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Renting a Car! Chicago O'Hare Airport

MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNARochester, MNRegistered User regular
Renting a car for the first time for a business trip (which will be reimbursed, so this isn't actually a huge deal), but I had some questions.

1) I am using my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which has insurance coverage for cars and I also have my own State Farm Policy - so I will be denying their insurance coverage when offered, correct?

2) Why are the prices so variable from company to company? Dollar / Thrifty Car Rental is approximately $50 for four days while Budget / Enterprise are closer to $100. Again, I'm being reimbursed, but I'd rather not jack the company without doing my due diligence.

Any horror stories to share of things to do / not to do with my first rental car?

I am in the business of saving lives.

Posts

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    You're over 25, right? They get grumpy if you're not.

    Car "classes" are weird and that might be part of it and also if they offer things like unlimited miles or if you have a certain amount a day. Also, gut instinct is that Enterprise/Budget cater to business who have higher standards of "nice".

    Return it with a full tank of gas. Like, when you pick it up note a nearby gas station and resolve to stop there before you drop it off. They will charge you super duper double cash per a gallon if they have to fill it.

    If you want to be super due diligance-y then pull out your phone and take good photos of each side of the car showing the condition you received it in. While you're doing that make sure if you look for any damage and get them to note it before you take the car.

    If you have an EZ Pass like device normally remember you won't have it in the car. Not that I've ever done that....

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I'm 28. I mean, the cost difference is $80 versus $150 through my credit card portal, so not a huge deal, but figured I'd try for the best deal.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Some rental places list you rent an ipass, I'd get one. Depending where you are driving, there are a lot of exits that have tolls on them that are Ipass only, or exact change only.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
    Waffles or whatever
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Go National. I love them for rentals. Roll up, pick whatever car you want, get the fuck out.

  • Waffles or whateverWaffles or whatever Previously known as, I shit you not, "Waffen" Registered User regular
    Some rental places list you rent an ipass, I'd get one. Depending where you are driving, there are a lot of exits that have tolls on them that are Ipass only, or exact change only.

    Solid advice. Get the iPass if you're doing a lot of tollway driving. It can make the difference between getting to location x in 20 minutes or 40 minutes, especially on 290/294.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Just don't go south of I-55 or you will be murdered so fast. No, not really.

    Yes decline the insurance and go with one of the better companies mentioned here. A bad car rental is like a bad hotel; you'll pay for it later.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    I've never rented a car from O'hare that didn't automatically come with an I/Easy Pass in a shielded case on the windshield. If you want to use it, you slide it out of the case so the toll transmitters can tag it.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Just don't go south of I-55 or you will be murdered so fast. No, not really.

    I always suggest the stand by "If the streets have numbers instead of names GTFO".

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    I'd get the crappiest car I could, but get the personal damage/liability waiver (since it's being reimbursed anyways). If you are going to rely on your auto insurance then the property damage cap is the max payout (this is usually the smallest of the 3 numbers); so that would need to cover damage to the rental, your injury, damage to the other vehicles, other peoples'injuries, and cost of rental being out of service during repair. Got no idea what the CC gives in terms of insurance coverage on rentals.

    Djeet on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    make sure the car you pick doesn't already have dents in it

    because they like to double tap whenever someone hits a sign post

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    And take pictures of all the dents or scratches or anything beforehand. And when you leave with the car, tell them about it, and tell them you have pictures of the scratches that existed before you got control of the car.

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Awesome suggestions guys, thank you so much. I'll tag some photos and I'm actually originally from Chicago so not too worried about being murdered.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    - Go over your insurance policy for your credit card. Make double sure that it protects for rental cars and personal injury. I have a company Business AMEX card and it covers everything from liability, comp, etc. -however- if I get the rental car insurance, that nullifies the AMEX coverage. Don't get your personal insurance involved until the very last minute if you have to. Keep business and personal stuff seperate, its easier that way.

    *If* your card covers it all, DO NOT get their insurance, even if they pressure you (I've done this for 7 years and sometimes they do). They may say its required by law, that is a bullshit lie. Your card is your coverage. Deal with it.

    -Make sure to read over all the expenses upfront, and that it is what you are paying for when you sign the paper work. I was complacent once and I a 200$ rental turn into a 2000$ rental. Luckily, my company and I fought it so long that the rental co. defaulted on their side of the legal dispute, so everything nullified, thankfully.

