Rental Car Curse!

I’ve had pretty good luck with rental cars over the years. Other than the one time a city bus plowed into my (parked) SUV in front of a hotel in snowy Aspen, I’ve never had a reportable incident.

Until this year.

I just got back from a board meeting in Michigan, and on the way back to the airport a rock flew up from an 18-wheeler and put a big chip in my windshield. No big deal, right? Windshield cracks happen all the time, don’t they?

Well, this was the THIRD time it has happened to me THIS YEAR. After 35 years of renting cars – probably upwards of 250 cars – I’ve never had a rock chip. Now I’ve had 3 of them in my last 4 rentals.

What are the odds of that?

Yes, I did have coverage through my Delta AmEx card. They paid my March claim ($220), but are dragging their feet on the February one. For some reason that one is a $1,100 repair. It was a Toyota RAV4 … the same as my latest claim.

They are asking me to get my personal car insurance company (State Farm) involved since it is over their limit. We’ll see how that goes! Again!

What’s the worst claim you’ve had on a car rental. How did it net out for you financially?

Image Credit: Pixabay

6 thoughts on “Rental Car Curse!

  1. You must have had a car with a camera integrated into the windshield, ie one that has “adaptive cruise” and/or “lane keep assist.” That’s probably why the cost was so high. I just went through that with my wife’s car. In addition to replacing the windshield and re-mounting the camera (for which they have to use OEM parts, no generic replacements), they also need to “align” the camera to the windshield which typically costs north of $500.

    Since this was over the $500 deductible I had on my comprehensive car insurance, I needed to pay the balance. For what it’s worth, some car insurance companies will provide additional insurance for this, but you have to pay extra for it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – It DID have that adaptive cruise control. I don’t love that feature, but I’m sure it prevents some accidents. I don’t recall them asking me for extra $ insurance at the rental counter.

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  2. I have only had one ‘accident’ with a rental car. I had rented a car while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas. When I took the car back they wanted to charge me a couple hundred for ‘new’ scratches they found on the bumper. This is what they call a mordida in Spanish, which translates roughly as little bite.

    The rental company threatened to call the policia after I raised a ruckus. So I just had them add the cost onto my credit card. However, I had the last laugh when I nuked the charge the day after I got back to the US.

    As a parting comment, I carry $1,000 deductible auto insurance. For an expense just over a $1,000, I would cover it myself to keep my claims record clean.

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    1. We’ve been to Mexico many times and I have never rented a car there. I’ve heard too many people talk about problems driving / renting.

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  3. Dang pebbles. Dang trucks. Dang dings. I’ve only had that problem on personal cars. Like you, I’ve rented hundreds of cars. I never had an accident in one. But there were sometimes “parking lot scrapes/dents” caused by other drivers. I pay for LDW. Though my charge cards supposedly cover, the one time I didn’t take LDW the amount of time I wasted interacting with my cards, insurers, and rental car company was terrible). I assign financial value to my time even though I no longer work for money. LDW pays in time saved on nuisance paperwork and calls I don’t want to make.

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    1. I’ve never had to work a claim through a credit card company before. The first one (February rental) was really easy. The second one (March rental) has been a pain. We’ll see how this one will be. I’m not even sure how much LDW is, but I will look next time!

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