Car Rental "Loss of Use" Charges?

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This is a charge that is often not paid by credit cards and personal auto insurance, so the sales rep use the risk of having to pay Loss of Use fees as a point to hard-sell buying their CDW.


They don't have to prove they didn't have other cars available to rent during the repair period because it is a competitive trade secret.
Also, if they are going to be paid the same daily rental fee for a car that is sitting collecting dust and not accumulating miles and wear, processing, washing etc being used on actual rentals, then they have no incentive and actually a disincentive to expedite getting the car repaired in a timely manner.

They may drag their feet submitting it for repairs or choose body shops with a long backlog to repair vehicles or tell the Body Shop to make completion of the repair a low priority. A repair that should have been completed in 3 days may take 3 weeks or more.
Is there anything to prevent this kind of abuse?

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1. maintain good personal insurance coverage;

2. use a credit card that covers loss of use.

The credit card or personal insurance often have a provision requiring a fleet utilization log that the rental company may choose not to provide. So, the credit card coverage doesn't pay and the rental company will still come after you.
There still needs to be some way to prevent the rental company from padding the number of days the repair requires regardless of who is paying the fee.
They seem to have every reason to make the claimed loss of use period as long as possible. It's free money.

Since the rental company needs to provide a fleet utilization log in order to be paid, then wouldn't it be in their best interest to provide this log so they get the loss of use money?

Just as the rental company can require documents from you to pay you, you should be able to require documents from them to pay them.

No, because they don't have to accept only what the credit card company gives them. They will charge you for what isn't covered by insurance.
They can charge you personally for whatever fees they want regardless of whether your insurance agrees to pay it.

This actually depends. Visa's Collision Damage Waiver will cover "loss of use" without requiring fleet utilization logs. It's more hit and miss with other credit cards.

I got into this situation about a year and a half ago, and totaled a rental car in northern Minnesota in the middle of January. Black ice accident.

Although my rental rate was $19.99 per day, they upped the daily rate for "loss of use" purposes to their maximum, $49.99 per day (and still managed to miscalculate it). I filed an official dispute with my credit card's bank (Bank of America), based on the increase of the fee (not in the rental agreement or in the contract), and also filed the CDW claim through Visa Enhancement Services. Bank of America upheld my challenge. The rental agency sent me a nasty letter with the bill.

I responded to them with email, stating that their "loss of use" bill was not in alignment with the terms of their contract--I did not dispute that I owed "loss of use", just that I owed $49.99 per day as opposed to $19.99 per day. In the process, I looked up Minnesota state law on the matter, and they only allow a maximum of 14 days' "loss of use" charges. At that point, the rental agency asked me what I considered to be reasonable (I think they must have realized exactly how weak their claim was, contractually).

A few days later, Visa Enhancement Services agreed to pay their inflated charges ($49.99 per day as opposed to $19.99 per day), minus $50 of the $200 "administration fee" that they deemed "unreasonable". I offered that to the rental agency, and they gladly took it (with an agreement that it constituted "payment in full").

That accident was a year-long rolling headache for me. I wound up not paying anything out of pocket for it--not even the deductible of my insurance, because Visa's CDW covers it, and my auto insurance premiums did not go up because it was a black ice accident (though that fight was a significant part of my year-long headache)--but I might have just been better of taking the rental agency's insurance instead.

DSJ said: 1. maintain good personal insurance coverage;

2. use a credit card that covers loss of use.


What are some examples of credit cards that cover loss of use?

I'm still not seeing anything that prevents abuse by the rental company. They can take delay getting the car fixed since they will be able to collect Loss Of Use indefinately.
They will be in no hurry to get the vehicle fixed knowing they get paid per day regardless.

I've always wondered why this has never shown up in court when this "loss of use" charge is enforced. It would seem that somebody would have gone to court to force proof by the rental agency.

Doesn't matter whether an insurance company, CC company, or an individual is being asked to pay a bill, it would seem like proof should be provided.

RWAnderson72 said: This actually depends. Visa's Collision Damage Waiver will cover "loss of use" without requiring fleet utilization logs. It's more hit and miss with other credit cards.



That accident was a year-long rolling headache for me. I wound up not paying anything out of pocket for it--not even the deductible of my insurance, because Visa's CDW covers it, and my auto insurance premiums did not go up because it was a black ice accident (though that fight was a significant part of my year-long headache)--but I might have just been better of taking the rental agency's insurance instead.


Of course, if you have a claim the rental agency CDW should be much easier or there would really be no point to it at all. However, if you rent cars for decades over your life and paid for CDW for each and every day, how much would that be? On on heavily discounted rental, the CDW can be higher than the base rate of the rental ech day.

Does evey rental agency charge about the same price for CDW? If not, what are the cheapest CDW rates?

web1b, what I saw--when I was researching it for my own situation--was that state laws vary widely about "loss of use". Several states forbid it completely--California does, for example. If you rent in CA, and they try that, you can tell them to go pound sand. They can try to collect, but you have no legal obligation to pay it. Minnesota state law--where I rented the car and where my accident occurred--puts a 14-day cap on "loss of use". In my case, the rental agreement specifically said the "loss of use" was the daily rate.

I'm not at all stumping for buying the rental agencies' CDW. I used my Visa card's CDW instead, and as I said, I didn't pay out of pocket. However, I did pay in terms of having to deal with it for about a year. I'm not sure using the rental agency's CDW would have been any less of a hassle, to be honest.

Visa Cards cdw are the best when it comes to loss of use

web1b said: No, because they don't have to accept only what the credit card company gives them. They will charge you for what isn't covered by insurance.
They can charge you personally for whatever fees they want regardless of whether your insurance agrees to pay it.


And you have the right to get details of any billing item. I can charge you a million dollars but without details and verification, I doubt you'd pay it, whether there was insurance or some credit card protection.

I also just had an accident in Northern Minnesota, I hit a deer going about 60mph and did about $6k damage to the front end of the car. Enterprise charged me for 10 days of loss of use, but only at the rate of $14/day that I had already been paying for the rental.
Still going through the insurance process, but I have a zero deductible for comprehensive (since it was a deer, it falls into this instead of collision), so my car insurance will be the primary coverage and the mastercard I used for the rental will be the secondary coverage, and will cover the loss of use and diminished value crap.
From researching other peoples' experiences online, it looks like I may get stuck paying the $150 'administrative' fee, since it looks like nobody likes paying this since it's a BS charge by the rental company. Also, from research, it looks like using a visa card is best for rental cars for future rentals.

niklas said: I hit a deer going about 60mph and did about $6k damage to the front end of the car.

Pix?

Status of the venison?

Mastercard doesn't cover the "administrative fees"? Visa did, though Budget charged me $200 and Visa covered $150 of that. Still, I managed to negotiate it all to $0.

RWAnderson72 said: I managed to negotiate it all to $0.

Care to share your strategy?

Edit: No response from the Meister. Shall we call BS??



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