I Like Being Able To Choose My Rental Car But I Hate Choosing A Rental Car

I remember back when I first was a National Car Rental Emerald Club member. That status gave me the privilege of booking a midsize car and being able to book any car parked in the Emerald Aisle. No more having to take the car they assigned me, I had the power to pick whichever car I wanted.

I remember renting an Oldsmobile Bravada just because I could.

'95-'97_Oldsmobile_Bravada

OK, stop being jealous. Who wouldn’t want to rent this car?

Flash forward and National isn’t the only car rental company that lets you pick from the lot. They don’t even require you to have any type of status to be able to pick your own car anymore.

Here are some of the car rental company policies for choosing your own car:

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Late Returning Your Rental Car? It Could Cost You An Extra Day’s Rental Charge

When you rent a car, I bet you don’t give much thought into the times you say you’ll pick up and drop off the vehicle. Most people enter in the time their flight is due to arrive and then maybe give themselves an hour, or two, before your flight is due to leave. But what if your flight home is delayed and you know you’re going to be stuck at the airport? You might decide to just show up a bit later. What if you change your arriving flight at the last minute to get on an earlier plane? Those decisions could cost you an entire day worth of rental car charges, if you’re not careful.

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My Favorite Thing About AutoSlash Has Nothing To Do With Saving Money

If you’re not using AutoSlash when you rent a car, you should be. Their service has saved me hundreds of dollars on car rentals over the years. AutoSlash works on two levels. First, if you enter in your trip details, they’ll email you a list of the lowest prices they’ve found for your rental taking into account all of the discounts you’re eligible for. The second service they offer is tracking your rental and looking for a lower price. Once you’ve made a reservation, either through them or on your own, you enter the rental details into their website and they’ll email you if they find a lower price for your trip.

The cost of these services? They’re FREE!

But the savings they offer isn’t the best thing about dealing with AutoSlash. It’s their customer service. I wish other companies worked the way they do. Continue reading “My Favorite Thing About AutoSlash Has Nothing To Do With Saving Money”

What If Your Rental Car Company Overcharges You For Tolls?

Paying for toll roads and bridges/tunnels has become more complicated in recent years. More and more locations are depending on toll-by-plate systems to send you a bill or otherwise use a transponder in your car to keep track of how much you owe. If you go through a toll in a rental car, the bill for the toll goes to the rental car company and eventually gets charged to your credit card. Rental car companies have turned this into another way for them to rip you off augment their revenue stream and often add huge surcharges to rentals even if you only go through one toll during your rental. We’ve written about how you can try to avoid these charges by renting from a company that charges a fair rate for their toll payment services. But what if the car rental company sends you a bill after your rental for tolls you know you didn’t go through?

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Should You Get The Three Types Of Rental Car Insurance?

In a previous article, I went over the Collision/Loss Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW) that rental car companies offer, ways you might already be covered and other available ways to purchase coverage. There are three other types of coverage that car rental companies will offer you. These policies cover your exposure to personal liability or medical expenses resulting from an accident with the rental car, and protection if your property is stolen from the vehicle. You may or may not need these types of coverage so it’s important to know what they are and how you may already be covered.

Please note that this information is for a car rented in the United States. If you are a U.S. resident and are renting outside the U.S., your auto, homeowners or medical insurance may not cover you and purchasing these forms of coverage may make sense (or even be mandatory). The same goes for international travelers renting a car in the U.S. Please note that I’m not an insurance agent nor an expert, so I suggest reading the policies including, but not limited to the parts about policy limits, deductibles and exclusions before making any decisions.

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