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  1. Default Car Hire San Francisco

    We are a family of 2 adults/3 children and have just booked flights from Ireland to Sanfrancisco for next summer. We are staying for 8 weeks and are looking for advice on car hire. We would need something quiet big because we will have a lot of luggage as we are planning on doing a lot of camping. Is their any such thing as medium size car with a really big trunk.
    I have looked at a couple of companies and the prices are close but I am not sure if the insurance etc is the same. How does the collision damage waiver work. Could anyone recomend a company that would have a good policy because I would not enjoy the holiday if I am worried about the car getting damaged and would prefer to pay for pease of mind, within reason.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default insurance etc

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As far as cars go, I think you'll find the trunk of most any American car will be quite large and as long as you are getting at least a mid-sized (but your better bet would likely be a standard or full sized) car, you shouldn't have many problem. However, you might also consider a mini-van or possibly an SUV which could give you a little more room for 5 people plus 8 weeks of luggage and camping gear. Standard sedans usually are the best deal, and that would still work, but yours is one of the rare cases where I'd consider spending the extra money for a larger vehicle, if you can find something in your budget.

    The insurance with the rental car companies is usually going to be pretty similar. Here is a primer on the most common terms you'll find when dealing with rental car insurance. However, you should also talk with the company that provides insurance for your personal car at home, as they likely will also provide coverage while in a rental. You might also consider purchasing your rental insurance with a 3rd party, rather than getting the coverage offered by the rental company.

  3. Default

    Thanks for that. I think you are right about going for something like an SUV because we will be doing a lot of driving and the rates for 8 weeks are not to bad.
    I am still confused about the insurance. I will check with our own car insurance company but I don't think they will cover us and our preference would be to pay the car hire company extra for insurance. This way if something does happen I think it would be easier to sort out.
    If we have a CDW of $3000, does this mean if the car is damaged or stolen we pay up to $3000. If this is the case it is not an option for us. How can we avoid having to pay in the event of something happening.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Worth Checking

    Rule One of insuring a rental car is that the rental (hire) company is always the most expensive source of such coverage. Rule Two is that when in doubt, refer to Rule One. For example, if you were to rent an SUV from Hertz in New York, their coverage (called Loss Damage Waiver) is $12/day or $672 for 8 weeks. Costs will vary with company, location, and type of car, but that will give you an idea. Also note that to avoid certain legal obligations and restrictions, Hertz pointedly says on their website (and presumably in the fine print of the contract you'll sign) that this is NOT insurance but a service they offer you. Even if you do not currently have CDW or LDW coverage with your current insurance provider, I am sure that you can add such a rider on your policy for a lot less than $672! It is also worth checking with your credit card company as many of them offer automatic secondary insurance if you charge the rental cost on their card. If you are a member of AA or RAC (do either still exist?) they may also offer coverage to you. In any event, refer back to Rule One and make sure that you do an exhaustive search of your alternatives before buying 'insurance' coverage from a non-underwriter who pointedly tells you that it is not insurance.


  5. Default

    Thanks for that. I checked with my car insurance and credit card company and neither offer any protection worth talking about.
    I found a policy with this firm, which offers full SLI/CDW/LW for less than 500$ for 8 weeks which is still not cheap but every eventuality appears to be covered so it might be cheaper in the long run. Has anyone use this company before?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-18-2010 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default That's very odd

    I've rented hundreds of cars over the years, and I never, ever use secondary auto insurance -- those coverages are standard in every car insurance policy I've ever seen. Are you positive that your current policy doesn't automatically cover your car rental exposures?


  7. Default

    I have not actually spoken to my car insurance company yet, I made a few enquires with a few people who said I would not be covered on my own policy in the us but I guess it is worth a phone call.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    So when you said you checked with both your insurance company and your credit card companies, you actually hadn't done those things yet - you just ignored the advice of several people on this forum because of what you'd heard elsewhere?

    The quote you got before sounds extremely high, but I think you are really trying to make this harder on yourself than it needs to be. Ultimately, the most important thing is to be asking questions from the people who would actually be providing the coverage - they're going to be the only place to get accurate information about what might or might not be covered.

  9. Default

    A friend of mine works in the insurance industry and I had asked him about it and he said no way. I did ring my credit card company and they said I would absolutely not have any cover for car or contents if I paid with my credit card company.
    I actually rang my car insurance company today and they said they would not provide any cover in the US, if it was another european country they would provide limited cover.
    I did not ignore they advice of the people who responded to my question.

    I take your point about ringing the insurance company directly but I had a bad experience in another European country where I paid extra money for what I was told was full insurance but later noticed I would have had to pay the first 3000 euro in the event of they car being damaged or stolen.

    I checked out an Irish forum over the weekend and found that if I booked American car hire through an Irish website for the particular car hire company I would get full insurance because of the fact that Irish policies won't provide cover in the US. I haven't checked it out yet but if it is true I will post the information here.

  10. Default 8 weeks on west coast

    Hi, We are a family of 2 adults and 3 children and have booked return flights from Ireland to Sanfrancisco for 8 weeks in June/July 2011. We are in the process of organising car hire at the moment and we don't have a planned route yet but we will definetly go from Sanfrancisco down towards san diego and vist the usual places like yosemitie, death vallev, vegas and gran canyon on the way.
    We would also like to go towards the rocky mountain and Salt Lake City areas and would like some help on a route. Would we be better doing a loop from Sanfrancisco down to San diego and back and then head towards Salt Lake City or go from San diego towards Salt lake City.
    We are also planning on bringing our camping gear and hope to stay in a tent for half of the holiday, is this possable or are we dreaming. We have done alot of camping around Europe but are worried about the heat. We would only camp in camp sites.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-24-2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

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