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Thread: Insurance help

  1. Default Insurance help

    A reply to our previous post was so useful, we hope you don't mind us coming back for more advice...

    We are from the UK and want to hire a car from Las Vegas for 1 week early August. Our road trip will take us in a loop into Utah, then Arizona, then back to Nevada. Could anyone please advise as to what we will need in terms of insurance, and what other taxes we would expect to pay as standard, especially given that we would be entering 2 other states outside the 1 we will be hiring in (one site even quoted something called Performing Arts Tax - what?!)

    We don't want to get conned into paying for something we don't really need, biut also don't want to get caught out in case of a problem. (BTW, we are aged 42 and 39).

    Thanks in advance

    Sam & Debs

    oh, btw, We really fancy hiring a PT Cruiser Convertible. Anyone had any experience of one, and also would it be best to reserve in advance over the web or try and do a deal when we get there?

    Thanks again....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default I'm not expert but I'll give it a try....

    I rarely rent cars so I don't have too-too much experience with this but I know that we have rarely gotten the additional insurance that car rental companies offer because our auto insurance covers us with a rental.
    You notice I said "rarely" above? Because on a couple of occasions we have. When we were in LA and only needed a car for 2 days, we bought the daily insurance because drivers there are far more aggressive than we're used to. And we carry a high deductible on our auto insurance. We figured that the daily rate for two days was worth it because the odds of us getting in some kind of fender-bender were greater in LA than in our normal driving lives and we didn't want to have to pay the high deductible if something happened.

    That said...since you don't have US auto insurance, I think it would be mandatory for your to get the rental company's insurance. I don't think there's anyway around it as you must have insurance to drive a car legally in the US.

    The taxes are determined by the city/county/state in which you rent the car. Taxes collection in the US is an amazing jumble. It is highly possible that you will have to pay some taxes that are imposed by the city you are renting the car in. There might be other taxes on that car rental that are imposed by the county the city is located in. And there might be other taxes that are imposed by the state the city/county are both in. And you have no choice, you pay 'em. That's it. And the car rental companies don't have a choice either. They have to pay them to the proper government entity and they have to collect them. Period.

    It's not unusual for things like Performing Arts to be supported by these types of taxes. I believe, in my state, we have taxes on car rentals to support stadiums for professional sports, tourism development and marketing, and various other things. So, yes, we tax you further so we can market to you more to lure you back for another visit. That's just the way it works here.

    If you want to hire a specific type of vehicle, especially one that might not be common like the PT Cruiser convertible, then you really must reserve it in advance. If you wait until you arrive to try and get one, I can almost guarantee you that there won't be any available to rent. They don't have many of these specialty vehicles and they usually have to make arrangements ahead of time to have one for your use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default What the traffic will bear...

    Quote Originally Posted by samanddeb
    We are from the UK and want to hire a car from Las Vegas for 1 week early August. Our road trip will take us in a loop into Utah, then Arizona, then back to Nevada. Could anyone please advise as to what we will need in terms of insurance, and what other taxes we would expect to pay as standard, especially given that we would be entering 2 other states outside the 1 we will be hiring in (one site even quoted something called Performing Arts Tax - what?!)
    It doesn't really matter how many states you travel through with respect to taxes. Taxes are assessed only at the point of departure/arrival. Local governments in their infinite wisdom have decided that rental car customers can and should pay for local projects that their own citizens have failed to pay for. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it is a reality. We have been tracking the more outrageous sur-charges (taxes) and have found that Kansas City is the worst at nearly 92% of the cost of rental. Las Vegas is about 28% (click here for more info)

    There is a more fundamental issue -- make sure that your rental contract allows you to travel outside of Nevada! 100% of the discount rental companies prohibit travel outside of Nevada when rented in Las Vegas. Just about every rental car rented in Las Vegas has a GPS-chip embedded in the trunk area and "they" will no exactly where you went and how fast you drove...

    Some of the national chains will expect you to pay a surcharge for crossing state lines. I use National quite a bit, because they always have the newest fleet and I have ever never been charged a surcharge for crossing out of Nevada.

    Insurance: I have very extensive personal insurance and so I usually waive all of the insurance offered by the rental car companies. As International travelers, you should speak with your UK provider and see if their insurance will cover you in the USA. At the minimum you might consider taking the daily coverage on the vehicle (damage to the car) but in general I think you can get a better rate from dedicated insurance carriers.
    oh, btw, We really fancy hiring a PT Cruiser Convertible. Anyone had any experience of one, and also would it be best to reserve in advance over the web or try and do a deal when we get there?
    They are fun cars, easy to drive and a good roadtrip car. I would certainly get a reservation prior to arrival. Never rent for less than one week, rates are optimized by the week. If you can avoid starting a rental on Monday, you get a better rate. The best day for start a week rental is Friday...

