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Another Car Rental question


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#1 TC

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:50 AM

We spend a month on the island each February. Have, for many years, rented from William Pat at SMART across from the airport. He would always give me a good price and include the tax and insurance since we kept the car for such a long term. This year, he is no longer with SMART and Neidy is quoting a ridiculous price. For the exact same old, junk VW sedan that I have rented for the past 4 years, she wants $800 USD. Last year the exact same car was $600 USD for the month. With a Kayak search I found the following prices:

ACE $22.59 per day ($655)
BlueWay $18.07 per day ($524)
CarPlus 23.10 per day ($670)
EZ $22.07 per day ($640)

All would be the price with tax and the mandatory PAI for a new (newer), air conditioned car.

Here's my question. Which of the above companies would you recommend or which would you NOT do business with for any reason?

Thanks.
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#2 Kandy

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:20 PM

I don't know anything about any of the companies you listed. I do, however, find those prices difficult to believe if they included full insurance. I'd recommend triple checking just to be safe.
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#3 TC

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:58 PM

Thanks, Kandy. As I stated, the prices include the "mandatory PAI" insurance and the tax -- not FULL coverage. I have Am Ex "Premium" insurance to cover the other "optional" insurances like collision. The card covers everything but liability insurance. I think the prices are actually right in line. Considering that last year I only paid $600 USD for the same thing.
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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:28 PM

BlueWay rents tons of cars here...unless somebody tells you different, I would go with them.

They also are just outside the airport, so you can walk over, pick up your car then drive, park and pick up your bags.
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#5 TC

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for the tip on Blueway. I was going to use them, but they really take a huge beating on TripAdvisor for being dishonest in Cancun -- double billing on credit cards, fake damage charges after the fact, etc. Made me nervous to read. Not saying that is going on in CZM, but.........
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#6 ccannon707

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:58 PM

ISIS Rentals has a loyal following and gets a lot of good reviews. A friend rented from them last year for over a month and Margarita was willing to bargain on the price as it was for an extended period of time. Worth a shot to ask. She is a very nice lady who runs a quality ship - I've never read a bad word against this establishment. Plus there's a nice cat in the office. They are located next door to Zermatt Bakery on 5th.

http://www.islacozum.../services/isis/
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#7 Coz2wonder

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:09 PM

always go with somebody who has a cat in the office...ISIS Rentals has an excellent reputation. Same kinds of cars that you would get any place else (beaters) but from what I understand, she will make it right, or as right as she can.

Our friends rented a VW from her over Christmas. My gal pal who is rather a tall drink of water had a little problem. Of course, husband was oblivious to what the issue might be, took off.

As they are driving, Gal Pal is trying to move her passenger seat back, but it would not move, and her beautiful face was plastered against the windshield.

Husband didn't notice until she said "this seat is not going back, and I can not ride like I was the bug on the windshield"

Took the car back, Margarita said "oh, sure, no problem".

My only question was, didn't somebody notice the seat problem before they turn it around?

But, you go with the flow...check the seats, wipers, lights, and take pictures of whatever you rent before you get into it.
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#8 Kandy

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 06:32 PM

I do want to add that, even though Am Ex offers coverage on rentals, you are in Mexico. If there is an accident, you will have to fork over the cash to cover damages and/or medical care. You'll be able to file paperwork with AmEx for a reimbursement when you get back home. We always got the full coverage - it's just easier that way.
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#9 TC

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

Thanks, to all. I have tried to contact your friend Margarita at ISIS, but she doesn't reply to email. I guess you have to be in town. As far as the insurance issue goes, I've been round the barn and back over this one. I have a special International policy with Am Ex -- not the standard coverage that comes with using the card. It will pay directly to the rental company in Mexico or anywhere else. I just spent 30 minutes on the phone yesterday going over all the details with the agent and have a copy of the policy with me. I know you are all used to hearing that US credit cards cover things that aren't really covered Internationally, but savvy companies are now offering new products to their world travelers.

I find it interesting that every single rental company in CZM charges a different rate for tax and "manadatory liabilty" insurance. Some as little as $7 per day for the insurance and others as much as $15 with a few at $11 and $12 tossed into the mix. While web sites specifically state here is the price "including tax" - at the fill out the form section there is $60 or $70 in tax added in again. There seems to be no discount for renting a total beater, junk VW instead of a newer Chevy with automatic and air cond. Any of the "bigger" companies want and extra $5 per day for an extra driver. So if I need to run into town while hubby is diving, that is going to cost us an extra $150 for the month. Other companies never mention this. Last year I paid $600 USD for a month's rental with SMART for an old VW sedan -- #12, that we have rented every winter since they've owned it. This year they are asking $800 USD for the exact same car, same rental period, same everything - except the car is a year older and I'm guessing not in better condition. I just don't understand how competition works on the island. There seem to be plenty of rental companies, but they don't seem to compete with each other. I guess they'd rather let the cars sit unused.

