Subject: Car rentals - tips and strategies?
Hi Ziners,

Any tips or suggestions about car rentals? I have a couple.

First, try not to accept an upgrade. It used to be that it was an advantage. Not anymore if the car is less fuel efficient or you get more car than you need. Or if any small problem costs more to fix because it is a fancy car.

Second, be sure to check the tire sides for rubbing. When we picked up a car, another man was having a hard time because of tire "damage". We normally check the car over fairly carefully but hadn't thought of the tires!

Third, if you do damage the car and it is easy to fix, do it yourself. We had a problem with a wheel cover and we were able to buy a new one from a dealer for a fraction of the cost that we would have been charged by the rental company. To be fair, they would have had to keep the car out of circulation until they fixed it. We did it on our time.

Lou's problem is typical though. They browbeat you and they get you when you are tired after a transatlantic flight! So my last point is, know what you have paid for. We had booked a car through a travel agent some years ago and we hadn't checked exactly what coverage we were getting. When the agent (yep, a Hertz one) at Gatwick told us that it was marked that we were getting CDW, we thought it meant for the price we had pre-paid. Not so! Even though we told her we didn't want it, her "resassurances" led us to initial acceptance of the CDW. What she meant is that the company automatically recommended buying CDW. It cost us more than the short rental. So know what's included. BTW, it wasn't the travel agent's fault. We should have examined our voucher more carefully. Any other tips? Anyone disagree?

Frances Toronto, Canada