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Idiot's Guide to Renting A Car in Vegas

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by tvon, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    Maybe this can be sticky'd and others can add to this.. I see many of the same questions posted in this section all the time.

    WHERE TO RENT:
    Your best bet is to book directly with whatever rental car company you choose, most of the majors will allow you to cancel your reservation with no penalties if you go direct. This will also allow you to see your full price with taxes and fees.

    Other places to rent are priceline, orbitz, travelocity and all the other major travel websites. Many swear by these, but check the details carefully as you may incur additional fees (such as not including tax) and might not be able to cancel your reservation without paying a fee.

    Orbitz and other sites like it are a good way to compare prices. I recommend using these as price research, then leave their website and book directly at the rental car companies website.

    Also, when dealing with a "non major" places such as Fox, US Rent a Car, Savemor, etc.. Check rental details carefully as many of these will not honor your personal car insurance in case of an accident, while almost all of the majors will.

    WHAT COMPANY IS THE BEST/WHO SHOULD I USE?
    Truth be told, most of the major car rental companies are the same. However experiences do differ and quality does range a bit. Do a search on this board first before posing a question.. chances are several people have your answer already!

    RENTAL CODES/DISCOUNTS:
    Discount codes for rental cars are fairly easy to get. Check rentalcodes.com as its always a good first bet. Also check your credit card company website, any wholesale stores you are a member of (like Costco) and other associations (AAA, AARP).

    Usually doing a web search for discount codes works great too. (such as a search "Alamo discount codes" in google)

    INSURANCE:
    Often the question of "Should I buy the optional coverage at the rental car counter?" comes up. Most of the time you do not have to accept this additional fee if you do your research first.

    Most car insurance policys in the US will cover your rental car with the same amount of coverage you have on your personal car. Be sure to check with your Insurance company first however.

    Also, most credit card companies offer additional insurance to your rental. This site compares which companies cover what.

    http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rental-car-insurance-policies-1273.php

    As always, double check by calling your credit card issuer to be sure that you are covered when renting a car.

    HOW TO GET YOUR CAR:
    All major car rental companies at McCarran International Airport are served at the McCarran "Rent A Car Center". There are a few smaller companies located off site from the Rent A Car Center, but they do not operate shuttles to the Airport.

    There is ONE shuttle that will bring to you the RACC (Rent A Car Center) for ALL rental companies. If you do not use one of the companies served at the RACC, you will need to shuttle to the Rent A Car Center FIRST, then take another to your rental car company. Shuttles run about every 5 minutes through Terminals 1 and 2, outside the baggage claim area (see McCarran Airport website for exact location or follow posted signs). The trip is approximately 5 minutes to the RACC. Once inside the RACC you will see all the car rental company counters.

    The RACC is located at 7135 Gilespie St, Las Vegas, NV 89136, which is just off Las Vegas Blvd and the 215 highway. There are gas stations located at the intersection LV Blvd and E. Warm Springs Rd, and several more down E. Warm Springs Rd. These are good to know so you can top off your rental before returning.

    Website:
    https://www.mccarran.com/Go/RentalCars.aspx

    Map:
    Google Maps

    Brochure with maps, phone numbers and other information

    Companies Served at the Rent-A-Car center:
    Advantage
    www.advantage.com
    1-800- 777-9377
    www.us-rentacar.com

    Alamo / National
    www.alamo.com/
    1-800-GOALAMO
    www.nationalcar.com
    1-800-CAR-RENT

    Avis
    www.avis.com
    1-800- 331-1212

    Budget
    www.budget.com
    1-800-922-2899

    Dollar
    www.dollar.com
    1-800-800-4000

    Enterprise
    www.enterprise.com
    1-800-RENTACAR

    Hertz
    www.hertz.com
    1-800-654-3131

    Payless
    www.paylesscarrental.com
    1-800- 729-5377

    Savmor
    www.savmorrac.com
    1-800-634-6779

    Thrifty
    www.thrifty.com
    1-800-367-2277

    Other Locations:
    Many hotel/casinos also offer rental cars as well, with many of the major rental companies serving them. Contact your hotel to see what companies are in the hotel or see the rental car company website to see other off-airport locations.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2016
  2. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    updated article about Credit Card insurance covering your rental:

    Perhaps brushing off the protection fee might not be so wise:

    http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rental-car-credit-card-protections-vary-1273.php
     
  3. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    HOW TO AVOID THE FEE FOR A SECOND DRIVER

    Wait until you are old. Join AARP. Book with Alamo and the second driver is right in the contract.


    HOW CAN YOU PROTECT AGAINST INCORRECT DAMAGE CHARGES

    Take a photo of the car from all angles. Actually there was a report of a customer being charged for damage to the top of the car, so I guess that is necessary.

    Use a camera that posts date and time.

    Photograph the odometer as well with the date and time.

    Do this when you pick the car up and when you deliver it.

    Get all scratches, dents, etc noted in writing before you drive away. Save that paperwork.
    Don't assume that when you return the car and no one questions anything you are free. Keep all paperwork and photos because a month or so later you might find yourself with a bill for damage from the company.

    If you get a bill for damages, contact your insurance immediately. Some insurance companies have a limit on time to report the accident. Some times it seems the car companies like to bill you for damage that you did not do just outside the window of those limitations.

    All that said, I see less reports of car rental damage scams in Vegas than in other spots around the country.

