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Auto Rental??????

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David
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Post by CheenaGringo Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:27 pm

Am working on an August Mexico trip and am in need of an auto rental for 16 days that we can feel comfortable with driving approximately 3000 miles. I am aware of Mark Turford's vehicles but just don't want to take a chance with his softly used vehicles.

Went through this drill a year ago and butted heads with the "auto rental cartel" with the majors at the airport. I have hopes of finding a company that behaves like a professional business with standards we might expect. I am looking for people with an actual recent experience in dealing with these companies.

I understand that the Mexican Government requires rental car companies to quote a daily rate that includes basic Liability Insurance. In doing research, most provide a very minimal amount of coverage and then offer or demands that one purchases SLI (supplemental liability insurance) for rates from $10 to $20USD/day. I have no problem with paying for this coverage providing that the company will state what the limits are on this coverage but I am finding that they prefer to be very vague.

The sticky wicket seems to be when one gets to Comprehensive, Theft and Personal Injury Insurances. We have the American Express Premium Rental Policy which provides us with $100,000USD coverage with $0 deductible that covers all of these areas. The problem arises when one declines these coverages. While I have no problem with a rental car company putting a hold of $600 to $1000 on our AMEX account to cover the rental - I absolutely refuse to allow them to put a hold in the amount of up to the full value of the car because I decline these coverages. Last year, I had one company tell me that they would be placing a hold in the amount of $38,000USD and needless to say that didn't happen.

I thought that I had found a solution with Alamo but when they kept changing their story and lying to me, I had to cancel the reservation.

Has anyone recently rented a vehicle and been able to decline all but the SLI with satisfactory results? I would be most grateful to know which company and under what circumstances!

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Post by Zedinmexico Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:51 am

Uh please check that the rental car Amex/MC/Visa supplimental insurance is
valid in Mexico. I don't know but would like to know.

Z


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Post by binky Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:07 am

I rented from Alamo in the Yucatan. Had a slight issue, so afterward I contacted Alamo HQ and was told that in Mexico all their franchises are independent and they blew me off.

Had also contacted both M/C and Amex re: coverage in Mexico on car rentals....got a lot of hemming/hawing and when I asked if they could email me something in writing, a resounding 'no.'

Sucked it up and paid the add-on insurance at the counter. Better safe than sorry.
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Post by David Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:13 am

Zedinmexico wrote:Uh please check that the rental car Amex/MC/Visa supplimental insurance is
valid in Mexico. I don't know but would like to know.

Z


It is and they paid a claim I had in 2006. However, since then apparently the car rental companies at GDL won't rent to you unless you take their insurance.
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Post by Trailrunner Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:05 am

binky wrote:I rented from Alamo in the Yucatan. Had a slight issue, so afterward I contacted Alamo HQ and was told that in Mexico all their franchises are independent and they blew me off.

Had also contacted both M/C and Amex re: coverage in Mexico on car rentals....got a lot of hemming/hawing and when I asked if they could email me something in writing, a resounding 'no.'

Sucked it up and paid the add-on insurance at the counter. Better safe than sorry.

Had exactly the same experience in the Yucatan with Alamo. It was expensive all told too. If one did have an accident or need to use the insurance coverage I would not be very optimistic about the compensation.

If you can possibly get away with not renting a car in MX, try to go in that direction.
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Post by RoofBob Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:16 am

All things considered I'd give Mark a call and see what he has available. Some friends rented a late model car from him last month and it was a real nice ride.
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Post by hockables Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:29 am

I paid Mark $600.00 a month.... each month he showed up with a genuine policy in hand... in my name...

I believe the independent rental agencies have their equipement fully insured and that with their customer contracts they self insure ( aside from personal injury and liability ) in other words.... a scam...
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Post by CheenaGringo Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:28 am

Zed:
Here are the countries excluded from this coverage: "Coverage is provided anywhere in the world except in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, or New Zealand."

RoofBob:
While I don't question the insurance that Mark puts on his vehicles, my preference is the be fully (over insured ?) when traveling in Mexico. The AMEX Premium Car Rental Insurance provides:
Limits of Plan Coverage
The $100,000 coverage level with a premium of $24.95 covers:
• Up to $100,000 of Damage or Theft coverage for the Rental Car.
• Up to $100,000 of Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage.
• Up to $15,000 per person of excess coverage for medical expenses resulting from an Accidental Injury.
• Up to $5,000 per person of excess coverage for Personal Property, maximum of $10,000 for all.
This coverage costs $24.95 for the term of the rental up to 42 days and is activated when one uses the AMEX card for the costs of the rental.

For comparison purposes, Alamo for a Standard size Chevy Optra charges:
Basic Daily rate for 16 days: $366.57
With Supplemental Liability: $630.96
With CDW & other scams: $1202.61
And to make the deal even better, they will NOT guarantee the rate - so you are at their mercy when you arrive to take delivery of your vehicle!

Last year, we rented from S & S Auto at the rate of $340/week with full insurance coverage. We had discussed the fact that we would be paying with AMEX and activating the additional insurance. After picking up the vehicle, we were informed that they no longer accepted credit cards and needed to pay with cash or check. Their website currently states that they are accepting credit cards and I have an inquiry into them.

