Although every collision is different, there are certain issues that most drivers have to deal with after a collision. One of the most common is securing a rental car while auto repairs are being made. Though the process shouldn’t be stressful, it can cause anxiety when there are added expenses or the process becomes too time-consuming. This is especially true when you’re already having to fork out money for towing and collision repairs. Thankfully, many rental related pitfalls can be avoided by simply asking questions prior to signing a rental commitment and staying as informed as possible.
Will my current insurance cover the cost of the rental?
This is a question not for the car company but your provider. Usually, drivers already know the answer since rental car coverage is paid for monthly as part of your premium. Still, certain questions need to be asked. These include:
- Is rental coverage part of my policy?
- How much will the policy cover per day?
- Will the insurance company pay for the rental directly or reimburse me?
- Is there a maximum coverage amount?
These questions should be asked before renting a vehicle so that costly mistakes aren’t made. For example, some policies only cover 20 dollars per day of rental car coverage. If you select a vehicle with a base rate (you’ll learn more about this below), the amount of out of pocket cost you’ll need to pay could add up quickly.
Will there be any upfront or added costs?
Which brings us to another important point: the daily rate for a rental car isn’t what you’ll actually pay.When giving you the rate, what most companies actually quote is the “base rate”. That means the 20 dollars a day you think you will be paying for your temporary rental car may rise once extras are tacked on. Two common expenses are taxes and airport fees.
Though taxes can’t really be avoided, they must be accounted for in your overall rental car budget. When it comes to airport concession fees, avoid picking up your vehicle at an airport location if not absolutely necessary.
Gasoline refill fees are also a common expense. Though prepaying for gas and having the rental company refill for you once you drop off the vehicle may seem convenient, the fees for this service are very expensive when compared to what it would cost to top off the gas yourself.
Will my insurance still cover me once I’m driving the rental?
Another “extra” that the car rental company will try to sell you when scheduling a pick-up is insurance. Referred to as Collision Damage or Loss Damage Waiver, these protection plans run between 10 to 30 extra dollars per day. This added expense is in general, a waste of money, since the that the coverage you have for your main vehicle usually extends to your rental vehicle.
To be sure, call your car insurance provider and check to make sure extra coverage isn’t needed. If your current provider agrees to cover it all, keep in mind that an accident in a rental car will usually raise your insurance rates if you have to file a claim on your own policy. So, driving responsibly is a must!
It is our hope at Orlando Auto Body that all of our customers stay safe and that you never need a rental because of a crash. But if a collision does occur, give us a call at 480-351-1734 so that we can help you get back on the road as quickly as possible.