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Renting a car

San Francisco...
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7 posts
47 reviews
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Renting a car

We have rented a car in Bariloche through Hertz. We learned that the US credit card CDW coverage is not valid if you take the rental car coverage. However in Argentina, if you do not take their coverage, you must put the full cost of the vehicle down as a guarantee on your credit card! This is around US $16,000!! We ended up taking their coverage which has a deductible of approximately US$7,000. This deductible wont be covered by our credt card because ....we took out their coverage. Either way it doesn't work in our favor.

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1. Re: Renting a car

I think that's pretty standard - I seem to recall something similar when we rented in Argentina. Two factors at play here - I don't think US Credit Card CDW coverage applies outside the US itself (I know UK Cards don't offer this anywhere, even in the UK) and, second, there is a high risk of total 'right offs'/ severe damage of cars in Argentina, particularly in Patagonia with its dirt roads. This means that the car rental companies need to recover the money, so there is typically a multi-thousand dollar penalty if you do 'total' a rental car that isn't covered by the insurance......

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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2. Re: Renting a car

Hi SF!

I know from personal experience that Canadian CDW coverage does work overseas. I had a claim in Australia, and it was paid without any grief. i don't know about the rules in the UK, so perhaps writers in the UK don't know all about about things in North America.

We found that dirt roads in South America aren't any more dangerous than the ones in the US and Canada. (I remember that there are virtually none in Britain.) If you drive the same there as you would here, your risk is no greater. (Flat tires and windscreen chips aren't covered anywhere.) We've actually driven on bad roads in Argentina, and I can tell you that there are no mysterious risks.

I'll offer two perspectives on CDW. Once, renting in South Africa, I was confronted with the same issues you're finding: Car rental firm insists that you cannot totally contract out of the CDW. This voids the terms of your credit card CDW (and I bet that that's exactly why the car rental company does things that way). We contacted our home credit car company, explained the situation, and got an e-mail confirming that we'd still be covered by our credit card, provided that we declined all the CDW that we were able to decline. Don't take my word for it, though. Get such an e-mail yourself!

The second perspective is that in Argentina, and certain other places with high accident rates, I bite the bullet and pay for CDW. It's a few hundreds of dollars more, but the basic car rental prices in Argentina are high anyway. I try to reduce my exposure not to zero, but to something in the hundreds of dollars. If you have the ability to drive defensively and anticipate the actions of the other guy, you probably won't have cause for grief. In more than a hundred days on the road in South America, it's never once happened to me.

Get Hertz to confirm the amount of third-party liability insurance you'll have, in case you hit someone and it's your fault. I've seen car rental quotes in South America (from big names) where the driver gets only the statutory minimum, something like US$20,000, not even enough to cover the damage to the other guy's car. If you want more, they'll try to sell it to you as an extra charge. You want something like US$500,000. Get Hertz to give you an e-mail confirming your third-party insurance coverage.

Happy travels,



3. Re: Renting a car

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