America is a very unique country. I’ve been living in Australia over seven years, so I’ve been a bit spoiled when it comes to normal life. It’s pretty cruisy here. But while planning this seven-week adventure to the United States, we’ve run into a few snags and luckily I had a bit of a clue of what they were doing, so we didn’t get caught out.
Here’s a few tips with car hire that I hope will help you from any future travel headaches.
Here in Australia, car insurance is included with your quote. It’s great! Upfront, you know what you’re getting and the price you need to pay – that’s it… no need for anything extra. In the US, they work quite differently. If you go online and look for car hire, it’s only for the car itself. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE INSURANCE. And here’s the thing, you can’t hire the car UNLESS YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF INSURANCE. I know, crap.
So, this is what happens… You get this amazing quote that is amazing. You’re at the counter, ready to pay.. and then bang.. they ask you ‘do you have insurance? No? That will be $20 a day!” Crazy, I know.
What you need is three different types of insurance:
1. Collision Damage Waver – this is if your rental car is stolen or damaged.
2. Liability Insurance – damage to other people and/or property.
3. Personal Accident Insurance – this covers the medical bills of the accident.
Now, you might think that your credit card will have car hire insurance – some may but you will need to double check the fine print. A lot of credit cards only have excess – that’s the money that they’ll pay once your normal insurance runs out. But… a slight problem if there’s no excess to begin with…
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!