Booking Rental Cars in the States

A friend and I are going to be doing a road/mtb trip from Denver to San
Francisco late April-early May and we were looking at rental cars -
ending up with more questions than answers.

Anyone have any advice or things to look out for when renting a car?
Especially if you’re a crazy foreigner who drives on the other [correct
;-)] side of the road.

One of the other questions is around insurance - insurance is
complusory I presume but there appeared to be several different levels
of insurance, any recommendations or things to look at?

IMHO, If I was driving in a Foreign Country, I would get all the options
available. Even if you know all the laws, folks in different parts of
the country drive so much differently. A friend from New York City told
me, don’t stop when the light turns red or you will get rear-ended,
since they dont stop going through until well after it’s red.

Hertz is the Largest by far and usually the De Facto Standard, but I
must admit that I prefer Enterprise.

On 3/19/2012 5:59 PM, Scott A. Campbell wrote:[color=blue]

A friend and I are going to be doing a road/mtb trip from Denver to San
Francisco late April-early May and we were looking at rental cars -
ending up with more questions than answers.

Anyone have any advice or things to look out for when renting a car?
Especially if you’re a crazy foreigner who drives on the other [correct
;-)] side of the road.

One of the other questions is around insurance - insurance is
complusory I presume but there appeared to be several different levels
of insurance, any recommendations or things to look at?[/color]


Craig Wilson - MCNE, MCSE, CCNA
Novell Knowledge Partner

Novell does not officially monitor these forums.

Suggestions/Opinions/Statements made by me are solely my own.
These thoughts may not be shared by either Novell or any rational human.

On 3/19/2012 5:59 PM, Scott A. Campbell wrote:[color=blue]

A friend and I are going to be doing a road/mtb trip from Denver to San
Francisco late April-early May and we were looking at rental cars -
ending up with more questions than answers.

Anyone have any advice or things to look out for when renting a car?
Especially if you’re a crazy foreigner who drives on the other [correct
;-)] side of the road.

One of the other questions is around insurance - insurance is
complusory I presume but there appeared to be several different levels
of insurance, any recommendations or things to look at?[/color]

You must have a drivers license to show at the rental counter. I think
you may also need to get an International permit to prove your country’s
license is valid. You will also need to show your drivers license.

More info on the permit:

http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Foreign-Visitors-Driving.shtml

You must have a credit card (not debit). No company will rent to you
without one. Also consider they will pre approve the credit card
transaction which reserve the funds and hits against your card limit.

You get a certain amount of insurance in the rental price and the option
to buy more. If you have auto insurance here your insurance covers the
extra stuff. Also some credit cards cover it. You aren’t required to buy
the extra coverage and can choose to take the risk. Here is a little
idea about that:

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rental-car-credit-card-protections-vary-1273.php

Make sure you inspect the car before taking it. Small rental places will
go to the car with you and do a walk around and note damage. Big places
just give you the keys. So if you see damage other than small
scratches/dings go back and report it before moving the car.

You noted you will be in California. If you get tempted to drive into
Mexico with the rental ignore the temptation.

On Mon, 19 Mar 2012 21:59:11 +0000, Scott A. Campbell wrote:
[color=blue]

Anyone have any advice or things to look out for when renting a car?
Especially if you’re a crazy foreigner who drives on the other [correct
;-)] side of the road.[/color]

If you drive on your ‘correct’ side of the road over here, I can assure
you that the police will ticket you for driving on the wrong side of the
road. :wink:

Most if not all rental companies here provide insurance - you can waive
the coverage if you have insurance that covers rental vehicles (when I
traveled for work, that was the default for us because the company had
its own policy for employees traveling on business).

The ‘fuel option’ can be weird to understand from car rental companies
here. Usually you have three choices:

  1. Purchase a full tank at the time of rental, and return the vehicle
    with as little petrol as you prefer. Price per gallon goes up the more
    you leave in the tank (ie, you pay a flat fee for the first tankful).

