Don’t Take The Rental Unless You Absolutely Have To

Coming home a few weeks ago, a deer ran out in front of my car, and I could not avoid hitting it.  There was significant damage to the car, yet I managed to drive it home.  

I did all the insurance yada yada, and they asked me if I needed a rental car. First I said no.  I have an old pickup truck that I can use to get to work. Work is 35 miles one way, and the truck is a gas eater.  Then the rental car company called and said they can have a rental car ready for me. I started thinking about it. I reasoned that maybe it’s better save the miles on my old truck and save money on gas. The car would be in the shop for about 2 weeks.  And it would nice to drive a different car, plus the insurance pays for the rental. So I sort of talked myself into it.

It was a nice 2015 Toyota Camry, black.  The car rental company asked if I wanted their insurance coverage, $14/day, but my insurance company said that I am covered under their insurance, but they didn’t tell me that it’s another claim if I damage the car, and a second claim so quickly would mean losing a good driver discount. I declined the insurance, as I would only really be using the car for 5-6 days of driving.

On the night before I was supposed to pick up my car, I was on my way home in the rental car when a raccoon ran out in front of me on the same road that I hit the deer. The raccoon hit the fender and sure enough, dented it. Great. I talked to both the auto body shop and the rental company only to find out that I’ll be the one responsible for this. I got the rental company to agree to a settlement amount before filing a claim and if it was more, then I would decide on whether to file a claim or not.  That’s where it currently stands.

The lesson was learned. I had a truck and did not need a rental. Rentals come with consequences if you damage them and sometimes it’s unavoidable. My truck is not great, but I would not be in this mess. Some people might not have the option of another car and need the rental – that understandable. But if you have other transportation options, always take that before you take the “free” rental.

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