Mexico Connect
Forums  > Areas > Central Pacific Region


chinagringo


Aug 6, 2011, 1:54 PM

Post #1 of 15 (6693 views)

Shortcut

Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Just when I thought I had the game figured out, I have run into a snag in my rental car plans. The daily rates quoted for vehicles in Mexico can often seem quite attractive but then one gets into the cost aspects of the insurance which can dramatically affect the overall cost. I understand that there are no options when it comes to the liability insurance and it must be accepted. Where I run into information snags is when it comes to CDW. I have American Express Premium Rental Car Protection which covers collision and theft with a $0 deductible which should allow me to decline CDW and any theft policies. I have confirmed that Dollar & Thrifty refuse to accept this policy in Mexico. Fox Rent A Car gave me a verbal from the US based customer service that they would accept it but I am striking out at the Mexico end for confirmation. I am wondering if anyone has had direct experience with either National or Payless in declining CDW with the understanding that they have other coverage?

I have no intention of arriving on an early flight only to be jacked around and backed into a corner over insurance issues. I believe in being covered but won't be held up for insurance that I don't need.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM




RickS


Aug 6, 2011, 2:09 PM

Post #2 of 15 (6684 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
"....but won't be held up for insurance that I don't need."

I suspect that what you are implying is that you are/should be/might be covered by your AE card. The 'need' for this kind of insurance is probably no higher anywhere else than in Mexico.

I hope you find an answer.... one that is current and comes from first-hand knowledge. This particular subject is probably in the top 10 of debatable questions ever listed on the forums (although I have not seen it discussed lately). I've never seen a definitive answer because I believe there are as many answers as there are car rental agencies.... and their local 'agents' who generally don't know squat about the correct answer other than what they've been told to say. Because, frankly, this CDW issue is a bigger money maker for them than the car rental itself.

Let us know how you make out, por favor.


chinagringo


Aug 6, 2011, 2:20 PM

Post #3 of 15 (6683 views)

Shortcut

Re: [RickS] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Just for clarification, this isn't the standard assumed coverage that comes with an AMEX card. It is a totally separate policy that costs $24.95 for rentals up to 42 days and is activated each time one uses their AMEX card for a rental.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/.../home.do?source=CCSG
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



chinagringo


Aug 8, 2011, 9:31 AM

Post #4 of 15 (6619 views)

Shortcut

Re: [RickS] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
After spending a day and a half checking virtually every rental car company that services GDL, I think or believe that I have found one company that doesn't resort to a Ransom (excessive deposit) if one declines all other insurance other than the mandatory TPL (third party liability) policy. Rather than be cocky and claim that I now know how to beat the system, I will hold of on writing about the details until after I pick up the vehicle on August 16th.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



chinagringo


Aug 8, 2011, 2:57 PM

Post #5 of 15 (6596 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
OK - I give! Between websites, customer service contacts at the various companies and direct conversations with various companies at the Guadalajara Airport, I have received nothing but inaccurate or distorted information with respect to insurance with all of these rental car companies. This includes making two actual reservations and having to cancel after the fact when the truth comes out.

What have I learned? While it appears to be a requirement of the Mexican Government that all rental car companies include liability insurance in the rental price, all companies require that you purchase TPL (third party liability) in amounts ranging from $11.99 to $20.00 per day. This policy is mandatory and one cannot decline it. Then one gets into the areas of CDW (collision damage waiver), LDW (loss damage waiver), SCDW (super collision damage waiver), PIP (personal injury protection), etc, etc. Declining any of their offerings beyond the TPL with the thoughts that your credit card will cover you will put you into what I would term the "ripe for extortion" category. Should you choose to decline, these companies will force you to authorize them to place a hold or deposit that will range from 10% to 100% of the value of the vehicle you are renting. For example, on my last reservation, they wanted to place a hold exceeding $30,000 USD on my card OR I could agree to paying $37/day insurance charge to avoid the deposits. This on a full size vehicle that they were only charging a little over $11/day for an 18 day rental.

In a way, I can see where they are coming from and that for the average business traveler who might be in town for a couple of days, it wouldn't mean much. Just a cost of doing business! But what ticks me off is that the "joe average" vacation traveler is in for a rude awakening when they arrive to pick up their vehicle and then find all of the hidden charges. Chances are that some of them may not have an open line of credit on their card to absorb the deposits and probably haven't budgeted for the real actual cost of renting a vehicle. Talk about being grabbed by "the short hairs"!

Based upon this learning experience, I will never consider doing business with the two companies that I did make reservations with and then had to cancel after getting the true picture - Fox Rent A Car & Europcar.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Aug 8, 2011, 4:36 PM

Post #6 of 15 (6588 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Is this your first time renting a car in Mexico, Neil?

You impress me as someone who likes to have all their "I's dotted and T's crossed". There are alternative sources of cars if you're willing to be a little less by-the-book.

