When a Rental is a No Go -- Driver Record Checks and the Rental Car Companies

Finger Wag

In a previous AutoSlash blog post, we spoke about the Do Not Rent lists maintained by the rental car companies. Getting on a rental car company's Do Not Rent list ordinarily takes effort and involves doing something bad with a rental car. However, a renter may also be precluded from renting a car based upon driver history in other cars, and that exclusion may be permanent or temporary. While we can joke about the Violent Femmes, every driver indeed has a permanent (or semi-permanent) record. The request to see a driver's license at the start of the rental is primarily for identity verification and ensuring the license is active. And at many rental car companies, the rental car company may also run a driver record check.

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Remember when ... There was a Golfer Nicknamed Avis?

Payne Stewart

Remember when … there was a PGA Tour professional nicknamed "Avis"? There was, and it wasn't seen as a desirable nickname. You see, the nickname wasn't because the golfer was a spokesperson for Avis like Steve Stricker. The nickname took because the golfer in question “always finished second”. Finishing second on the PGA Tour requires sublime talent -- most tour golfers would be happy to have the ability to take home a second place finisher’s paycheck. But “Avis” wasn't completely happy with the nickname.

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Renting a Car in the Bay Area? Filld is Willing to Provide "Free" Gas

Gas Station

We're not fans of driving in the San Francisco Bay Area. Actually, that's not completely true. We're fans of driving pretty much everywhere but we're not fans of the taxes on Bay Area rental cars, exorbitant parking fees, and rampant break-ins. Yet the San Francisco Bay area has options that are not available everywhere, such as the ability to pay a company to refuel a (rental) car while at work. In fact, there are two different companies in the Bay Area burning money (and fuel) with the same basic concept, Booster and Filld. It's clear that paying staff to drive expensive trucks around the city -- burning additional fuel on those routes -- to fill up individual cars is not nearly as efficient as stopping at a gas station directly on one's route. Some would even question the long-term viability of this business model. The only reason we're writing about the idea is that Filld is offering free gas as part of their customer acquisition costs.

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Renting a Car in California? Watch Out for this Insurance Gotcha.

Accident

We speak about many of the considerations of insurance in our Primer on Rental Car Insurance. Yet many renters who don't read insurance policies and terms every day forget that personal automobile policies are a common part of the rental car coverage equation. Most renters know that many credit cards provide secondary damage protection if there's an incident with the rental car; when a credit card provides secondary coverage, the driver's own policy is the primary. And those damage waivers only cover the rental car - cause an accident and harm other individuals and property, and the potential liability is huge. And many renters would be surprised to learn liability coverage isn't included on rentals in California, which makes personal insurance policies even more important.

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Avis Promotion Offers a Free Weekend Day Just for Using the App During a Rental

Avis

Recently, Avis has been pushing their app extensively. A promotion from earlier this year offered a chance of prizes simply by learning about the app. We tested out and reviewed the app when experimenting with upgrades at the time of pickup (my Chevy Cruze became a BMW 330i). And now, Avis has quietly pushed an "Even More Brilliant" promotion out via social media offering a free rental day for interacting with the app during a rental. Obviously, we have a declared love of free rental days but there's are multiple catches in Avis' offer, including one that made our team ineligible.

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