    NOTE THE DIFFERENCE IN ADVERTISED WAIVERS

    A CDW (collision damage waiver) that is offered by the rental car company for around $25 a day is not insurance. It is an agreement from the company not to come back at you for damage. That is why it is not subject to the insurance laws.
    A CDW relieves you of responsibility as long as nothing in your driving was negligent.
    Some rental car sites are now offering something that looks like a CDW and costs around $10. This is not a waiver but insurance. It will not relieve you of responsibility. You will have to jump through the same hoops that you do with your own insurance company.
    Note too that if you make a major driving error (turn down a one way street), drive drunk, have anyone not on the paperwork as an official driver (this includes that valet who parks the car for you) your insurance or CDW will not pay.



    There is good information on this site and if you are in a bind, this fellow sometimes will be your ombudsman.

    http://www.elliott.org/blog/how-to-outfox-your-
    car-rental-company-on-a-bogus-damage-claim/


    If you explore this site, you will read many stories of rental car troubles and what folks did to try to solve them.

    WATCH THOSE BUDGET CODES

    If you use a budget code which requires that you are an employee of a particular company and under a deal between that company and the rental car company, but you just picked it up off the internet somewhere and you are not actually working for the company, don't expect that your free CDW will be valid.

    EXPECT AN ARGUMENT OVER LOSS OF USE

    Your credit card probably says it covers loss of use. This is the daily charge for the car being out of service while they fix it. It is a great benefit that sells credit cards because lots of times they don't have to pay it.
    Here is the loophole.
    The credit card company wants the car company to prove that the car would have been rented by submitting a rental log.
    The car company won't submit the log because they don't want other companies knowing the details of their rental business.
    Guess who gets caught in the middle of that argument?
    If you just ignore the bill collectors from the collection agency when they repeatedly call you, you can probably avoid this charge although it might smear your credit rating a bit.

    AND LOSS OF VALUE?

    Well, there is no protection except the CDW for this.
    This happens when you are in a major accident with a $35,000 vehicle and the damage is assessed by the insurance company at $19,000, but the car rental company decides (their option) to sell the car for $6,000 rather than fix it. So 35 - 25 leaves 10 grand. Guess who pays that? gotcha!
    And why would they decide to sell?
    Well, a vehicle that damaged, even if repaired properly, might be a magnate for a lawsuit by a future renter who would question those repairs in court in an attempt to make money on injury. Why take that chance when the company breaks even between the sale, the insurance, and your "loss of value" payment.
    Check your insurance policy. I don't know of one that covers this.

    Now did you hear about that new Goldline city bus in Vegas?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  4. SheChauffeurs

    SheChauffeurs Tourist

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    FYI...I just searched for car rentals and found the best rates are with Alamo. And they knock off 20% if you prepay. Nobody else even came close after that discount.
     
  5. SheChauffeurs

    SheChauffeurs Tourist

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    FYI: UPDATE Turns out that the price I thought was so great was BEFORE taxes and fees, so not such a great deal after all. I ended up renting from Thrifty and opted for their "surprise" deal which is a mid-size or larger (their choice) for the price of a compact.
     
  6. Motorhead168

    Motorhead168 MIA

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    This is a great thread.:cheers:
     
  7. hawgklr

    hawgklr Newbie

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    i just spent over 1/2 hr typing a rebuttal to this thread and the system asked me to log in again and lost my rebuttal:grrr:
     
  8. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    Just wanted to add one interesting item that all renters in Vegas should take serious note of. There has been mention here and other places that Nevada now requires proof of insurance to be carried at all times with you when driving in NV.

    This thread has some good info and a story how someone got stuck:
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62475&highlight=insurance

    I'm from MA and you need proof of insurance to get your Drivers License, so if im pulled over in MA they do not ask for an insurance card. That gets you very comfortable with not carrying one around with you, which can be a big problem once you cross state lines or go on vacation to a place like Vegas. I know i would not think to pack that, many would be guilty too.

    So pack that insurance card with you when heading to Vegas!!
     
  9. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks for that one. I have never brought one.
    We have to rent in Chicago so I'll have to put a slip in my wallet so i don't have to check the regs from different states.
    Those Vegas buses are looking better and better every day.
    Seniors get thirty days for thirty dollars for all access bus passes. Pretty much the price of gas for a few days of driving.
     
  10. joshag

    joshag Tourist

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    Wow never new about the insurance card thing....Thanks!
     
  11. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    Anybody know of a good way to get the underage fee waived. 23 year olds just get the shaft :)
     
  12. MWJ51102

    MWJ51102 Low-Roller

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    Check other companies. They don't all charge the fee.
     
  13. MWJ51102

    MWJ51102 Low-Roller

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    Never mind. I'm wrong. They all charge the fee. Searched online and said enterprise is usually the cheapest fee.
     
  14. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Sometimes if you book on a corporate account, they will waive the fee. But if this is for personal travel, you might not be allowed to use your corporate acct, even if you have one.
     
  15. Annie Vegas

    Annie Vegas Low-Roller

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    I've been looking for a convertible for our trip to show off Vegas to my family (Vegas Virgins) and the rates were ridiculous - upwards of $600 for a week. I got a pretty decent deal with Enterprise for less than $400.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Quite honestly, I wish I had this problem! :(
     
  17. Annie Vegas

    Annie Vegas Low-Roller

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    They didn’t have cars when I was 23.
     
  18. nurs1963

    nurs1963 Tourist

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    lol..:evillaugh
     
  19. trellaine

    trellaine Low-Roller

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    This insurance card thing thats been mentioned. Does that affect me (canadian) visiting and renting this Sunday? I should bring some proof of my cdn insurance?
     
  20. cathead

    cathead Tourist

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