Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]]

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Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]]

Postby hackbunny » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:16 am

So I went about renting a car today... I was aware of age restrictions (I'm older than 25), but not of driving license age restriction (mine will be 8 months old as of BM). Rental conditions never mention this! I found a passing mention somewhere, and I've been spending hours online trying to confirm or refute it (confirmed for rentals in EU, absolutely nothing, nowhere about rentals in the USA)

So, fellow BMers, how screwed am I?
Last edited by hackbunny on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby jkisha » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:39 am

I was never aware of that restriction. Maybe the best thing to do is to call the car rental agency you are planning on using and see what they say. Then you'll know for sure.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Sail Man » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:40 am

Not sure, you may pay more though. Have you looked at the websites avis, enterprise etc here in the states?

Maybe starting the online rental process without actually checking out will raise any red flags.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby hackbunny » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:49 am

It's very confusing, the restriction is only mentioned in passing on http://www.us-rentacar.com/ and I've been reading through every major agency's terms to find more, but none mention it. Years-old forum posts say that some agencies don't have that restriction, but I can't find any current information. Of course I've spammed the customer service of all major renters (Avis, Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz...)

Fingers crossed...
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:00 am

If you happen to be renting a car in Sacramento, the owner of the AVIS/Budget dealership is very burner-friendly and since you're over 25 will not give you any problems at all. PM me if you need the info.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Sham » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:56 am

When ever I rent a car, I have to show my license (of course, they won't let you drive a car without one). They have never asked me how long I've had my license. I would probably not ask the question and go on he premise that you didn't know. Chances are you will not be asked how long you've had you license.
An interesting note is that you can make reservations with several rental companies, so if one should by some weird chance ask you about it, you'll be able to step over to the next one and go again.
Remember, you only have to show a valid license, you don't have to prove how long you've been driving and they don't do a registry check for every rental going out.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby hackbunny » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:37 am

An update: National and Hertz answered, they say no problem; a live chat with Enterprise customer service confirms it for them, too. I won't need to take the offer from the Sacramento guy I guess (I land in Vegas anyway), but thanks all the same!

PS: Alamo answered, too... seems like I won't have issues! I hope this will be helpful for the next person who gets scared off by warnings about an obsolete policy
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:49 pm

I think it will be a comfort, hackbunny.

I think the "no rentals to those licensed less than a year" might be a bygone thing, or be applicable to other services, like ZipCar (a car-sharing service that still has that rule). But one could never take a ZipCar to the playa anyway. :)
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:20 pm

There are all sorts of great hints in renting a car. Here are few tips from Shambala :D

DO NOT tell them that you're going to Burning Man. Think of another story ahead of time so you are not caught off guard. I am always going to meet family in Tahoe. (by the way, what's Burning Man?) Try to wear civilian clothes when picking up the car.

If there are "Burner types" with you, have them stand someplace else when getting the car--just because!

Your mileage will indicate that went to the playa, so here are some good hints for returning the car. Drop your dusty luggage off at the airport before returning the car, and just keep your carry-on with you if possible. They look at door jams and other crevices for dust. Clean it out!

Clean all the dust including the engine compartment. Bring a small microfiber cloth with you, and whatever you do, DO NOT WET THE CLOTH WHEN WIPING THE INSIDE OF THE CAR! It will turn to mud that will never come off.

When making reservations, shop the best price and use coupons. It makes sense to sign up for the frequent renters card from several companies. They will email you with great offers and coupons all the time. Also, and this is a big one, they tend not to screw over their best card holding customers when it comes to dusty cars returned. Also, if you have a printed reservation from one company, you can bring it to another and they will honor the rate just to steal the business.

Use your major credit card when renting and DECLINE the insurance. Your credit card will cover the damage on the card. They make a shit-pot of money on those insurance fees, and try to scare you into taking it. There is no need for expensive double coverage.

