View Full Version : Car rental reservation vs booking once arriving?

11-19-2012, 06:22 AM
Hi. This is our first trip to Bonaire and we will be there for a week early December to dive. I don't know how many days we want to use a truck or SUV so I don't know if it would be better to prebook and just suck up the extra $$$ even if we don't use it everyday. I realize that all the trucks might get booked up. Also are there any car companies that waive the CDW insurance if paid with Mastercard or VISA. Both credit cards say they will cover insurance if I decline it when rented but it can not be a truck. AB carrental and Island Car rental said they WILL NOT waive the CDW under any circumstance.

Does anyone have an opinion on pre-booking vs. arriving and booking?

Also info on waiving CDW using VISA or MC?


11-19-2012, 08:16 AM
Unless you are staying near town and doing all boat dives, you will need a truck. The resorts (Buddys, Capt. Don's, etc) are well north of town and even the Plaza is a good walk south of downown. If you want to do any diving on your own, you'll need a truck.

Have fun !!

11-19-2012, 10:24 AM
Just my humble thoughts,
Rent a truck before you get to the island. Trust me the insurance thing may be a nusiance but it is worth getting over with. When renting, request a older truck that looks like it has been put through the ringer a few times.

11-19-2012, 10:26 AM
If going to shore dive you need a truck not a car. Maybe a SUV. Visa and MC will not cover a truck so you need CDW if going that way. AB Carrental has a Capt Don's location so if you're staying there or close by maybe of interest. would recommend pre booking as I have lost out in the past but its a crap shoot. If you're staying at a larger resorts would check with them. Personally I'd go for a rental, its a vacation.

11-19-2012, 10:34 AM
You should negotiate and reserve before you arrive if you have special requirements such as short term rental, specific vehicle type, or request to waive CDW etc. During the high-demand winter season trucks are sometimes hard to find at any rental company.

If you waive the CDW you'll be required to pay cash for any damage to the vehicle. Even with the CDW some rental companies will put a "hold" on your credit card when you rent for the amount required to cover the CDW deductible. Car rental companies on Bonaire don't acknowledge your U.S. auto and/or credit card insurance coverage. Bear in mind that they also rent to people of many other nationalities too, so it's most practical for them to keep insurance coverage withing scope of their own local policy. It will be up to you to handle any claims through any of your pre-existing policies such as credit card etc.

Kob's advice above is spot-on.