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How do car free people rent cars?

Old 01-23-16, 12:19 PM
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How do car free people rent cars?

I am calling around and I am finding that I have to have auto insurance in order to rent a car. To have auto insurance I need an auto. How are the rest of the car-free getting around this?
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Old 01-23-16, 12:57 PM
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Here's a nice article explaining some rental insurance issues.
Everything You Need To Know About Rental Car Insurance

I'm surprised rental agencies aren't offering you the option of buying insurance through them. It can bump your costs up, but i thought it was standard for car renters to offer that.

I've had to rent a car a couple of times without issue, but in my state, I need a minimum amount of coverage just to have a license, plus my wife's car is in my name, so I have to covered on her policy, so I haven't needed to worry about insurance. On the other hand, I don't even remember being asked about insurance the last two times I rented. Maybe the fact that I need proof of insurance just to renew my license is something the rental company is aware of? I'm not sure.
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Old 01-23-16, 01:32 PM
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I could be wrong, but don't some credit card companies offer rental car insurance at no additional cost?
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Old 01-23-16, 01:36 PM
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I never heard of such a thing. Think of all the business people who live in downtown NYC or Chicago (for example) and don't own cars. What are they supposed to do when they fly out to business meetings.

You must be misunderstanding what they're telling you.

BTW- if you're under 25, many companies won't rent to you, or might insist on special conditions, and that may be your problem
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Old 01-23-16, 01:43 PM
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Every car rental place has their own insurance which you need to purchase at an extra cost when you renting a car from them. Renting a car is not as cheap as some people think....The real question I have is, how does somebody rent a car when they don't even have a DL ??...With so many LCF'ers being anti-DL, I wonder how some of them rent or borrow a vehicle ??
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Old 01-23-16, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Every car rental place has their own insurance which you need to purchase at an extra cost when you renting a car from them. Renting a car is not as cheap as some people think....The real question I have is, how does somebody rent a car when they don't even have a DL ??....
The particulars of rental car insurance varies by state and is consistent with that state's general car insurance laws. In states where liability and/or PIP (no fault) insurance are mandatory, the rental company must have these on all their cars, and it's included in the price. There will also be an optional collision damage waiver which protects you from paying for damage to the car, and some also offer extended personal or or personal property coverage.

Now, in states where liability and/or PIP isn't mandatory, it may not be included and it's up to you to either buy or provide it through another auto policy.

As for no driver's license, that's simple. The rental question is moot, since it's not legal for you to drive it off the lot, and no rental company will willingly be complicit in letting someone drive their cars illegally.
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Old 01-23-16, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
I could be wrong, but don't some credit card companies offer rental car insurance at no additional cost?
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Every car rental place has their own insurance which you need to purchase at an extra cost when you renting a car from them. Renting a car is not as cheap as some people think....The real question I have is, how does somebody rent a car when they don't even have a DL ??...With so many LCF'ers being anti-DL, I wonder how some of them rent or borrow a vehicle ??
No one has to buy the insurance offered by car rental companies if their own car insurance adequately covers them. I've NEVER been asked by car rental personnel or online sites anywhere about if I already had insurance, but only if I wanted to purchase any OPTIONAL additional coverage. The only things ever necessary were a valid driver's license and credit card.

The credit card free "coverage" is only for damage to the rental car and provides no liability coverage at all.
Would be car renters who do not carry any car insurance [presumably only people who do not own a car, not car car light people] need to, or at least should buy the outrageously priced coverage from the car rental companies unless they want to risk financial ruin.
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Old 01-23-16, 03:02 PM
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I ended up going threw a (much) more expensive car rental place. However, they offer insurance (for $30/day).
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Old 01-23-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
No one has to buy the insurance offered by car rental companies if their own car insurance adequately covers them. I've NEVER been asked by car rental personnel or online sites anywhere about if I already had insurance, but only if I wanted to purchase any OPTIONAL additional coverage. The only things ever necessary were a valid driver's license and credit card.
Yes I know you don't need to purchase an extra insurance for a rental car if you already have an insurance policy for your own vehicle. But OP was asking about car-free people who don't have any insurance policy because they don't own a vehicle... If somebody doesn't have their own insurance policy then they need to purchase one from a rental agency when renting a car.
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Old 01-23-16, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Yes I know you don't need to purchase an extra insurance for a rental car if you already have an insurance policy for your own vehicle. But OP was asking about car-free people who don't have any insurance policy because they don't own a vehicle... If somebody doesn't have their own insurance policy then they need to purchase one from a rental agency when renting a car.
You need to know what risks you're insuring against and decide for yourself which are acceptable.

There are 3 types of risks/insurance.