Should they try to hit you with a charge for dust, simply pay it and dispute it with your credit card company later. This is where creative writing comes in. (I have rented hundreds of cars before, and never knew I had to run them through a car wash before returning)

Does anyone else have useful car rental tips?
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:35 pm

Nice, Shambala. I've never rented a car, but if I did, I'd always planned to wear business drag, just on a lark. :)

I have noticed that if you sign up for the email promotions list of at least one of the major car rental places, they will send you your first offer a week or two later (if not right away). They figure you were looking for a good offer. So unless you need a very specific kind of vehicle and need to book this very week, let their system have the chance to think you're waiting for a temptation.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby Zhust » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:51 pm

In 2005 when I first went to Burning Man, we rented a car from Denver. We told them we were going to Moab, Utah originally — I'm terrible at lying, so we indeed were going to Moab, only we weren't gonna stop there.

In the fine print of the rental agreement it says you can only drive in states specified on the agreement which did not include Nevada. The truck had "OnStar" which meant that if we pressed the shiny blue button, it would report where we actually were (according to Internet reports, OnStar only sends your location if you push the button and it doesn't record it, at least in 2005, and like we believed what we read on the Internet).

We fretted over what to do. Eventually I called and told them we liked the car a lot and wanted to extend our trip to the southwest, including New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada. They said, "that's fine, there is only one thing" — and then my heart stopped and approximately two lifetimes passed as I expected mention of Burning Man — "we gave you an in-state rate because Moab is so close to the border. But we'll honor that rate anyway."

When we got back we scrubbed, vacuumed, and washed that brand new SUV like nobody's business. It had something like 50 miles on it when we picked up, and we brought it back with over 2,000 and it showed. No problems, though — no accidents, no obvious dirt, etc.

So my advice is to be sure to specify that you'll be travelling in Nevada. Make it seem like you're going on a camping trip to someplace nice, and maybe ask about the whole off-road thing. (Spin the whole tale in your head early about where you plan to be, and what camping will be like ... even pick out a campground or National Park, and "plan" a vacation there.) They might mention Burning Man, so just be ready with whatever banal thing you've heard other people say, "I thought that was in Arizona"; "do you think traffic will be bad around it?"

And then be extra careful (i.e. check to make sure there's no problems) before going off-road in the Black Rock Desert: don't get in an accident out there at all or report a breakdown.
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Re: Car rental, <1 year license: how screwed am I?

Postby hackbunny » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:57 pm

Shambala wrote:DO NOT tell them that you're going to Burning Man. Think of another story ahead of time so you are not caught off guard.


Well, I'm picking up in Vegas and dropping off in Denver, no reason to mention that my road trip takes a week-long detour through Black Rock City ;)

Shambala wrote:Clean all the dust including the engine compartment. Bring a small microfiber cloth with you, and whatever you do, DO NOT WET THE CLOTH WHEN WIPING THE INSIDE OF THE CAR! It will turn to mud that will never come off.


This is good advice, but it sounds like a lot of work! I think I'll just hand it off to a carwash... which ones in the Reno area specialize in dust? are they worth the money, or will the (avoidable, disputable) damage fees be cheaper? Can I do it quickly and on the cheap at a self-service place? I have virtually no experience of carwashing, much less of playa dust. I have virtually no experience of driving, either - maybe I'll make companies rethink their policies on driving license date of issue, after all ;)

Shambala wrote:Use your major credit card when renting and DECLINE the insurance. Your credit card will cover the damage on the card. They make a shit-pot of money on those insurance fees, and try to scare you into taking it. There is no need for expensive double coverage.


Awesome! I didn't realize the insurance fee was bullshit in light of the "major credit card" requirement

Edit: I retitled the thread to something more useful to others
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:57 pm

I think it's amazing that you can change the title of a thread long after it was started. I think I'll go back and rename all my threads something with happy thoughts in the title! :D
I should have been more specific about the credit card companies insuring the car rentals. Most of the credit cards in circulation are a PREMIUM type card and will give full accident coverage. These type of cards are like Gold and Platinum cards, but it's worth a call to the bank to ask about the coverage just in case. If you have several credit cards, just be sure the one that has the premium coverage when renting!
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby MyDearFriend » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:22 pm

I don't really get this whole scrub-the-car-clean thing. I have done a lot of vacation rentals with my kids, over the years, and while I usually pulled the big trash out when we dropped off there has been sand, dirt, cheeto dust, spilled juice, cheerios/skittles/peanuts or whatever left in the back. And while we never went exactly "off-road" we've done a lot of "unimproved roads," ha, some of which have run us through streams and etc. So there's a lot of mud /dust /sticky kid stuff etc in my rental history.

