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    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 31st Jul 18, 3:15 PM
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    owenjt
    0 WOW
    Ford Mustang car hire in California
    • #1
    • 31st Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    0 WOW
    Ford Mustang car hire in California 31st Jul 18 at 3:15 PM
    Hi. Looking for some car hire advice for California. Will be starting in LA and finishing in San Fran and would really like to hire a Ford Mustang convertible. I know you can't guarantee this car but hopefully I'll be able to get one.

    I've managed to find a couple of reasonable quotes:
    • Alamo for 880.76 USD
    • Budget for 987.17 USD

    Does anyone have any experience of Alamo and are they any good? Have done quite a bit of research and they're the cheapest.
Page 2
    • photome
    • By photome 8th Aug 18, 6:35 PM
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    photome
    Can anyone advise re insurance? Confused as to what I need to do.
    Originally posted by owenjt
    You have had good advise, re renting thorough a U.K. broker where insurance will be included.
    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 8th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
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    owenjt
    Owen, if you book through a UK agent usually the rate will include all necessary insurance. Things to look out for are the excess, if you get a zero excess that is a great but you can purchase an excess plan in the UK that will also usually include items such as lost keys, damage to windows, under carriage etc. A single trip or annual policy pre purchased in the UK will work out cheaper than purchasing at the desk in the US.

    I can understand your desire to rent a mustang, I have got the tshirt and bought the car but those rates are crazy, especially when you can get a standard or large size car for £300+.
    Originally posted by stevie11
    holidayautos.com are offering Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection and Third Party Liability, with a damage excess of USD 0.0 and a theft excess of USD 0.0. £705 is a good price so might go with this.

    I know what everyone says about hiring a mustang - it's expensive, it's not practical, the luggage will struggle to fit in the boot. But, this is a once in a lifetime trip and I've always wanted to drive a convertible mustang in the USA, so I don't care!
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 8th Aug 18, 10:35 PM
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    cubegame
    holidayautos.com are offering Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection and Third Party Liability, with a damage excess of USD 0.0 and a theft excess of USD 0.0. £705 is a good price so might go with this.

    I know what everyone says about hiring a mustang - it's expensive, it's not practical, the luggage will struggle to fit in the boot. But, this is a once in a lifetime trip and I've always wanted to drive a convertible mustang in the USA, so I don't care!
    Originally posted by owenjt
    When you can drive one for free at your local Ford dealer?

    I understand the appeal when they weren't a UK model., but now?
    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 8th Aug 18, 10:35 PM
    • 531 Posts
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    stevie11
    holidayautos.com are offering Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection and Third Party Liability, with a damage excess of USD 0.0 and a theft excess of USD 0.0. £705 is a good price so might go with this.

    I know what everyone says about hiring a mustang - it's expensive, it's not practical, the luggage will struggle to fit in the boot. But, this is a once in a lifetime trip and I've always wanted to drive a convertible mustang in the USA, so I don't care!
    Originally posted by owenjt
    You seem to have it covered there. Go for it. You will have a blast especially on the PCH.
    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 8th Aug 18, 10:43 PM
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    owenjt
    When you can drive one for free at your local Ford dealer?

    I understand the appeal when they weren't a UK model., but now?
    Originally posted by cubegame
    Not quite the same though is it - a few hours driving around London or 2 weeks driving around California including driving down Highway 1 with the top down...
    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 8th Aug 18, 10:50 PM
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    stevie11
    When you can drive one for free at your local Ford dealer?

    I understand the appeal when they weren't a UK model., but now?
    Originally posted by cubegame
    Slightly different, the salesman will be sitting next to you, only allowed to drive a few miles with a couple of liters in the tank. If you can take it home for the weekend well that would do the job you are suggesting. Then the dealer will have your name on file and will be calling you regularly with the sales pitch

    Now I agree the cost of renting is expensive on this occasion but the OP is prepared to pay it, I am sure they will have a great experience on the road trip.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 8th Aug 18, 11:35 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    When you can drive one for free at your local Ford dealer?

    I understand the appeal when they weren't a UK model., but now?
    Originally posted by cubegame
    To be fair, you can't drive them at any Ford dealer. Only a select few sell Mustangs.

    My wife wanted one but they don't seem to have any that they can sell so she bought something else instead.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 9th Aug 18, 6:54 AM
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    jackieblack
    driving down Highway 1
    Originally posted by owenjt
    Although, to be pedantic, you're driving up Highway 1 (the wrong way ).
    Hope the traffic driving down (obscuring the views and making getting into and out of the Vista Points difficult) isn't too heavy.

