Title: The CDW: Collision Damage Waiver

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There are some major disagreements on what the place of a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is among renters

car rentals

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There are some major disagreements on what the place of a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is among renters. Some claim a CDW is just another way of ripping of the renter, while some business men suggest it is necessary. Some traveling business men suggest that a good way to save money is by declining the CDW, but you need to be careful of how to proceed. If you decline the CDW when renting a car, you are basically bound by a promise to bring back the car in the same exact condition as when you first rented it. If it is damaged from any cause, whether it is your fault or not, you will have to pay to fix the damage.

An additional fee that some companies add is the ?loss of use? charge. A ?loss of use” charge charges you to reimburse them for the rental income they could have made if the car had not been in the shop. Loss of use charges are not allowed in all jurisdictions, but it is a major enough fee that you need to know ahead of time. Because of the CDW requirement, it is always a good idea when picking up the car to walk around and make sure it does not have any dings or visible damage that you might be charged for. If you find any, call them to the attention of the rental agent and have them noted on your contract to avoid paying for something you shouldn?t.

If you go without a CDW and the worst should happen and the car is damaged, you might be tempted to return it and walk away, hoping no one will notice. DON?T! Someone will notice. This is a clear change for a rental company to jack up the charges, they won?t pass on it. Someone will notice. It is much better to admit the damage up front and inspect the car with the rental agent, to see if you can agree on the extent of the damage.

Some credit card companies cover rental insucrance, as long as you rent the car on the card. They may cover collision damage, too, but only if you report it within 30 days. If they do, give the credit card company complete information, so this doesn?t somehow disappear and become your responsibility. Include a photocopy of your rental contract and credit card charge slip.

A CDW may cover damage, but it also tends to be very expensive. If your normal car insurance or credit card company covers these expenses, dodging the CDW might be the best fiscally responsible decision you can make in renting a car.

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