I have never, ever, ever cleaned a rental car. Or been charged for cleaning.

And I have read the fine print on many a rental agreement and, while they all mention a charge for not refilling the gas tank, and some of them will charge for cigarette smoke, I have never seen anything about regular old dirt,dust, sand, etc. So I really don't get it. :?: :?: :?:
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:25 pm

It's that . . .

* a few Burners do really trash cars
* it's a grand opportunity to automatically soak those Burners who don't, because who's going to believe them?

However . . . if one can make an attempt to make one's usage of the car ambiguous/not completely obvious, sometimes the same courtesy or restraint is extended by the rental company. :P
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:34 pm

It's not "regular old dust".

It's a super dust that if it get moist or wet becomes a nightmare from hell.

It's almost impossible to get it all off of anything once that happens.

Most dust on a dash, you would take a damp clothe and wipe it off.

You try that with playa dust and it will make gray streaks that seem to never go away.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Sic Pup » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:18 am

DOS tip: wipe down the interior with a rag moistened with lemon/lime juice before returning - DO NOT USE WATER.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby MyDearFriend » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:06 am

FIGJAM wrote:It's not "regular old dust".

It's a super dust that if it get moist or wet becomes a nightmare from hell.

It's almost impossible to get it all off of anything once that happens.

Most dust on a dash, you would take a damp clothe and wipe it off.

You try that with playa dust and it will make gray streaks that seem to never go away.


Yeah I do understand this part. I intend to be mindful, minimize exposure etc and will not have any daggone kids with me this trip, right Grai? :P I just don't get why I would want to ever clean a rental car to begin with.

Savannah, you are quite correct: dressing the part is usually very helpful. I always arrive at the rental counter in middle-aged-married-mother mode: neat skirt, cardigan, chignon, glasses... :roll: which is quite soothing to the airport security screeners as well.

And Hertz has never asked me where I am going or where I have been with their vehicle. So I am going to try not to worry about it.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Sham » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:20 am

Let me try to explain why the car needs to be cleaned once again. In the days that Burning Man ends, the rental companies have had cars returned completely trashed with playa dust inside and out. The engine compartments are covered and the trunks and cargo areas are full of dust and mud as well. This stuff never cleans out and in many cases the rentals need major detailing and cleaning to make it rentable again. This is much more than your usual road dust or fast food wrappers left in the back seat. For this reason, they imposed a cleaning fee on the cars, or everyone would be returned playa-crusted.

Now, people tend to treat the rentals with more respect and care, and the cars need to be washed. They really do overlook minor dust areas, they just don't want a totaled car being dropped back off.

Another interesting note is that the rental agreements specifically exclude any off road use of the vehicle. Yet another HUGE reason to clean the car and make it appear that you have no idea what the Burning Man Festival is! :shock:
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:15 am

MyDearFriend wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:It's not "regular old dust".

It's a super dust that if it get moist or wet becomes a nightmare from hell.

It's almost impossible to get it all off of anything once that happens.

Most dust on a dash, you would take a damp clothe and wipe it off.

You try that with playa dust and it will make gray streaks that seem to never go away.


Yeah I do understand this part. I intend to be mindful, minimize exposure etc and will not have any daggone kids with me this trip, right Grai? :P I just don't get why I would want to ever clean a rental car to begin with.

Savannah, you are quite correct: dressing the part is usually very helpful. I always arrive at the rental counter in middle-aged-married-mother mode: neat skirt, cardigan, chignon, glasses... :roll: which is quite soothing to the airport security screeners as well.

