Flat tires, insurance and car rental companies
I was hoping the experts here could give me some idea of what to expect for car rental companies and their fees/customer service.
I've read that flat tires can be an issue and some car rental places are better than others and some charge more and/or don't show up.
I know that the standard insurance (CDW) is what people recommend getting but that there are some places that offer additional coverage or getting coverage from Am Ex.
I'd love some specifics and guidance!
Not sure about the insurance questions, road-side service issues, etc., however, living here I know fixing a flat costs about $10-$15 at just about any tire shop (there are a lot of them around-usually a small house or an add-on at a gas station; both Gas Ekspres & Bonaco have tire shops, and there's one right on Kaya Grandi, "Ramon Tire Shop" just north of town). If you can change a tire & use the spare, take the flat tire to one of these tire shops-they'll fix it & put it back on for you, including a tip I'd estimate $20 total.
Getting a flat tire repaired costs 6 USD at Cicilia (next to Gas Ekspres gas station on Kaya Neerlandia).
In my experience the HUGE problem is usually getting the wheel off the car after the nuts are removed.
It's usually rusted on solidly, and needs the help of a large hammer or pry bar.
Tough to use Amex now. Most dont take it anymore. We used AB for years because of that but they dont accept Amex now. Not sure what companies still take it.
How does it work, to use amex to replace the rental insurance?
1) You need to have an Amex card that qualifies for Amex Premium Car Rental Protection, and then enroll the card in the plan. (There's no cost to enroll.)
Originally Posted by lorimich
2) After enrolling, the insurance is automatically applied to the rental when you pay via the enrolled card. Insurance cost is $24.95 flat rate for the rental period, up to 42 days max.
3) Optional: Provide proof of the Amex insurance to the rental agency and waive the CDW.
The Amex link above indicates that the Amex insurance is primary and that there is no deductible. There is no 3rd party liability coverage.
As advised by my U.S. insurance agent, I use the Amex insurance and purchase the daily CDW coverage from Telerin Car Rental. At a minimum the Amex insurance will cover the $500 CDW deductible. As noted in this thread, Telerin's CDW also includes 3rd party liability. Apparently not all CDW policies on Bonaire cover liability, so you may want to check this out with your rental company beforehand.