Blueway in Cancun has a horrid reputation on TripAdvisor -- accused of double billng and billing to credit card for damages way after the customer has left the country, not responding to questions regarding the extra charges for months. While there is no specific accusation of this in CZM, it does make me nervous. That is why I was asking if anyone here personally knows an employee at any of the above companies.

Renting a car has never been a necessity. It would always be cheaper to take taxis everywhere. We stay at the Coral Princess and a taxi fare to town isn't very much. I just like the freedom of having a car -- as long as it isn't a complete rip off. This year's are the highest prices that I've seen in CZM since we've been coming down --- 18 years.

Oh well......the end of an era?
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#10 Kandy

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:58 AM

TC, did you e-mail Margarita through the website? She's always VERY prompt in her replies. We'll be going by there in the next couple of days if you'd like me to put you in touch with her.

What I was trying to convey about the AmEx insurance, or any other, is that even though it's offered, that doesn't mean it's accepted here. You would be wise to clarify that when you reserve your car.

Let me know if you want me to talk with Margarita. We stop by at least once a week to chat with her.
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#11 TC

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:18 AM

Thanks, Kandy. We'll be down on Saturday, so I'll just stop in later in the week.

AM EX tells me that if a rental agency "accepts" the AMEX card for payment, they have signed a binding contract to accept the insurance as well. The problem is that many of the rental companies will tell a client that they are putting the car on the card, then not do it because it costs them about 3% to run the charges through AMEX. If the client then accepts the "discount" for cash at the end of the rental period, the charge was never on the card. If someone has an accident, the rental company tries to run through the orginal charge - post dated - and the trouble begins. So....what people should really be careful of is the "deals", when the agent says he/she will put the car on your charge card and then tear up the charge slip if you pay cash in the end. If the slip can be "torn up", it was never run through the AMEX system and therefore voids any coverage that would have been offered. The car must be "charged" on the card. If a cash deal is done at the end of the rental period, a "refund" must be put through to AMEX. That still costs the merchant and they just don't do it. The AMEX policy also states that the rental car must be in "orginal manufactured condition", not altered in any way. Good luck finding that in Mexico.
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:58 AM

forewarned....pay for the coverage here when you rent anything.

What you THINK, what sales pitch you got from AMX, and what WILL happen here, two different things.

The main reason that CC insurance does not fly here (my guess anywhere, outside of NA) is because the rental companies here KNOW that you will protest the charges. They spend way to much time going back and forth with the CC company and what the actual damages where at the time.

If you think these rental companies do not have any recourse, think again. You will be stopped from boarding your plane, or ferry until the debt is resolved.

Heck, I have first hand knowledge that they would not release the body of a scooter accident until the damages of the scooter where taken care of first.
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#13 TC

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

You are all being very successful at convincing me and a lot of others that renting a car in Cozumel is a bad idea under any circumstances. Either we are being ripped off by the rental companies for insurance that they don't bother to carry, or they are putting through phony "on your card now, pay cash later" deals, or they are over-charging for the insurance ($7, $11, $12, $15???), or they will ding you for damage that was either on the car prior to your rental or done after you leave the island -- oh, don't forget the gas station scams posted here......and lest we forget, the authorities are going to go along with the car companies and detain us for any infraction until they get cash. Wow! Makes me want to come on down. I hate being in a place where I feel I have to watch my back all the time to keep from being ripped off, cheated, or arrested.

As my post stated, I've been coming to CZM for 18 years and spending every February there. This is really the first time I've run into such unpleasant dealings. It is not making me happy. I have always told friends and family -- and posted extensively on Fodor's, that CZM is the safest, friendlies, most honest place in the Caribbean to visit. You all are making me rethink my advice.

I am not a person who would leave the island without making restitution for any damage I might cause. That is why I have insurance. However, I am also not a person so silly as to hand out cash for that restitution to anyone from the police department.

You all say that we should buy the insurance and we'll be sorry if we don't. Have you ever done this? Do you get any paperwork that proves the car rental company actually has coverage or what the amount of that coverage is? I've never seen anything like that. There's just a check box that says "Insurance". I have every contract I've ever signed for a rental in CZM and there is no indication of what kind or how much insurance we are buying for our $15 per day. Heck, I could still get detained at the airport.

My point is.....someone has to trust someone at some point in time. If I shouldn't trust my AMEX rep, can't trust the car rental company rep and we can't trust your authorities to sort things out for us, what advocate does a visitor have?
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#14 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:48 PM

What is unpleasant to you?

You state you have come here for 18 years...this is TODAYS reality.

In the 18 years, and the number of rentals you have made, it would appear, you never had a problem...you where lucky. That is a fact.

I had a friend who rented a vehicle here, parked in a "parking lot" a light poll fell, and hit the top of the car. Wasn't there fault, but because they had local insurance, it was paid for.