And Hertz has never asked me where I am going or where I have been with their vehicle. So I am going to try not to worry about it.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask how much a rental cars cleaning fee is going to cost. A vehicle that's rented in Reno will sometimes have cleaning fees of 200-500 bucks!! :shock: If that's the case, it's worth it to spend 50-100 bucks to get it REALLY professionally cleaned somewhere. Call around ahead of time and see if you can make an appointment.

If you're renting from somewhere further away, let's say Boise! They may only have the standard 100 cleaning fee...and honestly, isn't it just WORTH it to take it dirty if it's not in TOO bad a shape?? I think so.

OK! Here's the BIG rental tip I always give to people. I used to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and I learned a LOT of things about rental cars/insurance/liability.

GET THE DAMAGE WAIVER. Just...seriously, get it. I don't care if you have insurance that covers your car, I don't care if you have american express that will cover expenses if you pay with your card. Here's the skinny. In the State of California AND Nevada (not sure about other states but you should check) if there is ANY damage to the vehicle, EVEN if your car was rear-ended by someone and you exchanged insurance information etc. the rental car company will come after you and charge damages DIRECTLY to whatever card you paid with. This is totally legal. I have seen many, many unhappy people who had trouble with their insurance companies or American Express (it takes them 18-24 months to pay you back!!!!). Damage Waiver allows you to drop off the car in ANY state of repair without any repercussions. It's also the cheapest part of the insurance package at 4-6 bucks a day. Just do it. If you already have car insurance w/ liability, you're all set w/ damage waiver. :D
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby MyDearFriend » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:06 pm

Shambala wrote:Let me try to explain why the car needs to be cleaned once again. In the days that Burning Man ends, the rental companies have had cars returned completely trashed with playa dust inside and out. The engine compartments are covered and the trunks and cargo areas are full of dust and mud as well. This stuff never cleans out and in many cases the rentals need major detailing and cleaning to make it rentable again. This is much more than your usual road dust or fast food wrappers left in the back seat. For this reason, they imposed a cleaning fee on the cars, or everyone would be returned playa-crusted.

Now, people tend to treat the rentals with more respect and care, and the cars need to be washed. They really do overlook minor dust areas, they just don't want a totaled car being dropped back off.

Another interesting note is that the rental agreements specifically exclude any off road use of the vehicle. Yet another HUGE reason to clean the car and make it appear that you have no idea what the Burning Man Festival is! :shock:


Hey Sham, my understanding (from Hertz, Avis & AAA) is that as long as the ground is "graded or designated for vehicular traffic" then it is considered an "unimproved road or parking area." So not equal to "off-road" and perfectly fine for regular rental cars. BRC has marked streets and camping areas, so... should be cool.

I think we might be confusing the old-time, drive-by shooting range days with the modern urban BRC experience. But I take your words to heart and will have time to wash my rental if I decide I need to do that once I get back to Vegas.

I can't recall ever seeing cleaning fees in a rental agreement, and I do read them with care, but thanks for the warning.

VCG, I always get the Loss/Damage Waiver but it's currently running ~$24/day. And I am looking a two week rental... :?

Maybe that's why they never have charged me a cleaning fee... :lol:
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby dragonpilot » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:48 pm

People, people, people...are we forgetting one of Burning Man's TEN PRINCIPLES...LEAVE NO TRACE (Leaving No Trace: Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.)

Shouldn't this extend to the property and equipment we're responsible for...ALL THE TIME! Even when we are not on the playa? Me thinks so! Clean up your rented vehicles, your borrowed tents, spatulas, frying pans, underwear....and (*gasp*) your personal surroundings and gear!

Just sayin, folks...
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:13 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:
Shambala wrote:Let me try to explain why the car needs to be cleaned once again. In the days that Burning Man ends, the rental companies have had cars returned completely trashed with playa dust inside and out. The engine compartments are covered and the trunks and cargo areas are full of dust and mud as well. This stuff never cleans out and in many cases the rentals need major detailing and cleaning to make it rentable again. This is much more than your usual road dust or fast food wrappers left in the back seat. For this reason, they imposed a cleaning fee on the cars, or everyone would be returned playa-crusted.