1- liability to third parties in the event of a crash. This is open ended and can easily reach staggering numbers, and so warrants insurance. But in most states this is already covered, because the rental company shares that risk, and carries insurance on the vehicle, and drivers.

2- loss or damage to the car itself. This relates to your agreement to return the car in undamaged. The risk here is capped by the value of the car, or in many places, by a high deductible on insurance the rental car company already carries, typically three or five thousand dollars. You can buy a waiver, essentially bringing your risk down to zero, or some nominal figure.

3- personal protection, for yourself and your possessions in that car. You already have health insurance, and the PIP may be mandatory in your state anyway, so you're paying a premium for very marginally added protection.

So before you shell out serious dough for daily or weekly protection, know exactly what your exposure would otherwise be, and decide accordingly. When I've rented, my experience has been that 3rd party liability was included, I pass on the PIP and contents, and pay for loss/damage waiver only if I'm exposed for more than $3,000 which is rarely.
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Old 01-23-16, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
No one has to buy the insurance offered by car rental companies if their own car insurance adequately covers them. I've NEVER been asked by car rental personnel or online sites anywhere about if I already had insurance, but only if I wanted to purchase any OPTIONAL additional coverage. The only things ever necessary were a valid driver's license and credit card.

The credit card free "coverage" is only for damage to the rental car and provides no liability coverage at all.
Would be car renters who do not carry any car insurance [presumably only people who do not own a car, not car car light people] need to, or at least should buy the outrageously priced coverage from the car rental companies unless they want to risk financial ruin.
You forget about international travellers who land in the US wanting to rent a vehicle. Their vehicle insurance in their home country doesn't apply in the US or any other country, for that matter.

Outrageous the cost of insurance might be. But there are enough stories about rental car agencies debiting people's credit card accounts for $3,000 or more for "damage" that did not exist on return of the vehicle to the agency to justify the cost, in my opinion.

My travel insurance normally has a clause that covers the excess on rental car insurance claims, but that is a minefield of time and effort that I don't want to have to deal with. My peace of mind is worth the $30 a day it might cost extra for the insurance coverage.

By the way, what impact would a rental car insurance claim have on your own car insurance premiums?
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Old 01-23-16, 05:49 PM
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I have just been through the exercise as an employer of hiring people to work on a remote-ish property, and frankly, it was a bear trying to organise people who didn't have vehicles.

They missed transport connections consistently, so put in three-quarters or half-days of work, or didn't turn up at all.

They were having to cadge lifts from other workers and often that didn't work out. None saw the option of riding a bicycle.

A few cottoned on to the idea that they could camp on the island and walk, but they were backpackers from other countries here on working holiday visas. For the majority of locals, it was just all too difficult.

And we won't even talk about the music festivals that are a "must-do" for all the young workers around Christmas/New Year. Funny how they could organise transport to that, but couldn't be bothered organising it so they could earn an income.
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Old 01-23-16, 06:31 PM
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When I lived in Winnipeg and was carfree, I used to rent a car about once every 3-4 months or so.

I discovered that Enterprise was my best bet if I wanted to use the car locally, and for longer distance driving, I'd explore the other choices (Hertz, Budget, etc.)

I paid for the car + I paid the $30/day for the insurance. And the total still came out to less than owning and insuring a car of my own. With a whole lot less hassle.



We've rented cars in several different places ... travelling in Canada when we return there, travelling in the US, travelling in other parts of Australia ... and it is the same situation.

The thing is, car rental companies are set up to cater to people without applicable insurance. Go to just about any airport and there will be a row of car rental booths just waiting for passengers from other countries or other parts of the country to come and rent vehicles.

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Old 01-23-16, 06:47 PM
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Can't you get non-owner car insurance? I never looked into it since liability insurance is included and damage waiver only around 10 or $15 for the economy cars I'd rent, but if you rented a lot it you come out ahead with your own policy.
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Old 01-23-16, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Can't you get non-owner car insurance? I never looked into it since liability insurance is included and damage waiver only around 10 or $15 for the economy cars I'd rent, but if you rented a lot it you come out ahead with your own policy.
As I recall, Manitoba offered this sort of insurance. I could buy 1-month's worth, once a year or something like that. And I did do that one year. But other provinces didn't offer the same deal.
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Old 01-23-16, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Yes I know you don't need to purchase an extra insurance for a rental car if you already have an insurance policy for your own vehicle. But OP was asking about car-free people who don't have any insurance policy because they don't own a vehicle...
Maybe so, but the first response to the OP was a car light person (who carried car insurance for the car he owned) reporting his experience in renting a car. You should know the loosey-goosey label of "car free" is sometimes attached to anybody not driving a car at the moment by some "LCF people"
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Old 01-23-16, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
1- liability to third parties in the event of a crash. This is open ended and can easily reach staggering numbers, and so warrants insurance. But in most states this is already covered, because the rental company shares that risk, and carries insurance on the vehicle, and drivers... When I've rented, my experience has been that 3rd party liability was included, I pass on the PIP and contents, and pay for loss/damage waiver only if I'm exposed for more than $3,000 which is rarely.
I think that the "free" rental car companies' liability coverage only protects the renter up to the minimum required by the states which may be staggeringly low, perhaps $10,000 or so. If you think that is sufficient protection, go for it.

