Thursday, January 22, 2015

RENTAL CARS


 I am changing the name of this section to "RENTAL CARS."  Most of my experience has been with
Enterprise, as they pick you up.  However, I want to add a section on renting from Hertz.


INSURANCE ISSUES

I'm at the point where having a car that I store in a garage while I travel in my RV is starting to become inconvenient.  I have come home to dead batteries a couple times. .One time, I was able to start the car with a device such as this one, and another time, I was unable to start it, and had to have it towed to a dealer.  So, I am researching the idea of not owning a separate car (which would save me on storage rental charges, as I could downsize) and just using rentals when I need one, even when I'm at my "home" area and not technically traveling.  I ran the numbers, and NOT owning a car may not necessarily save money. The reason is that if you do not own a car and you rent a car, you really should buy the "optional" insurance which is pretty pricey.  Or you could take your chances and not buy the optional insurance.  When you own a car and carry insurance, the insurance usually transfers to a rental car.

I contacted one major insurance carrier to inquire about getting an insurance policy to drive rental cars, and was told that there is "no such policy."  I did some googling, I found this:  Non-Owner Car Insurance .  According to this article, "Non Owner Car Insurance" only covers liability if you are at fault.  It doesn't cover the actual vehicle, because you don't own the car.  Therefore, if you have the "non-owner" insurance, you can decline the "optional" liability insurance on a rental, but you should still take the "optional" collision and comprehensive.

On the other hand, major credit cards may or may not have adequate coverage.  This article explains some of the benefits.

Bottom line, between the Non-Owner car insurance and what your major credit card may or may not offer, there may still be "gaps" in the coverage which suggest you should consider paying the rental car insurance, even if the rates are totally ridiculous.  

I am continuing to research this.






HERTZ

To my knowledge, Hertz doesn't pick you up.  But, if you can take alternate transportation to get a car from HERTZ, AAA Motor Club has great discounts.  Pretty easy to reserve from the AAA web site:

RESERVE A HERTZ CAR HERE

Make your reservation and pick out a promo code.  There were a lot of codes to choose from for a variety of discounts. What I liked was that you didn't have to give out a whole lot of personal information.   I once took a county bus from where I was staying to a HERTZ location, this worked out fine for me.


 ENTERPRISE


ENTERPRISE Rent A Car will either pick you up and get you to their office, or they will drive the car to you. Click here and enter the city and state you are currently located to get office hours for your location.

The only issue I have with Enterprise is that their current practice is to pass your phone number to a third party that will contact you after your rental for "market research." When I rented a car in Spokane, I screamed and stamped my feet and said, "I don't want the call" and I never got it. When I rented in Grants Pass, I tried to scream and stamp my feet and I was told, "we don't have any control over this." My understanding, under the DO NOT CALL rules, is that if you insist that you are on the DO NOT CALL list, and you insist that you don't want to be called, they are obligated to honor that request. I sent a formal complaint to the Regional Office, and I was told I was put on their internal "Do Not Call" list. However, the manager who did this for me didn't know whether the internal list covered nationwide, or whether it covered just that Region.

IOWA
DES MOINES/ALTOONA, IA
While working at  Adventureland in Iowa     I made frequent use of  Enterprise on Euclid Avenue.  I walked to the RV park office and had them pick me up there.

COLORADO
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
In May 2011, I stayed at  Fountain Creek RV Park in Colorado Springs.  The branch office is on the same street as this campground.  Car got delivered to me, no problem.  The office was a couple miles from the campground.

NORTH CAROLINA
RALEIGH, NC
In December 2011, I stayed at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on Blue Ridge Road.  There is a branch office right around the corner on Hillsborough Street.  It's 2/3 of a mile to walk to this office if you are in the mood to walk.                  





OREGON

GRANTS PASS, OR

There is a good selection of RV Parks in Grants Pass ( http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/Oregon/Grants_Pass.html ) where cars can be delivered to you. The two closest RV parks are Jack's Landing and Rogue Valley Overnighters.
NEWPORT, OR

There is an Enterprise site in Newport. Here are some RV parks available. I haven't personally stayed at any of these sites, just noting that it's there.

WASHINGTON

ANACORTES, WA
You can stay at either:
Fidalgo Bay RV Resort
or
Pioneer Trails RV Resort
and have Enterprise deliver a car to you for the duration of your stay.

SPOKANE, WA

If you stay at Riverside State Park, there is an Enterprise office at 1426 East Francis Avenue. This office indicated to me that they were the closest to the State Park and can pick you up. I tried this option. I called in advance and THOUGHT I had made a reservation, and was even quoted a final price, but somehow I didn't get a confirmation number. I called on the day of pickup and found out I didn't have a reservation, but no problem, plenty of cars, they will redo the reservation. I showed up and called for them to pick me up. They picked me up, no problem. I got to the office, and STILL no reservation, but no problem, plenty of cars, they will give me a car for the price quoted. Despite the reservation snafu, I got a car, a PT Cruiser. THEN! I show up at the State Park. Park Ranger tells me that the rental car is ok, as it is within the "one RV and one car" allowance. However, the Camp Host told me that since I did not TOW the car in, it was considered an "extra vehicle" and I would have to pay the "extra vehicle" fee. NO WAY! The Park Ranger over-ruled that one! Other than the snafus, everything went fine. I returned the car the night before I left, and left the next morning.

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Sara Welsh said...

My husband and I are thinking about doing some traveling next month, and I think we're going to rent a car. It would be nice to have the freedom of being able to drive whenever you need to, and not have to wait on a taxi. I would love to be able to have that kind of freedom that comes with renting a vehicle.

Sara Welsh | http://www.bmcrental.com/

RVing Toadless said...

Thank you Sara. It does help to have a car. Also, towing a car presents some challenges. The biggest challenge in towing a car is that you cannot "Back up." If you are in a situation where you need to back up, you must unhook the tow car.

I use Enterprise a lot (because of the "we pick you up" policy), but occasionally there are places that don't have Enterprise. Then it's a challenge to get a rental car.