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Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

Indianapolis...
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Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

First, thanks to everyone for all the great advice and insights you've shared so far. Our trip to NZ is just a few months away and I'm realizing I need to get the car rental thing figured out.

The plan is to pick up the car in Picton (preferably at the ferry) at the end of May and return it in Dunedin, 12 days later. That leaves Apex out as an option, but Ace, Jucy, Avis, Thrify, Hertz will work (and perhaps others). Ace and some of the others have "super saver" as a car category, for their "well traveled cars." They are considerably cheaper -- I"m less concerned with looks (I drive a 2002 Cavalier that has 150 K miles) than I am with having a car that will handle well and have sufficient power to get us over the hills and through the woods from one end of the island to the other.

I'm also a bit confused about all the waivers, and extra insurance, and could really use some advice.

Indianapolis...
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11. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

I'm not sure if there is an answer to this question -- but is the Tyre and Windscreen insurance a good idea? Does this mean that if I get a flat or the tyre blows out, I would have to pay for it without the additional insurance?

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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12. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

I guess it depends on how much it costs. Broken windscreens are fairly common in NZ, as our roads are sealed with metal (rock) chips, and when new sealing has been done (also fairly common) the car in fromt can flick up a chip which breaks your screen. Locals tend to get used to this, and slow to a crawl when driving over new seal, but visitors may not be aware of the problem. Of course stones can also be flicked up anywhere. A new screen costs anywhere from $300 to $2000 depending on the make of car.

Fixing a flat usually costs about $20 to $40, and new tyres are around $100 - $200. I doubt a tyre would burst, and if it did that would be the fault of the company (tyres MUST be in good order). However if you drove on a flat tyre, or drove over a kerb and ruined the tyre, that would be your problem.

New Zealand
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13. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

new tyres are around $100 - $200....

I wish!

I just got 4 new tyres and a wheel alignment - $1500

Wellington, New...
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14. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

Quality car rental companies don't require many of the extras that the cut price operators charge for. This is because it is already included in the up front costs. in order to keep the base costs down savings have to be made and then passed onto the customer as extras. If one takes the cheappie cheappie option one runs the risk of very high costs in event of a claim or having to pay extras for similar coverage.

As I have said often there is no such thing as a free lunch in this industry. If one takes the low cost option and has no problem they may have saved perhaps a hundred or at best a couple of hundred dollars over a 2 - 3 week hire, but have a claim made then one asks the question was it worth it with a several thousand dollar bill. I know what I would do.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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15. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

The OP asked if the excess is invoked for any damage to the car, even if it isn't your fault?

Fault doesn't come into it. I rented a car from Thrifty a couple of weeks ago and they explained the position cleanly and succinctly: bring back the car in the same condition or pay up. That's the renter's obligation. They won't necessarily take the whole excess, but will estimate the costs of repair and then make the call as to how much to hit your card with. I've only ever returned a car with any sort of problem (vandals broke the mirror off) and Avis took a fair bit over what the mirror would cost then refunded the excess when the job was done.

Te Anau
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16. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

Ah well WL. I was assuming the OP wouldn't be hiring a Rolls or a Bentley. :)

Oz
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17. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

Hi vbc,

Does your BMW have runflats? They costover 1K each to replace OUCH.

Cheers,

New Zealand
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18. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

I drive a Honda - bought as it's a hybrid and so compared to my lovely grunty Jeep it has far far lower fuel costs, lower service charges... but they get you on the tyres!

I have had one mishap with a rental car but with full excess insurance it didn't cost me any extra - it really is the stress-free way to go.

Te Anau
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19. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

WL. Don't know, but if I ever get a flat I'll let you know. Haven't brought any tyres for it yet, it's only done 31k. I suspect they will be more than $200 though.:(

Te Anau
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20. Re: Super saver cars -- half the price for twice the headache???

Sorry OZ, Getting confused there. Senile dementia coming early:)