Good luck!


chinagringo


Aug 8, 2011, 4:51 PM

Post #7 of 15 (6580 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Technically, I guess you could say it is with a formal rental through a franchise. During this entire challenge, I did have a fall back reservation with a non-franchise operation who would still allow us to benefit from our AMEX coverage which most importantly includes personal injury medical coverage. Our only problem was the size of the vehicle they had for rent but we will now live with it. As Rick stated, this is one of the great unresolved questions on various forums and I was hoping to be the one who unraveled the great mystery. But I am a failure and leave the problem for someone smarter, more devious and a great deal of patience!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Aug 8, 2011, 4:56 PM

Post #8 of 15 (6577 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
You're not a failure. You're just another (potential) victim! It's a racket....hence the alternative sources.


RickS


Aug 8, 2011, 5:08 PM

Post #9 of 15 (6573 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
.... and the alternative sources would be? (if not by name, then by 'category' por favor)


DavidHF

Aug 9, 2011, 10:38 AM

Post #10 of 15 (6533 views)

Shortcut

Re: [RickS] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Small independent rental companies and individuals. Here in the Lake Chapala area there are several.


chinagringo


Sep 3, 2011, 8:15 PM

Post #11 of 15 (6222 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
After spending way too much time investigating the various options and being told by some companies that they would require a deposit equal to the value of the vehicle (some as high as $30K USD) if I declined the theft and collision coverage that they wished to charge as much as $55USD a day for - we went back to our original reservation with a Lake Chapala independent. Since I had numerous emails confirming that I could use American Express, which would activate our Premium Rental Car Insurance Plan and we felt comfortable. Upon arrival, I was picked up by a friend and taken to Lake Chapala. I presented my drivers license and AMEX card. Having flown the red eye and not had much sleep, I didn't bat an eyelash when the gal said she hadn't run my card for a deposit but I was good to go. A couple of days later, I was driving back to GDL to pickup Kathy and it dawned on me that by not running the card, our insurance wasn't activated. So before leaving the Lake area, we stopped back into the rental outfit and I asked to have a deposit charged to our card to activate the insurance. The answer was: "we cannot do that because we had our credit card machine removed a couple of days ago". I then asked how they were going to charge our AMEX at the end of the rental? "Well we can't do that since we no longer accept credit cards". So how am I supposed to pay for the rental? "You can write us a check or pay in cash". Since we don't carry checkbooks to Mexico for obvious reasons, that left cash as the only option but what if I had been hit with that surprise as I was dropping the car off on the way to the airport? Not like one typically has $10+K in Mexican Pesos languishing in their pockets waiting to pay for a rental car bill!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Sep 3, 2011, 10:27 PM

Post #12 of 15 (6206 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply

Quote
...but what if...


I'm sorry things in Mexico aren't the way you want them to be.

(???)

Then again, if you think about it, according to your description they handed you the keys to a vehicle without any security or deposit. "What if...."


(This post was edited by tashby on Sep 3, 2011, 10:31 PM)


chinagringo


Sep 4, 2011, 6:33 AM

Post #13 of 15 (6184 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Actually after 10+ years of traveling Mexico, it is exactly what we have come to expect and enjoy! We put 1888 miles on the rental car over 17 days and had a great time.

Sure I experienced a great deal of frustration with the rental car policies and pretty much concluded that there aren't any reasonable options available with the system they have in place. As we are all aware, Mexican auto insurance is a very important aspect and they do everything in their power to take advantage in order to increase their profit margins. My only complaint is that during email communications, AMEX was always the method of payment. How hard would it have been to tell me when I picked up the car that they just recently discontinued accepting credit cards? You are absolutely right that they did hand me the keys to the car without any deposit!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Sep 4, 2011, 8:25 AM

Post #14 of 15 (6161 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Ahh. I got the wrong impression and thought you chose not to rent it.

So are you saying you drove it without any supplemental insurance?


chinagringo


Sep 4, 2011, 9:57 AM

Post #15 of 15 (6144 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Rental Car Companies at GDL

Can't Post | Private Reply
Assuming that I wasn't clear, I will attempt to explain. The vehicle we rented out at the Lake was a flat weekly rate and came with what they defined as full insurance including legal assistance, etc. but there was a deductible that we would have had to pay in the case of either an accident or theft. The AMEX Premium Rental Plan initiates when a rental car company charges the initial vehicle deposit and costs $24.95 for a rental up to 42 days in all but four or five countries. This $100,000 coverage covers collision, theft and personal injury with a $0 deductible. So if we had been in a wreck or had the car broken into or stolen, it would have covered all deductibles or costs over and above their policies. For us, it would have been an inexpensive CYA. As it was, we ended relying 100% on their policy and since nothing negative happened, there was no loss. Since I have seen posts that there isn't personal effects coverage in any of the Mexican auto policies, we would have been out had cameras, computer or any other personal effects been stolen from the car. Even in that case the AMEX policy would have covered such an event.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM

 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4