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Post by CheenaGringo Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:42 pm

An update: S & S confirmed today that they still do not accept credit cards even though their website indicates so.

As for the rental car agencies/cartel, I believe(?) to have found one company, SIXT Auto Rental who includes FULL Third Person Liability in their daily rate and so far claims that they will accept the AMEX Premium Rental Insurance in lieu of Collision, Theft and Personal Injury without deposit penalty. I also have received an education about auto rental brokers who don't play games with the insurance and include in their rates. You prepay these brokers and they provide you with a voucher accepted by the majors and part of the agreement is that they cannot charge anything additional per their contracts.

Kind of a funny story evolved today. I contacted one of the 8 designated Mexico Specialists at American Express. Turns out that the one I chose was born in Jalisco and most of her family still lives in the Guadalajara area. She absolutely flipped when I suggested that we planned to drive in Mexico and tried to talk me out of doing so.

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Post by bobnliz Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:19 am

Sheesh! She should see the murder rate in Chicago... something like 238 gang related murders in the last four months, I believe.
Hasn't been like that since the seventies. Lizzy
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Post by CheenaGringo Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:28 am

Actually, there was absolutely no reference on her part to any of the violence. It was more about narrow streets & highways and the fact that some of our trip plans will involve a bit of mountain driving. In her words: "I have Mexican family who think nothing of driving to Chiapas or Oaxaca but I would never think of doing it!" Note: I almost got the feeling that she was in denial about being a Mexican.

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Post by bobnliz Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:03 am

Ah, interesting... perhaps she has a reason to be frightened of mountain driving in Mexico? Might have nothing to do with being a Mexicana. Auto Rental?????? 169387 Lizzy
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Post by CheenaGringo Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:24 pm

After doing the dance with virtually every company located at either the airport or in Guadalajara, I think that I now know more about auto rentals in Mexico than I dreamed necessary or possible. As a general statement of apparent fact, these franchises often show reasonable daily rates but the zinger is that their true profit is in the insurance and they pull every stunt possible to force you to take all of the coverages. After doing a spreadsheet covering every company and their various prices, terms and conditions, I finally settled on:

Payless Car Rental: Located in the lobby of the Hotel Casa Grande at the Airport
http://www.paylesscar.com/

For our standard sized rental the website quoted $92/week plus 16% tax and airport fee. From there, the website is really lame as to insurance requirements and deposits and international customer service doesn't know much either. A phone call to the location did provide answers that I was looking for. Supplemental Liability Insurance is virtually mandatory with all rental companies since credit card coverages do not cover liability and they do not recognize any third party liability insurance plans. While costs on SLI vary from company to company, Payless Mexico charges $15/day even though the website says $20/day. The next dance was collision damage waiver($10/day) and theft($10/day). Payless does offer a discounted charge of $29/day that covers SLI, CDW & Theft. Most companies argue that any credit card coverages don't apply in Mexico and will slap heavy deposits($5K and up to full value of the car) on your credit card to extort you into agreeing to purchase the insurance. Payless does recognize your credit card insurance but still demands a deposit of 10% of the car value if you decline coverage. One key fact that I just learned is that if you decline the coverages over and above the SLI - you will lose the benefit of having an adjuster visit the accident and also NO legal assistance. The only other insurance that comes into play is an optional Personal Injury Insurance that companies charge anywhere from $3 to $10/day for. Some credit card policies cover this. Any theft insurance offered by these companies is strictly for vehicle theft and not your personal property. We still plan to activate our AMEX Premium Rental Car Insurance.

The second best option that I found was National Car Rental but through their Mexico website: http://www.nationalcar.com.mx/en/index.php
What makes this an attractive option is that while they appear to be a bit more expensive up front, they offer a sizable prepayment discount.

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Post by CheenaGringo Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:34 pm

A somewhat hilarious follow-up to the entire rental car fiasco!

We arrived to pick up the Chevy Optra at about 9pm on 8/9 from Payless. After all of the BS about all the insurances, they allowed that the AMEX Premium Rental Car Insurance was perfectly acceptable for all but the mandatory Third Party Liability and that was $15USD/day. OK fine - so do the paperwork. That process was slower than slow and it took almost an hour to do the paperwork and check out the car. Off we went. A couple of days later, I checked AMEX to check any charges and there were none!

We turned in the car the morning of 8/25 with a minor hiccup where they claimed there was a new rub mark on the rear bumper that would have to be examined. It was obvious to me that it was no big deal and a bit of polish and some elbow grease would make it disappear. They told me that they would call me the following day with a determination and I allowed I could live with that. But I did take two photos of the mark.

Now 6 days later, I have heard nothing and they have not run any charges whatsoever through AMEX!

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Post by CheenaGringo Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:35 pm

After over two weeks of checking our AMEX account, Payless Car Rental finally got around to submitting the charge on 9/8 (exactly two weeks after we turned the car in). The charge of $602 and some change for the 16 day rental works out to approx. $37.68/day that includes the supplemental liability insurance but nothing more is pretty much what it should have been.

Based upon my research and our experiences - I would recommend Payless Rental at the Guadalajara Airport (Casa Grande Hotel) if one has the AMEX Premium Rental Car Insurance since one can decline the added costs of collision, comprehensive, theft, etc. without incurring astronomical deposits!

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