Does it ever work out well to go with virgin for this stuff or should I just forget their car and book my own elsewhere?

    Any other car hire hints/tips/experiences?
     
  2. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    I think it depends on the person at the desk how heavy they are, they do always try and sell the epass. I have only been given the hard sell on breakdown cover once and we said no. I was told not to worry as if the car broke down then they would have to replace it.

    We always have the premium package with carhire3000 or gold or platinum with other companies. This includes everything, all the insurances you need which are: Collision Damage Waiver - Theft Protection - 3rd Party Liability - Supplementary Liability Insurance - Uninsured Motorist Protection.

    It also gives you free additional drivers and the initial tank of fuel.

    With the standard package which is also known as silver or basic, you get the same insurance as above but depending on the rental company you have to pay for additional drivers and for the fuel


    You've got the gist of it, the charges are silly if you prepay at the desk and some of the stations near the airport can be steep as well.

    If you take the car back empty and haven't pre-paid either at the desk or have the premium package, they charge even more for filling the tank.

    We just don't think it's worth the hassle at the end of the holiday having to worry about filling the car up.

    The extra cover they try to sell is for the tyres.

    I recently found out that if you are an AA member, you can use AAA under their ARC Europe scheme which means you're entitled to a number of basic roadside services including Emergency Road Service, Towing up to 3 miles and Lock-out and/or battery service - this is subject to the services being available in the area you are staying.



    Virgin charge a fortune, you would be better sticking to carhire300 or try usrentacar.

    Check the reservation before your balance is due and see if it has dropped, I did this last year as I wanted to add another day and it was £32 less for an extra day.


    I can't think of any at the moment but if I do I'll let you know:)
     
  3. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Wendy`s excellent reply just about sums it up.
    We do exactly the same apart from the fact that we don`t need the extra driver as there is no way that my DW would drive over there so we don`t go for the Platinum package with CarHire3000.
    We also always pre pay for the fuel and drive away with a full tank and return the car at the end of our stay running on vapour! :lol:
     
  4. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    OK, let me try to address a couple of these.

    First the tank of gas. Yes almost every agency will supply you with a full tank of gas to start. By pre-paying it means exactly what Wendy says, you can return it empty at no additional cost. If you return it full you are essentially paying for that tank of gas twice. Now I know with gas considerably cheaper for you in FL than in the UK this might not seem like much. However, with today's prices it can mean as much as twice what you would pay if you either pre-paid or filled it up yourself.

    Now lets talk about this breakdown insurance. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay extra for that. it is THEIR car and THEY are responsible for any and ALL repairs, tires, battery, mechanical breakdown, etc.
     
  5. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    but what happens if I breakdown on the I4 at 3am :) who do I call to come help and won't I have to pay someone to tow it to a local place or whatever?
     
  6. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    You call the rental company as it's their vehicle that has broken down. There'll be emergencies numbers on the rental paperwork.:thumbsup:
     
  7. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    interesting indeed... I did look it over and couldnt see any emergency call out numbers. I'll go dig it out and look again
     
  8. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    Or sometimes the numbers are stuck inside the windscreen or in the glove compartment.
     
  9. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    hmmm I did look and didnt find anything like that. I'm probably just over worrying but I just wanted to be mega prepared so I know exactly what to buy next time :)

    Perhaps I'll email Dollar as a potential customer and ask the question.
     
  10. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    You know what their reply will be :lol: "Yes Sir, you will need to purchase the extra cover for tyres, etc"

    Tink told us exactly the same as John has said, not to buy the cover at all.

    On the back of our Dollar paperwork from last year (the bit with all the terns and conditions on) it has these two numbers:

    Customer Service: 800-800-5252

    24 Hour Roadside Assistance: 800-800-235-9393

    I've had a look at carhire3000 for the difference in cost for 2 weeks in December:-

    2 door Dodge Charger -

    Basic £271.84 - you would have to pay extra for Helen to drive and for your fuel.

    Premium is £326.26 this is all in with nothing to worry about.

    So that's £54.42 extra. I don't know how much it is per day for an additional driver but the cost of fuel at the garage near MCO ranges between $3.75 and $3.79 per gallon.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Well true :lol: but I was thinking that if I made it clear I was comparing different providers and alamo (for example) said I didnt NEED breakdown cover... I'd get something approaching the truth from them

    ooo ok wow ! I'll look through the moutains of paper and see what I can find! I just dont want to be caught on the side of the i4 without any idea who to call.. but on the other hand I don't want to pay for something I dont need!

    OOOOOO thanking you muchly miss :yes: :worship: actually it'll be 3 weeks in December gasp but yeah, I think sticking to the premium makes sense for that kind of additional cost
     
  12. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    You are welcome, I just put in two random weeks, not the actual time when you are going :lol:
     
  13. daveann
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    daveann Addicted to Mickey

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  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    VERY interesting thread indeed, thanks for pointing it out.. hmmmm I'm really going to have to find out what level of breakdown cover is included with the various companies. If I were driving a computer I'd have a reasonable shot at fixing anything that happens, but a car? It may as well be a quantum warp drive from the planet zog :lol:

    The insurance not included thing I was aware of. I have a car from Virgin for December thrown in and it's already obvious to me that as it stands, the "thrown in" means "need to spend a few hundred on supplements and insurance".

    I'm sure someone else mentioned about extra insurance for windscreens etc but I cant remember who :/
     
  15. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Just avoid I-4....simples! :lol:
     

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