    Get the rentals on a per day unlimited mileage basis, so you are not charged or limited by mileage, that can bite you if you get too low mileage.
    Opt to refill the gas tank yourself. Don't bother with their fuel plans because, "yes, you do get gas at 2.50$ a gallon, but we only charge for the full tank. No we dont do it by the 1/4 or 1/10th of a tank, because that makes too much sense."

    If you are going to be traveling a bunch, invest in your own GPS device (beyond your phone, depending on your data rates). 12$ to 26$ a day adds up *fast*.
    And yes, always get the IPASS or SunPass or whatever Toll road pass. So many times I'd have been ding'ed for 50+$ because I accidentally hit a toll road that didn't have cash/atm pay.

    That's about it from my experience.

    NotoriusBEN on
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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I'm wondering here ... given that this is expense-able ... why on gods green earth would you take the liability on your personal card instead of just paying (and expensing) the liability waiver? I do not understand the reasoning here.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Because the OP has to pay for it, then their company will reimburse. My shitty company did the same and always told us to refuse the extra coverage.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    So it's a matter of a hundred or 2 dollars that'll be reimbursed anyways?

    I think taking the liability on your personal CC vs fronting the cost of the PLW/PDW is easy calculus ... very likely there will be no accident or cause for concern, but if there is then I wouldn't want to be on the hook personally.

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    So it's a matter of a hundred or 2 dollars that'll be reimbursed anyways?

    I think taking the liability on your personal CC vs fronting the cost of the PLW/PDW is easy calculus ... very likely there will be no accident or cause for concern, but if there is then I wouldn't want to be on the hook personally.

    I'm not gonna say this advice is total shit, but it's total shit to offer advice and then provide the caveat of "I wouldn't do this".

    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    - Go over your insurance policy for your credit card. Make double sure that it protects for rental cars and personal injury. I have a company Business AMEX card and it covers everything from liability, comp, etc. -however- if I get the rental car insurance, that nullifies the AMEX coverage. Don't get your personal insurance involved until the very last minute if you have to. Keep business and personal stuff seperate, its easier that way.

    *If* your card covers it all, DO NOT get their insurance, even if they pressure you (I've done this for 7 years and sometimes they do). They may say its required by law, that is a bullshit lie. Your card is your coverage. Deal with it.

    -Make sure to read over all the expenses upfront, and that it is what you are paying for when you sign the paper work. I was complacent once and I a 200$ rental turn into a 2000$ rental. Luckily, my company and I fought it so long that the rental co. defaulted on their side of the legal dispute, so everything nullified, thankfully.

    Get the rentals on a per day unlimited mileage basis, so you are not charged or limited by mileage, that can bite you if you get too low mileage.
    Opt to refill the gas tank yourself. Don't bother with their fuel plans because, "yes, you do get gas at 2.50$ a gallon, but we only charge for the full tank. No we dont do it by the 1/4 or 1/10th of a tank, because that makes too much sense."

    If you are going to be traveling a bunch, invest in your own GPS device (beyond your phone, depending on your data rates). 12$ to 26$ a day adds up *fast*.
    And yes, always get the IPASS or SunPass or whatever Toll road pass. So many times I'd have been ding'ed for 50+$ because I accidentally hit a toll road that didn't have cash/atm pay.

    That's about it from my experience.

    Pretty much all this. Just call the credit card and ask about insurance. They will tell you.

    My default line if they bring up any additional addon/insurance charge is "the company I work for told me to decline everything." It shuts up all but the most irritating counter person. The only other scummy thing that I've learned to just ignore is when they bring up other sized cars. It won't be as cheap to upgrade when you are at the airport. Sometimes they are fishing for the upgrade because they don't have any of that size available. I've ended up with a Maxima instead of a Focus because they don't have the cars.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Awesome, thank you for all of the advice. I've spoke to my credit card company (Chase Sapphire Preferred) and they instructed me to decline all insurance coverage as it's covered by them.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
    NotoriusBEN
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    So it's a matter of a hundred or 2 dollars that'll be reimbursed anyways?

    I think taking the liability on your personal CC vs fronting the cost of the PLW/PDW is easy calculus ... very likely there will be no accident or cause for concern, but if there is then I wouldn't want to be on the hook personally.

    I'm not gonna say this advice is total shit, but it's total shit to offer advice and then provide the caveat of "I wouldn't do this".


    Where did I suggest that I wouldn't do what I am advising?

    Edit: If I were on a business trip and it got expensed and I gave a shit about how much money my employer has to spend I'd go shitty car, and whatever per diem cost for a liability waiver. It minimizes cost while making sure all bases are covered in case something bad happens.

    Djeet on
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