Summer vacation means it's road-trip time! These days, with gas prices again on the rise, saving money at the pump is on every road-tripper's mind.
"Want to fill the car up for 10 cents cheaper than local pump price?" the rental sales agent asks as he points to a sign showing a nice, cheap per-gallon price. Sounds like a good deal, no? As with everything in the rental car industry, there's a catch. Here are six reasons to think twice about prepaying that tank:
1. You have to return the car completely empty.
Roadside Assistance (under various names) gets offered at the rental counter as an additional/optional service, a daily fee that provides service from the rental car company if there’s a customer-induced issue with the rental car. The listed costs for the services might seem relatively small at $4-$7 per day (plus taxes, of course). However, the commission-based counter agent pushing these roadside protection services won’t tell you that the company’s offer is a really bad deal. Instead, that agent seeking a few extra dollars in the paycheck will cheerfully relay their “company line.” For instance, the statement at an Enterprise counter might go something like:
Roadside Assistance Protections (RAP) allows Enterprise customers to waive financial responsibility for chargeable roadside incidents such as lost keys, lockouts and fuel outages.
How bad of a deal can $4 a day be for a service that’s already sounding a little like AAA?
Most of the flashbacks I have to high school are positive ones. I went to an exceptional public high school, won letters in multiple sports, received multiple academic (and one athletic) scholarship offers, and was even offered a military commission. And I was the jock who was blasting Soul Asylym's Runaway Train in the parking lot before school in my Chevrolet Camaro. Yet the coolest part of my Camaro -- built in 1983 -- was the aftermarket sound system. You see, my high school Camaro was from the era when General Motors thought it was cool to produce some 4-cylinder models with under 100 HP. Not only did General Motors (deservedly) lose market share in the 1980s, my Camaro decades ago had fewer horsepower than a Nissan Versa today. My Camaro experience was thus a lot more "miss" than "hit". Twenty-three years later, I finally had a great Camaro experience.