24 March 2006

Car Rental Decision

Well, I've talked about my mulling over what car to rent during my coming vacation in May. Anyway, the polls has closed and I have made my decision. I decided to Splash The Cash since I wasn't able to find any compelling reason telling me not to.

Besides, I think I would be happier in a bigger car. Safer too since we are driving in an unfamiliar place.

So there I was speaking to the Hertz agent on the phone and received my booking confirmation via email shortly after.

The emails says "Vehicle Type: Mercedes Benz E220..." I was like sian half already... wah raoz.... so boring!!! Where's the Jaguar X-Type?  Gimme a BMW 530, I also song. But the Merc E220? Wah raoz.... if kena white colour I straight away faint liao.

Kio Lim Peh go vacation to be Presidio Taxi driver??!! Nah hiah......

Then as I re-read the email I saw that the sentence didn't finish there. It says at the back "... or similar."

Wah heng ah... still got chance. Wahahahaah.....

And I also realised that Char's rental rate is identical to mine except that I asked for extras like child seat and GPS navigation.

I realised that Hertz quite sneaky with their quotation. They swee swee break down all the items e.g. insurance, rental, service charge, road tax etc in Euros, then when it comes to the "Tax" portion which I am guess is probably the VAT (GST), it quoted as 19.60%.

I guess it was my fault to misread it as 19.60 Euros lor.... so upon realising my mistake, moh twueen twueen extra EUR 75.00 come out from nowhere. Haiz.....

Anyway, here are a few tips on car rental that I would like to share with everyone, especially when renting overseas (USA in particular).

1) Non-Smoking Car - You should always specify that you want a non-smoking car (even if you are a smoker but don't tell them that!). Just like in hotel booking when we request for Non-smoking room. The rationale behind this strategic move is that non-smoking car are relatively fewer in numbers which elevates your chance, in the event where they are unable to give you a car that you've booked, to a free upgrade to the next higher class. You don't lose anything when you make this special request. If your gamble falls through, you get what you asked for in the first place and if you heng heng tio beh pio, then free upgrade liao lor. I wonder what car would I get if I kena free upgrade? Hmm... *daydreams*

2) Second Driver Cover - Some rental companies have this item. This is by far the biggest rip-off that the rental company can con you. When you rent a car, you are the only designated driver. If during the period of rental, someone else will be driving the car, you need to get this cover. But think about it, wouldn't you agree with me when I say that you are paying extra money for nothing? It doesn't cost the rental company more money if someone else is driving the car right?

Still, this is LPPL. You bor bian have to pay for this cover if indeed someone else gets the steering wheel as well. Why? Coz if you don't cover the second driver and he/she gets into an accident, they will stick you with the full bill saying that the accident/theft damage covers only the designated driver and not the other person.

So essentially, this is an insurance against the insurance, should there be more than 1 driver.

3) Rental Company Petrol Prices - Car rental companies usually gives you the car with a full tank of petrol and you are expected to return the car with a full tank as well. In the event that you don't, they will "help you buy a tank of petrol from them" from them at the time of returning the car. Problem is that their "petrol prices" may be significantly higher than those at the petrol stations outside i.e. they will be trying to rip you off again.

However, when I was in the US, there were some places where the "rental company petrol prices" are lower than outside. So it pays for you to do a bit of homework here. Ask about their "petrol prices" before you drive the car out of them carpark so that you know whether to return the car with a full tank or not.

- Voxeros

1. winter left...
Thursday, 23 March 2006 9:09 pm
so confirm splash the car right even when there's an increase?

2. kIm left...
Thursday, 23 March 2006 9:33 pm
I think the merc looks abit ugly leh. Get black can? the blue abit old. Hahaha..
You are right. Should splash!! Hahahaha..

3. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 March 2006 12:22 am ::
Winter: As long as within my affordability, I should be fine as long as I don't blow my overall budget lor.

kIm: I won't know what car I would be getting until the very day when I show up at Marseilles. So in a way, it is a kind of a lottery except that you roughly know what range of car you are getting.

4. Pam left...
Friday, 24 March 2006 12:55 am
sms me when you get to france! :) and mms me a photo ok?! :)

5. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 March 2006 1:19 am :: 
Pam: Okie. Will do!

6. winter left...
Friday, 24 March 2006 10:28 am
take photos
then post on blog

7. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 March 2006 10:50 am ::
winter: Oh I will! But 2 months to go leh.... *impatient*

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