One of the most onerous and misunderstood aspects about car rentals today is the accident / insurance aspect of it. When you are renting a hire car the rental companies, almost without exception, will try, and sometimes very hard, to convince you that it is in your best interests to add on to the daily rental a collision damage waiver (CDW) cost. There are other names for it but they all mean exactly the same.
Firstly your common sense will tell you that if it is good for you, it can not also be good for the company at the same time. So, what goes on here? Well, most companies, because of their exorbitant insurance premiums are automatically forced to self insure their vehicles. That means that they bear any accident costs themselves and offset that with the "CDW". It is far cheaper for them to do this way way than pay the huge insurance premiums for every car. The CDW factor then does become extra profit for the companies in the main and that is why they seriously urge you to take it up. Incidentally, legally speaking, in Australia the precedents in law concerning accident liability is that it rests with the owner of the vehicle unless you are acting as an agent for the owner, and it would be very unusual for the hirer to be acting as an " agent "for the owner.
Therefore it does require a lot of consideration as to whether or not you pay the extra to reduce your liability. Emotionally it is far less stressful to take the excess reduction and not be driving around with a high excess that has been significantly inflated in order to convince you that the CDW is a good idea. Practically speaking though, it does not take long for the CDW costs to add up and amount to more than paying the excess in the unofficial event you have an accident. Therein lays the dilemma!
Many people are under the mistaken belief that their normal credit card insurance will cover them for any accident excesses. This is not always the case as in many instances you are not covered for the excesses if the car rental company has offered you excess reduction. This is a very important point and one in which you must be absolutely clear on with your credit card company insurance.
So when the time comes to make your car hire booking, all the afore said needs to be considered carefully and a decision made as to whether or not you will be taking the CDW. Rest assured the car rental company will be pressuring you, in their own interests, to avail yourself of their offer.
Now, when the inconvenience does happen and you are involved in a car accident, there are several things to consider. Firstly I would be approaching the other driver or drivers, regardless of who is at fault, with a view to obtaining their full particulars, including the name of their insurer. Apart from that you need their license number and be sure that it contains their current address. Of course a lot of things here will depend on the severity of the accident, the attitude of the other people and the locations of the accident ie is it a busy place and are you able to leave the cars at the scene? As soon as possible it is wise to contact the rental car company, taking careful note of who you spoke to and when, and seeking there requirements with regard to accident report forms, which are sometimes provided in the glove box of the hire vehicle. Of course the police need to be informed should the accident be serious enough, and unfortunately, this is not always easy to determine.
Most unfortunately along with the trauma of the accident you will probably now have to deal with several extremely competitive and aggressive tow truck drivers. Whatever happens under no circumstances should you allow them to touch your rental car unless you are directed to do so by either the police or the car hire company. All tow truck drivers / companies are paid a highly inflated rate for what is called a "police tow". This tow will absolutely have to be paid for by someone and that someone could be you. On top of that the tow truck driver / company also receives a commission from any panel beater that he delivers the car to with which he has an arrangement. The reason for his "keenness" to tow your vehicle! Once he has your car hire vehicle attached to his truck it is very difficult or impossible to get him to release the car.
From this point on you will need to work with the car rental company to sort through all the details and most importantly, what happens next! You will probably have to pay the excess at this point and then set about recovering it should you not have been at fault.
Good luck and hopefully this article has been of some help and not put you off car rental!
A little time spent prior to your vacation will net big returns in stress reduction, memory building and costs. The better you plan the more fun you’ll have and the less money you will spend. Here are a few tips to assist you with your planning
1. Check and see if there are apartments, condos, or even home rentals available at your destination. Many of these are much less per person than a hotel, and a lot more private. They also offer many luxury features like pools, BBQs, kitchens and more. These properties are often near attractions and the owners often have a lot of inside information to make your travel more fun. Check out Bed & Breakfasts: off season, you may pay less for extravagant lodging and gourmet breakfasts than you’d pay for a ho-hum hotel. You can also look online for great deals on hotels. Remember to join their loyalty program; it will save you money on your next vacation.
2. Find out the off-season for your destination and travel then. There’s a world of difference between season and off-season rates. You will also have less of a fight for many of the attractions you are hoping to see. Often the weather is just as great a month before and a month after the high season and the savings are significant. One warning make sure to check the attractions you intend to see to make sure they are open or have different hours of operation in the off-season
3. Check out all-inclusive vacation packages which can save a great deal of money on tours/attractions, lodging, meals, and other amenities. In some places you can get multi-day passes to various amusements or special rates if you go later in the day. Cruises offer an amazing quality of service at an economical all-inclusive price. Cruise companies offer a wide variety of destinations and levels to meet any budget and interest.