    Hope this helps.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-25-2006 at 08:28 AM.

  4. Default

    Once again this site is a gem. Thank you both for your comments.

    We do expect to pay insurance, but there seems to be so many names for it. We know we should pay CDW (we're not sure if that is the same as LDW), which seems to be coming out at on average 15 dollars per day, but we've also seen an option of something called (we think!) SLI, which costs and extra 11-13 dollars per day on top - this does seem to be optional though. As we said before, we do want to be legaland well covered, but we don't want to over-insure when it isn't necessary.

    Many thanks for the tips guys. we look forward to travelling around your pleasant land!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A Quick Primer

    Quote Originally Posted by samanddeb
    Once again this site is a gem. Thank you both for your comments.
    Thanks for the thanks!
    We do expect to pay insurance, but there seems to be so many names for it. We know we should pay CDW (we're not sure if that is the same as LDW), which seems to be coming out at on average 15 dollars per day, but we've also seen an option of something called (we think!) SLI, which costs and extra 11-13 dollars per day on top - this does seem to be optional though. As we said before, we do want to be legaland well covered, but we don't want to over-insure when it isn't necessary
    . OK -- I am not an expert, so please don't rely on this 100% but here is a quick look at the coverages you probably will see out there:

    LDW = Loss Damage Waiver: This is not insurance -- it covers a renter against the financial loss that would encur if the vehicle gets damaged or is stolen. This waiver is usually in some pre-determined amount like $3,000 (for the cost of the waiver, I generally assume that this is not a prudent cost -- but it is one option that all of the rental companies suggest -- maybe it is a good idea).

    PEC/PAI = Personal Effects Coverage/Personal Accident Insurance: Most carriers use some combination of these two coverages. PEC covers the personal property of the renter (cameras, suitcases, etc.) during the time of the rental. Cost of the insurance is pretty reasonable -- coverage is generally limited to $1500 per rental period with a $25 deductible. But there is a list of non-covered items that you need to look at to decide if this is a good choice for you.

    PAI is little more tricky -- it covers the accidental death or bodily injury of the specific renter and any passengers subject to a bunch of conditions. (There is a lot of liabilty for the rental car company and so they charge a lot for this coverage).

    SLI = Supplemental Liability Insurance: This is a liabilty coverage that is usually $1,000,000 that provides PRIMARY protection for liability claims filed against the renter or injury/death or property claims. What is good about this coverage is that is the first in line for any insurance you might already have. The advantage is that if you are in an accident and a third party files a claim against you, the rental car insurance policy picks up the cost first.

    All that said, you still need to speak with your insurance carrier before you make any decision about the best insurance coverage for your situation.

    Larrison found this information as well:
    From the University of Syracuse in New York State, about how foreign students can buy and register a car in the US or drive in the US.
    Arranging for Auto Insurance in New York State

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-01-2007 at 04:17 PM. Reason: New resource links

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Web advantage

    Quote Originally Posted by samanddeb
    Anyone had any experience of one, and also would it be best to reserve in advance over the web or try and do a deal when we get there?
    Like Judy mentioned, it is best to reserve ahead of time -- with rare exceptions, you can get a better rate on the Web than you can in person -- because the company's unit cost is less for electronic transactions, you can usually save ~7 to 11% of the rental sum.

    mark

  7. Default

    Once again, our sincere thanks. You have been great.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default check our rates too

    Quote Originally Posted by samanddeb
    oh, btw, We really fancy hiring a PT Cruiser Convertible. Anyone had any experience of one, and also would it be best to reserve in advance over the web or try and do a deal when we get there?
    Don't forget to check out our car rental rates too!

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    Bah! I didn't know that you had that on the site... I thought I'd got a good deal but you could have beaten it!! :s

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Posts
    49

    Default Insurance4carhire.com

    Hi i realise this is a few years down the line from when this original thread started but you still may be able to advise.

    Insurance for car hire.
    http://www.insurance4carhire.com/usa...ID=100&curID=1

    I've used this company when travelling to Europe. Thinksing about using them for roadtrip in America. Is there anything else i would need to pay in taxes if renting from SFO and returning to SFO? we are looking at a 20 day hire


    many thanks

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