Now, people tend to treat the rentals with more respect and care, and the cars need to be washed. They really do overlook minor dust areas, they just don't want a totaled car being dropped back off.

Another interesting note is that the rental agreements specifically exclude any off road use of the vehicle. Yet another HUGE reason to clean the car and make it appear that you have no idea what the Burning Man Festival is! :shock:


Hey Sham, my understanding (from Hertz, Avis & AAA) is that as long as the ground is "graded or designated for vehicular traffic" then it is considered an "unimproved road or parking area." So not equal to "off-road" and perfectly fine for regular rental cars. BRC has marked streets and camping areas, so... should be cool.

I think we might be confusing the old-time, drive-by shooting range days with the modern urban BRC experience. But I take your words to heart and will have time to wash my rental if I decide I need to do that once I get back to Vegas.

I can't recall ever seeing cleaning fees in a rental agreement, and I do read them with care, but thanks for the warning.

VCG, I always get the Loss/Damage Waiver but it's currently running ~$24/day. And I am looking a two week rental... :?

Maybe that's why they never have charged me a cleaning fee... :lol:


If they are charging you $24 that's FULL PACK. There is no way damage waiver is $24. MDF, do you live outside the country??
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Bin Noddin » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:44 pm

VeganChoirGirl wrote: MDF, do you live outside the country??


She's in the District of Columbia - you just gave us the straight line for all kinds of mirth.

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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby MyDearFriend » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:44 pm

Bin Noddin wrote:
VeganChoirGirl wrote: MDF, do you live outside the country??


She's in the District of Columbia - you just gave us the straight line for all kinds of mirth.

Do listen to grizzled old DragonPilot.


Thanks, Bin, yeah I live in The Last Colony; "Taxation Without Representation" is written on my license plates.

Please understand me DP, I am Nurse Tidy IRL, I clean up after everybody around here (Florence Nightingale on my shoulder, insisting on that), but, Hertz is gonna wash that daggone vehicle anyway; do I really need to run umpteen gallons of Nevada's water into the gutter before I turn it in? Maybe I do. I can be taught...

And thanks for the tip, VCG, I will look at the coverage more closely. These are the options I can see on line from Hertz:
Liability Insurance Supplement
daily 13.95 USD
Loss Damage Waiver
daily 22.99 USD
Personal Accident Insurance / Personal Effects Coverage
daily 5.95 USD

And, that's it!!! But I will scrutinize the contract again before I sign it.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:24 am

MyDearFriend wrote:
Bin Noddin wrote:
VeganChoirGirl wrote: MDF, do you live outside the country??


She's in the District of Columbia - you just gave us the straight line for all kinds of mirth.

Do listen to grizzled old DragonPilot.


Thanks, Bin, yeah I live in The Last Colony; "Taxation Without Representation" is written on my license plates.

Please understand me DP, I am Nurse Tidy IRL, I clean up after everybody around here (Florence Nightingale on my shoulder, insisting on that), but, Hertz is gonna wash that daggone vehicle anyway; do I really need to run umpteen gallons of Nevada's water into the gutter before I turn it in? Maybe I do. I can be taught...

And thanks for the tip, VCG, I will look at the coverage more closely. These are the options I can see on line from Hertz:
Liability Insurance Supplement
daily 13.95 USD
Loss Damage Waiver
daily 22.99 USD
Personal Accident Insurance / Personal Effects Coverage
daily 5.95 USD

And, that's it!!! But I will scrutinize the contract again before I sign it.


WOW Hertz is really gouging. It might be because the cars are going to playa.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Sham » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:15 am

Hertz and all the major companies gouge all the time. This insurance comes to $42.89 per day or $430. for a 10 day period. The chances of having an accident are very slim, but the insurance charge is guaranteed! If you check your credit card benefits, you will see that you simply don't need that extra insurance.