If you have (in your case) AMX insurance, what would they do? Who was a fault, who was going to pay after they determined that the light post was defective, and should have been replaced...YOU will be left to pay the bill, regardless of when it get settled.

The wages have gone up.
Cost of Fuel has risen.
Maintenance cost have escalated.
Your expectations, and what is the current reality is different.

You just have to been made aware, now be smart. Buy the local insurance and you will NOT have a problem.

There are no guarantees in life, but you are being made aware from people who have done it, who live here...I have had to rent car here, and I always buy the local policy when I rent.

Nobody is going to make you feel better, or justify what you where told, and why you where told it.

Take the advice, or not. Your choice.

If your not going to use the car much, then just rent it when you want it, and buy the insurance when you use it.

BTW, anywhere else you go outside of the comforts of NA...same issues.
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#15 TC

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:44 PM

What is unpleasant to you?

The wages have gone up?
--Well, I'm happy to hear that. They certainly haven't gone up in the U.S., so you are very lucky in Cozumel to be getting raises -- and very nice ones it appears.

Cost of Fuel has risen?
--In the U.S. the cost of fuel has actually gone down in the last two years. But I'm not sure how that effects the price of a rental car, since I put the fuel in it.

Maintenance cost have escalated?
--What maintenance have they done on those junk VWs? The one we get has the same dings, the glove box still doesn't close (for 3 years), the wheels lock up and I have to call them.

Your expectations, and reality classes?
---Not sure what this means.

BTW, anywhere else you go outside of the comforts of NA...same issues.
---I am an International Courier. I travel outside N.A. all the time -- Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa. In other countries the price of insurance is just rolled into the price of the car rentals and it is very reasonable. So reasonable that you don't even realize its there. It doesn't double the price of the rental -- or if it does, the price was so low in the first place that one never questions the charges. I have never had double billings or worried that I had to take photos of the car so I wouldn't get scammed for scratches that were already present. These are all things that posters on this board tell tourists that they need to worry about all the time. It is ruining the reputation.
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#16 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:53 PM

then Please, do as you wish.

Who are we to tell you anything.

If it where me, I would rent from Blue, buy the local insurance and be satisfied that I was covered.

You know, all this conversation is only over a few bucks...
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#17 TC

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:35 PM

Dear Coz2, Thank you for taking an interest. However, my question was never to ask you or anyone else's advice on auto rental insurance. My question was, do you know any thing about the reputation of the afformentioned rental companies. I think you answered that right away by say "No" you don't have an answer to my posted question. You then went ahead to offer quite a bit of unsolicited advice.

Now....I don't know how much you consider pocket change. Maybe you are quite a bit wealthier than I am. But for me $200 or $300 more than the $500 or $600 I am already spending on a car, IS significant. Last February (as I stated in my origianl post) I paid $600 for the very same car from the very same company. It is now a year older and they want $200 more. That is a 25% increase for nothing more of value. Next time you go to Mega I hope the groceries aren't 25% more -- but as you point out -- salaries have gone up (25%?), fuel prices have risen (25%?), maintenence prices have escalated (25%?), so..........
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#18 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:49 PM

TC, check Fiesta Car Rental. They do a lot of rentals here, and it is another option for you to review what they have to offer.

ventas@fiestacarrental.com
Phone:52 (987) 8720433 / 01 800 FIESTA 0
Website: http://www.fiestacarrental.com
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#19 Charles

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:02 PM

Generally speaking compared to the U.S., it is not cheap to rent cars here. Your special AmEx insurance may well give you coverage, but AmEx is the least desirable card for merchants and often they are 3% or move above any of the other cards merchant fees. I don't know how many agencies will accept AmEx, a couple do though. February will probably be the only month when demand will exceed supply and they can rent all the cars at full price. I'd confirm any online book directly with the local independent franchise. People have had issues of acceptance of online advance books even with all the documents and confirmations printed, but most likely in English.

The only negative I have heard second hand was regarding Blueway which placed a very high dollar "hold" on a person's credit card and then took several weeks to process the release after the car was returned. I believe it was said to be $2,500-$3,000 dollar hold on a one day rental.

Business taxes, regulations and banking restrictions have changed a lot since last year and have impacted how many can do business. I paid $550 a month from LessPay over 12 years ago, but that was based upon a year round lease.
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#20 Kandy

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:55 AM

TC, I apologize for offering "unsolicited advice" to such a seasoned traveler as yourself. I, too, have been coming here for years and renting from Isis almost every time. I've never gotten the same car twice; the cars were always in excellent condition; I never had double billings; I never had to take photos to prove anything regarding the condition of the car.

I'm fairly certain that I'm not wealthy as I watch every penny so that I can live in this island paradise. As for an increase in wages here, by the way, it's now a whopping $5/WEEK minimum wage. I really don't see how $35/day for a good vehicle, with full insurance and excellent customer service, is a rip off. Each to his own, though. For me... better safe than sorry.

End of unsolicited advice or input.
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