  2. Let them refuel when you bring the car back - there’s a hefty service
    fee for this, and that can drive the price per gallon up to what our
    friends in the UK normally pay (and sometimes even a bit higher).

  3. Bring the car back with a nearly full tank.

You may also end up paying an extra fee for dropping the car off at a
different location than where you picked it up. Most rental companies
charge extra for that. ISTR that it might be possible to see if they
have a need to move a car from one location to another - that may be a
way around the fee (that does tend to be within a local area, though, I
think - for example, Hertz has two or three locations here in the SLC
area - and if they need a car at the downtown Marriott and you rent from
the airport, they may be OK with it being returned to a different local
location for another reservation at the end of your rental period - saves
them having to make the trip themselves).

Jim


Jim Henderson, CNA6, CDE, CNI, LPIC-1, CLA10, CLP10
Novell Knowledge Partner

craig wilson wrote:
[color=blue]

IMHO, If I was driving in a Foreign Country, I would get all the
options available.[/color]

I when we went down that route, the cost of the insurance was twice the
cost of the actual rental, and that was avoiding some of the options
such as injury to yourself (covered by travel insurance) :open_mouth:
[color=blue]

Even if you know all the laws, folks in different
parts of the country drive so much differently. A friend from New
York City told me, don’t stop when the light turns red or you will
get rear-ended, since they dont stop going through until well after
it’s red.[/color]

Good to know, thanks :slight_smile:

Thank you, very helpful.

What’s the deal with Mexico? Not that we are going down there as the
scehdule is just too tight, but…

Jim Henderson wrote:
[color=blue]

If you drive on your ‘correct’ side of the road over here, I can
assure you that the police will ticket you for driving on the wrong
side of the road. ;)[/color]

Oh, I’m sure with a little healthy conversation they’ll see the error
of their ways :smiley: Then again, I’ve watched Cops on a few occassions…
:slight_smile:

And thank you on the advice about the fuel options and insurance.

On Tue, 20 Mar 2012 20:53:06 +0000, Scott A. Campbell wrote:
[color=blue]

Jim Henderson wrote:
[color=green]

If you drive on your ‘correct’ side of the road over here, I can assure
you that the police will ticket you for driving on the wrong side of
the road. ;)[/color]

Oh, I’m sure with a little healthy conversation they’ll see the error of
their ways :smiley: Then again, I’ve watched Cops on a few occassions…
:-)[/color]

I’d like to hear that conversation. :slight_smile:

Having driven in the US and the UK, something I would advise is being
familiar with the roads you’re driving on if you’re going to drive after
dark. When I was in the UK and borrowed a car, I opted not to drive
after dark since oncoming headlights might have caused me to move to the
“bad” side of the road on a winding road.
[color=blue]

And thank you on the advice about the fuel options and insurance.[/color]

NP. :slight_smile:

Jim


Jim Henderson, CNA6, CDE, CNI, LPIC-1, CLA10, CLP10
Novell Knowledge Partner

Jim Henderson wrote:
[color=blue]

I’d like to hear that conversation. :)[/color]

I’ll make sure I record it :slight_smile:
[color=blue]

Having driven in the US and the UK, something I would advise is being
familiar with the roads you’re driving on if you’re going to drive
after dark. When I was in the UK and borrowed a car, I opted not to
drive after dark since oncoming headlights might have caused me to
move to the “bad” side of the road on a winding road.[/color]

Noted, thanks. And of-course when you get tired…

Scott A. Campbell wrote:
[color=blue]

What’s the deal with Mexico?[/color]

Really good Mexican food. They speak Spanish. A lot of tequilla
choices.


Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

Joseph Marton wrote:
[color=blue]

Really good Mexican food. They speak Spanish. A lot of tequilla
choices.[/color]

And that’s why I’d avoid Mexico? :slight_smile:

Scott Campbell,[color=blue]

And that’s why I’d avoid Mexico? :-)[/color]

Depends on whether you like spicy food and tequila, but cars and
tequila generally do not mix well, unless you use it for fuel…


Anders Gustafsson (NKP)
The Aaland Islands (N60 E20)

Have an idea for a product enhancement? Please visit:
http://www.novell.com/rms

Jim,

On 20.03.2012 21:58, Jim Henderson wrote:[color=blue]

Having driven in the US and the UK, something I would advise is being
familiar with the roads you’re driving on if you’re going to drive after
dark. When I was in the UK and borrowed a car, I opted not to drive
after dark since oncoming headlights might have caused me to move to the
“bad” side of the road on a winding road.[/color]

Agreed, but for a slightly different reason. When I was in Australia,
the only time where I ended up on the wrong side of the road was after
dark too, but not because it was dark, but because the streets were
empty, after I took a turn. As long as there’s traffic around, I never
once had the slightest problem. But doing a turn from and into an
completely empty road can get you in trouble. I drove almost a mile on
the wrong side before I noticed it (myself, luckily, not because some
other traffic suddenly showing up on “my” side)

CU,

Massimo Rosen
Novell Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de

Massimo Rosen,[color=blue]

As long as there’s traffic around, I never
once had the slightest problem. But doing a turn from and into an
completely empty road can get you in trouble.[/color]

Same here, in my case it was in Stratford Upon Avon.


Anders Gustafsson (NKP)
The Aaland Islands (N60 E20)

Have an idea for a product enhancement? Please visit:
http://www.novell.com/rms

On 21/03/2012 10:00, Anders Gustafsson wrote:
[color=blue]

Same here, in my case it was in Stratford Upon Avon.[/color]

To be on the left-hand side of the road, or not to be on the left-hand
side of the road, that is the question

:wink:

Simon
Novell/SUSE/NetIQ Knowledge Partner


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If so, your campus could benefit from joining the Novell Technology
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Massimo Rosen mrosenNO@SPAMcfc-it.de wrote in news:uUgar.6331$V43.2714
@kovat.provo.novell.com:
[color=blue]

I drove almost a mile on
the wrong side before I noticed it (myself, luckily, not because some
other traffic suddenly showing up on “my” side)
[/color]

Planes, trains, and automobiles? Man that was a funny part.


Ciao, Dave

Scott Campbell wrote:
[color=blue]

Joseph Marton wrote:
[color=green]

Really good Mexican food. They speak Spanish. A lot of tequilla
choices.[/color]

And that’s why I’d avoid Mexico? :-)[/color]

Oh I just thought you asked what the deal was with Mexico. Not why to
avoid–those are all reasons of why to go. :slight_smile:


Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

On 3/20/2012 9:54 PM, Joseph Marton wrote:[color=blue]

Scott A. Campbell wrote:
[color=green]

What’s the deal with Mexico?[/color]

Really good Mexican food. They speak Spanish. A lot of tequilla
choices.
[/color]

Do they use those traditional hard taco shells there?

On 3/20/2012 4:47 PM, Scott A. Campbell wrote:[color=blue]

Thank you, very helpful.

What’s the deal with Mexico? Not that we are going down there as the
scehdule is just too tight, but…[/color]

Your car rental agreement prohibits it.

They may look at accidents and such a little differently if foreign
plates are on a car.

On Tue, 20 Mar 2012 21:15:30 +0000, Scott A. Campbell wrote:
[color=blue]

Jim Henderson wrote:
[color=green]

I’d like to hear that conversation. :)[/color]

I’ll make sure I record it :slight_smile:
[color=green]

Having driven in the US and the UK, something I would advise is being
familiar with the roads you’re driving on if you’re going to drive
after dark. When I was in the UK and borrowed a car, I opted not to
drive after dark since oncoming headlights might have caused me to move
to the “bad” side of the road on a winding road.[/color]

Noted, thanks. And of-course when you get tired…[/color]

Yeah - of course, on a well-lit road, it’s different (because it’s not
really dark), but I could see on windy roads near Maidstone that my
reflex would be to swerve into the oncoming traffic…which wouldn’t
have been good for us or the car we were borrowing.

Jim


Jim Henderson, CNA6, CDE, CNI, LPIC-1, CLA10, CLP10
Novell Knowledge Partner