When I rented a car for my job requirements, my employer picked up the tab for all insurance; any claim would not have been sent to my own insurance company. When I rent a car out of town on vacation trips, my own car insurance liability coverage (bodily injury 250,000/500,00, property damage $100,000) gives me far more protection than the "free" car rental plans.
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Old 01-23-16, 08:23 PM
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I will have to ask my son. He does not own a car, lives in Boston. He had a rental car here in NC when he came home for Christmas. One thing to watch out for with rental car companies is the add on insurance. There is one thing that they will whack you for if you don't have the coverage and that is loss of use. If you are driving the car and it gets damaged or wrecked you are on the hook for the loss of revenue while it is being repaired, unless you take the Damage Loss insurance. In my case that is covered by my credit card company.

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Old 01-23-16, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I think that the "free" rental car companies' liability coverage only protects the renter up to the minimum required by the states which may be staggeringly low, perhaps $10,000 or so. If you think that is sufficient protection, go for it.

When I rented a car for my job requirements, my employer picked up the tab for all insurance; any claim would not have been sent to my own insurance company. When I rent a car out of town on vacation trips, my own car insurance liability coverage (bodily injury 250,000/500,00, property damage $100,000) gives me far more protection than the "free" car rental plans.
I'm sure it depends on the states involved. IME, I've never been offered an opportunity to buy added liability coverage, only PIP, personal property and damage waiver. Also, in many states, the insurance is attached to the car not the driver. Rental companies tend to have deeper pockets than their clients, and so they have no incentive to try to get by with minimum liability. Plaintiff attorneys cannot separate the suits, and so the rental car insurance company is "in for a penny - in for a pound" unless there's some kind of egregious conduct that may give them an out.


However, if you want added lawsuit protection, it's cheaper to buy a general liability umbrella policy, which can usually be added to home or apartment insurance policies. These wrap around and extend the limits of your other insurance policies, (or the car rental company's) and cover a broader range or risks.

BTW - I've never in 40 years of renting cars all over the world been asked if I own one. Just for proof that I'm a licensed driver.
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Old 01-23-16, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
BTW - I've never in 40 years of renting cars all over the world been asked if I own one. Just for proof that I'm a licensed driver.
Correct, just as I previously posted, "The only things ever necessary were a valid driver's license and credit card." I don't know if it is possible to rent a car with cash unless it included a deposit that covered the total cost of the car.
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Old 01-23-16, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Correct, just as I previously posted, "The only things ever necessary were a valid driver's license and credit card." I don't know if it is possible to rent a car with cash unless it included a deposit that covered the total cost of the car.
Depends on where you live. In New York, they will rent a car with a relatively small cash deposit, usually in the range of 2-3x the projected rental fees. The credit card is more about ID confirmation and payment for the rental, then proof of ability to pay for a major repair.

BTW- you missed the point of my statement about never being asked about car ownership. It was to demonstrate that car owners and car free people are treated the same, since they have no way of knowing otherwise.
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Old 01-24-16, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
BTW - I've never in 40 years of renting cars all over the world been asked if I own one. Just for proof that I'm a licensed driver.
I've been renting cars for 16 or 17 years, and also have never been asked if I own a car.
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Old 01-24-16, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Can't you get non-owner car insurance? I never looked into it since liability insurance is included and damage waiver only around 10 or $15 for the economy cars I'd rent, but if you rented a lot it you come out ahead with your own policy.
I have it, through Safeco. It's liability only. I converted when I sold my car.
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Old 01-24-16, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Can't you get non-owner car insurance? I never looked into it since liability insurance is included and damage waiver only around 10 or $15 for the economy cars I'd rent, but if you rented a lot it you come out ahead with your own policy.
I looked into it last year, no you can't.

Where this started was I was calling around to the auto dealerships to rent a car. Several of them rent cars; but do not have insurance. I ended up going with the, expensive, airport rental. They are pretty expensive, and I still need to spring for an $30 for the insurance.

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Old 01-24-16, 07:08 AM
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If you rent very often it's worth getting a credit card that includes car rental insurance. Then you can decline the CDW offered by the rental agency.
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