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View Full Version : educate me about rental cars...(please!)


ldhr2005
12-27-2006, 03:03 PM
hard to believe i know, but i have never rented a vehicle. this is my first time taking a baby to disney, so i thought for the ease of being able to go to the grocery store, avoiding having to hop back to downtown disney at night after eating at a resort different than where we are staying, ect...that we would rent a car. but, i have no clue if it truly ends up being worth it. btw, the baby is 5 months old. also, do you get the liability insurance/collison..or are you covered under your own private insurance...any help would be greatly appreciated!!! thanks!

taimgxe
12-27-2006, 03:13 PM
I wouldn't waste your money on any of the rental insurance. Your own auto insurance should take care of any problems... (Unless you are renting some high-end vehicle, then you may want to get insurance) Don't forget your carseat!!! Don't let the rental agent at the desk "encourage" you to upsize. That probably means that they are out of the class you reserved and are trying to upsell you to the next one. You should be given the next car class if they are out without having to pay more. If you have never rented before, I would highly suggest for you to examine the exterior and interior of the car before taking possession of it and notifying the agent before you leave the lot of any areas of concern. ie: (big scratches, dents, marks on the seats or dash) Also, I would not recommend you buying the fuel upfront from the agency. Just make sure you return the vehicle full by buying gas at the closest location.

Disneyjosh229
12-27-2006, 04:05 PM
Also, I recommend signing up for one of the freqent renter programs to avoid the hardsell on the LDW Insurance and to also move things along...

safetymom
12-27-2006, 06:20 PM
I would check with your insurance company to see if you are covered for the extra insurance. Also check with your credit cards to see if they offer the extra insurance for free.

iwannbindisnee
12-28-2006, 07:06 AM
I definitely agree w/Safety Mom--check with your insurance co. to see if you have coverages that transfer to the rental--I am an insurance agent & we had one company that would not transfer coverage & also if you have an older car & have taken off comp or collision, you may not have coverage to transfer except liability. Also, I believe you can get a car seat with the rental car if you are not bringing one on the plane. Ask about that & look here on the website for codes & other ways to save! Deb

ZekeKelso
12-28-2006, 10:13 AM
As someone said, sign up for the company's frequent renter program if they have one. Actually, I'd go a step further and encourage you to only rent from companies that have them (Dollar is my favorite).

Again, as someone said, it's almost always best to not prepay gas and return the tank full. But that means you should know where a nearby gas station is, and be sure to budget time for the refilling.

Lewisc
12-28-2006, 11:46 AM
The agencies in Orlando generally have enough of each size car. Don't count on a free upgrade. Make sure the car class you reserve is large enough for your family and your luggage.

Your rate is based on clock days and then on weeks. If you pick up a car at 10:00a and return it the next day at 1:00p you'll have the car for 1 day and an extra 3 hours. Anything over a possible grace period is billed at an hourly rate and anything over 2 hours (most agencies) usually results in an extra days charge. In this example you'll have the car for 27 hours but you'll be billed for 2 days.

You'll usually be billed a lower weekly rate if you have the car at least 5 days, depends on the agency. Renting the car for less than a week may cost more than renting for a week but turning the car in early will cause your rate to be increased.

Previous posters are correct, most people have adequate coverage with their personal auto policy and credit card coverage and can waive the expensive options. The pre-paid gas plan doesn't make any sense.

NJDad18
12-28-2006, 01:27 PM
We only rent from cars that agencies that can be found at the airport. We normally use Alamo/National, but have also found good rates on Dollar too. The one thing to remember about making reservations for a car rental is that it does not cost anything to cancel a reservation. What that means is to keep checking right up to the time that you leave for a better rate. DW often makes at least 4 different reservations when we go to WDW.

When stopping for groceries, we get off of route 417 at Orange Blossom Trail and stop at either the Target Greatland or the Albertson's. The only thing to remember is that there is a toll to get back onto 417.

Check on either the budget board or on mousesavers for rental codes to use to save on your rates. Sometimes not having a code can get you the best rate.