4. Saving money on food is pretty easy and a lot of fun. If you are in a rental that offers a kitchen, cook some of your meals. Pick a restaurant or two that you really want to eat at and then plan the remaining meals at your place. It is a hoot to shop away from home. When we travel to Europe we really look forward to hitting the market to see what they have and see what the locals eat. If at a hotel, pick one with a breakfast included. By shopping at the grocers and preparing some of your own meals you will save money and keep off a few of those extra pounds restaurant food puts on you.
5. To get around once you’re at that vacation destination can be very expensive. Don’t be afraid of buses and light rail to get around town if it makes sense, you don’t always need a car. If there are a few of you, see if a car is cheaper in the long haul than taxies, busses, and trains. As a family of six we find that if we are staying in a specific town/venue for the vacation a car is a liability. However, with so many if we are traveling from one venue to another having a car is not only cheaper, but it offers a lot more flexibility
You can in fact have a great vacation without mortgaging the house.
Planning, some research, and an attitude focused on having a great time will help you to have a vacation that you and your family will remember fondly for years to come.
Here is a car shopping tip you do not see everyday. In March 2007 the Canadian Government announced in their budget that a rebate would be available for fuel efficient vehicles, referred to as the ecoAuto Rebate Program.
The idea is to reward those drivers who are trying to help with the environment by driving vehicles that are more fuel efficient. So here is a win / win car buying tip for anyone in the market for a new vehicle, drive a vehicle that is more fuel efficient and then get $ 1000 back for your new car purchase!
If you are in the market for a new car you can follow the link at the end of this article for a list of vehicles that are included under this program. Keep in mind that the 2008 model year vehicles have not been released as of yet, but keep visiting the site and in time the 2008 model year will be included.
The an outline of the ecoAuto Rebate Program is as follows:
The progam is applicable to anyone buying or leasing a vehicle after March 20, 2007 as long as the car you purchased is on the list.
Only cars bought or leased in Canada are eligible for the Program. If you purchased your car in the USA then you are not entitled to the rebate.
Individuals, businesses and organizations can apply under the EcoAuto Rebate Program, again as long as the vehicle bought or leased is on the list of eligible vehicles.
It's a pretty simple process however there is no indication as to how long it will take for you to receive your ecoAuto Rebate, understand however that this rebate comes directly from the Canadian Government it is not associated with the car dealership where you purchase or lease your new vehicle. You can get the forms from the Dealership where you initially purchased our vehicle or again follow the ecoAuto Rebate Program link below for all the information you need!
In 1999, Honda introduced the first mass produced hybrid car to the American market, the two-seater Insight. Oddly shaped and a bit out of place, it won the hearts of its owners as the car achieved an astounding 70 mpg, far outpacing anything else on the road. Alas, the Insight was never much of a sales magnet and was discontinued by Honda in 2006 as the Japanese automaker chose to offer a hybrid version of its popular Civic instead.
A new Insight is set to debut in 2009 as Honda seeks to gain fresh transaction in a high demand segment. Unlike the original model, the Insight will sport a cleaner design, get excellent fuel mileage, and be priced thousands of dollars less than the arch-rival Toyota Prius. In true Honda fashion the automaker is rather tight lipped about the new Insight, but we've gleaned the following information from our automated sources which we will share with you momentarily.
Introducing The 2010 Honda Insight
Yes, the Insight is on its way back to the states, in fresh form and ready to do battle. Here's what we know about this exciting model:
Styling cues from the FCX Clarity – Honda's test hydrogen vehicle is the FCX Clarity, an attractive model being tested in Japan and in California. Look for the Insight to borrow plenty of its looks from that hydrogen model.
Sharing components with the Fit – The Civic is no longer the tiniest of all Hondas, a distinction now associated to the Fit. Look for the Insight to use many of the same components found in the Fit while being powered by the same 1.3L engine found in the hybrid Civic.
Saving you money – Trying to find a Prius for $ 21,000 is nearly impossible with most models going out of Toyota showrooms priced at $ 23,000 on up. Honda says that the starting price for the Insight will be an industry leading $ 18,500!
Stretching your fuel further – Fuel mileage is the largest unknown with the new Insight, but this we do know: the car will beat the Prius and may actually top the original model's 71 mpg! Cars with air conditioning included (and running) will lower fuel numbers as will certain other variations, but topping 60 mpg on the highway and at least 50 mpg around town is a strong possibility for the Insight.
Honda Will Ramp Up Production
Honda has said that they plan on building 200,000 Insights annually with half those cars being shipped to the US. With gas prices hovering around $ 4 per gallon and a dearth of hybrid cars available, next summer's debut of the Insight will be welcome relief from pain at the pump for thousands of lucky drivers.