I did some funky math on this insurance a while back to illustrate how outrageous the charges are. This would come to $15,480 per year for auto insurance. This is why the clerk at the Hertz counter will give you a blow job if only you take their insurance! :shock:

The cleaning charge are due to so many cars being returned after the event totally trashed. If there were one or two like that, there would never be an issue. You can go to a $10 car wash at a gas station and run it though, and then pull up to the vacuums with a handful of quarters and you will be ready to return your rental.

It's truly better to put that insurance money toward gas or food and liquor for your camp.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby ckburn » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:26 pm

I've rented from a few different companies at the Reno airport for Burning Man. They have all sternly advised me that they would charge me a fee if I brought it back really dusty. I brought one back to Budget after having spent an hour cleaning it out, and the guy turned on the A/C and got a face full of playa. He said they would charge me, but they never did. The people at Budget were pretty unfriendly about the whole thing.

I now have a new plan, which has worked well two years in a row. I rent from Enterprise at the Reno airport. I take the car to a big full service car wash (Hutch's Mission) and ask for the Burning Man Special when I get back. They do a half-ass job that's barely worth the cost, but it's good enough. The guys at Enterprise were quite friendly about the whole thing when I returned, even though it was completely obvious that I had taken the car to the playa.

My main point here is that I've had good luck with Enterprise, and I agree with an earlier post that we should bring these cars back in *decent* condition. Not perfect, but at least make an effort. We should do what we can to keep the rental companies happy with Burners. They are less likely to gouge our friends with high prices and stupid cleaning fees that way.

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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby wimala1 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:47 pm

.[/quote]

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask how much a rental cars cleaning fee is going to cost. A vehicle that's rented in Reno will sometimes have cleaning fees of 200-500 bucks!! :shock: If that's the case, it's worth it to spend 50-100 bucks to get it REALLY professionally cleaned somewhere. Call around ahead of time and see if you can make an appointment.

If you're renting from somewhere further away, let's say Boise! They may only have the standard 100 cleaning fee...and honestly, isn't it just WORTH it to take it dirty if it's not in TOO bad a shape?? I think so.

OK! Here's the BIG rental tip I always give to people. I used to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and I learned a LOT of things about rental cars/insurance/liability.

GET THE DAMAGE WAIVER. Just...seriously, get it. I don't care if you have insurance that covers your car, I don't care if you have american express that will cover expenses if you pay with your card. Here's the skinny. In the State of California AND Nevada (not sure about other states but you should check) if there is ANY damage to the vehicle, EVEN if your car was rear-ended by someone and you exchanged insurance information etc. the rental car company will come after you and charge damages DIRECTLY to whatever card you paid with. This is totally legal. I have seen many, many unhappy people who had trouble with their insurance companies or American Express (it takes them 18-24 months to pay you back!!!!). Damage Waiver allows you to drop off the car in ANY state of repair without any repercussions. It's also the cheapest part of the insurance package at 4-6 bucks a day. Just do it. If you already have car insurance w/ liability, you're all set w/ damage waiver. :D[/quote]

i just checked in to a rental with budget. they have rolled the loss damage waiver in to one and it is 24+ per day.
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Re: Car rental tips [was: Car rental, <1 year license: [...]

Postby Clar-i-ty » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:16 am

Last year was my first (and hopefully only) year renting a vehicle.

One thing I did was use blue painters tape to cover all of the exposed black rubber seals along the doors and windows. I also covered all the cracks between the doors save one or two. Do your best to not have to go back into the vehicle once you have done all this.

Use large garbage bags to put your oh so dusty gear in when you repack the car at the end of the week.

Buy a can of air freshener or fabreeze to cover the smell of the playa and or the vinegar you used to get the playa off the dashboard. (I almost didn't get my cleaning deposit back because of the vinegar smell).

Patronize the Gerlach High School car wash...they do a pretty good job and make a lot less work for you once you get to the real car wash to go over it again.
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