Never get the extra insurance and don't get the free fill up of gas. They will charge you for a full tank of gas and you may only use 1/2 of the tank on your trip. You do need to return the car with a full tank. Like the OP said, if they are out of the size car that you reserved, then they should upgrade you for no cost.

Lewisc
12-28-2006, 01:36 PM
Some of the budget travel guides suggested booking the economy size car. They claim the agency doesn't have many (any) cars in that category and you'll get a free upgrade. This doesn't normally work in Orlando, the agencies generally have enough economy and compact cars to accommodate customers who reserve that car class.

Make sure the car you reserve is large enough for your family and luggage. It doesn't cost that much extra to reserve a larger car but if you wait until you get there you may wind up paying a high "walk up" rate.



Like the OP said, if they are out of the size car that you reserved, then they should upgrade you for no cost.

dopeyfanatic
12-28-2006, 01:48 PM
Just wanted to say that you should compare the price of what they charge for gas to what you'd have to pay at a nearby gas station. I rented a car in August and it was 11 cents a gallon cheaper to pay the rental company for the gas! It pays to know before you go! Look for a coupon code or coupon, Entertainment book has them. Usually a free day, or an upgrade or something. Definitely check to see if your ins covers the rental because not as many do as you would think!

NJDad18
12-28-2006, 01:59 PM
Just wanted to say that you should compare the price of what they charge for gas to what you'd have to pay at a nearby gas station. I rented a car in August and it was 11 cents a gallon cheaper to pay the rental company for the gas! It pays to know before you go!

Yes the rates may be different, but the rental car company will charge you for a full tank of gas and you may only use half of the tank. We normally rent a car and we obviously use it to go back and forth to the airport, we stop for groceries and we use it to go to Downtown Disney. We may use it a few more times during our trip, but we've never used more than 1/2 of a tank. Let's assume that the car has a 14 gallon tank and the rental car company is charging $2.50 per gallon, they will charge you $35 to fill the tank. If you only use half the tank and the local station is charging $2.65 per gallon you would only pay $18.55 for the 7 gallons that you used. So my point is that it only pays to use the rental cars rates if you are going to drain the tank.:thumbsup2

ruadisneyfan2
12-28-2006, 02:33 PM
I would also suggest you bring your own car seat. We rented one our 1st trip. The straps were all sticky and twisted. It had a nasty vinyl covering that looked like it was from the 80's which got very hot after being parked in the sun all day. Most importantly, we had no idea of knowing if it had ever been involved in an accident. For what we paid for the car seat rental, we could have bought a new car seat! Now we bring our own!
Also travelling with kids is sooo not like traveling as a couple. Try to simplify things as much as possible. For instance, we pay the extra $ to rent a car onsite at the airport rather than have to get a shuttle to an off-site company. The following companies are right in the terminal: Alamo/National, Budget, Avis, Dollar and L & M.
Also try to get a non-stop flight whenever you can. Good luck!:goodvibes

Lewisc
12-28-2006, 02:55 PM
Use your numbers. You'll pay the rental car company $35 for a tank of gas. You'll have to put in 13.21 gallons of gas, at $2.65/ gallon, before you spend the same $35. I wouldn't be comfortable driving a car with less than a gallon of gas. You'll be driving a car with the low fuel light on and the gage well below E for the entire trip to the airport and then some.




Yes the rates may be different, but the rental car company will charge you for a full tank of gas and you may only use half of the tank. We normally rent a car and we obviously use it to go back and forth to the airport, we stop for groceries and we use it to go to Downtown Disney. We may use it a few more times during our trip, but we've never used more than 1/2 of a tank. Let's assume that the car has a 14 gallon tank and the rental car company is charging $2.50 per gallon, they will charge you $35 to fill the tank. If you only use half the tank and the local station is charging $2.65 per gallon you would only pay $18.55 for the 7 gallons that you used. So my point is that it only pays to use the rental cars rates if you are going to drain the tank.:thumbsup2

NJDad18
12-28-2006, 08:03 PM
I'm not comfortable driving with that little gas either. My point was depending upon how much driving you plan on doing, it probably does not make much sense to pay the rental company to fill the tank. If you fill up at WDW, the gauge will still be on Full when you arrive at the airport.