    Glad to see that all of the PCH is open again now, finally!
    Last edited by jackieblack; 09-08-2018 at 7:04 AM.
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    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 9th Aug 18, 9:53 PM
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    owenjt
    Although, to be pedantic, you're driving up Highway 1 (the wrong way ).
    Hope the traffic driving down (obscuring the views and making getting into and out of the Vista Points difficult) isn't too heavy.

    Glad to see that all of the PCH is open again now, finally!
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    Haha yes, up Highway 1 (not the wrong way)!
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 10th Aug 18, 6:46 AM
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    jackieblack
    Haha yes, up Highway 1 (not the wrong way)!
    Originally posted by owenjt
    Well, having driven it both ways, one has definite advantages and the other definite disadvantages over the other, IMO
    But each to their own...
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

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    • jamesbrownontheroad
    • By jamesbrownontheroad 15th Aug 18, 8:09 PM
    • 579 Posts
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    jamesbrownontheroad
    Hi. Looking for some car hire advice for California. Will be starting in LA and finishing in San Fran and would really like to hire a Ford Mustang convertible. I know you can't guarantee this car but hopefully I'll be able to get one.
    Originally posted by owenjt
    Back to your original post, Owen...

    It's true, car hire companies will not guarantee a make and model unless you choose a company that offers a premium range of model-specific classes, but these are £££.

    I've used National and their sister company Alamo many times in the USA. Alamo is the tourist-oriented budget arm, National is the corporate business-oriented arm. National get the newest cars, and then they filter down to Alamo as their age and mileage increases. If you look at the cars themselves there is no distinction; they use the same fleet management bar codes, etc. (They also own Enterprise, by the way, who are present at some airports but are generally focused on neighbourhood locations and the business of providing insurance loaners).

    What you may not know is that many of the largest outfits in the USA offer a somewhat unusual (for the UK) means of getting your car. This is definitely true of Alamo and National, and may be true of others...

    At SFO and LAX (and most larger US airports), you will arrive at the car hire facility and check-in, either at a self-service terminal or counter. The machine or agent will produce your paperwork, and then you go to the parking lot.

    At this point, the fun begins, because an agent will greet you and direct you to an aisle (or aisles) of the car park with a selection of cars ready to go. You pick the one you want. The trunk is usually open, ready for your bags, and the keys will be in the ignition or on top of the dashboard. When you leave the car park, you will pass a kiosk where another agent associates your choice of car with your rental (and - in case you wondered - yes, they will charge you the difference if you've driven off in a car of a more expensive category).

    So, at LAX and SFO you will usually find Camaro and Mustang convertibles in the 'convertible' aisle. They are almost always the weaker-engined base models. At busy times, you may have to wait a while, but if you are prepared to wait (even after a long-haul flight and lengthy customs queue) and are prepared to speak nicely to the agents bringing cars up from the cleaning facility, you may get lucky.

    At LAX, Alamo and National share the same facility - National are upstairs and Alamo are downstairs, and like I said there are older higher mileage cars with Alamo (but the prices are cheaper). Both cater to a lot of out-of-state visitors who want a nice car. I've rented from both, and both operate the same way. Even downstairs at Alamo, you get to choose whatever you want from your class of car. On our honeymoon for instance, we only booked a cheap compact from Alamo, but still chose a funky Kia Soul from amongst the more dull VW Jettas and Toyota Corollas. On a business trip a few years later, I picked out a newer Chevrolet Malibu for a long trip because I wanted an easy highway cruiser. On a Christmas trip to family in northern Minnesota, I was able to select precisely the SUV we wanted because it was definitely 4x4, and not 4x2 as some alongside it.

    Finally, one thing you may be interested in. In addition to the 'pick your own' principle across all classes, National offer a park for frequent renters called the Emerald Club. It is targeted at North American customers but UK renters can enrol for free. Basically, membership allows you to reserve a special member-only class of car at the price of 'Midsize' car (i.e. one above a Ford Focus, usually a Chevrolet Malibu or equivalent) but then pick any car in the Executive Aisle.

    To keep members loyal, National employees proactively populate the Executive Aisle with a range of car types, always 'midsize' or better / larger. You will likely find a range of mid-size and large cars, SUVs and convertibles here.

    Frequent renters (with 12 paid rentals or 40 paid rental days in a calendar year) get access to the more exclusive Executive Selection’, where a better selection of premium and executive cars are available, again at the midsize rate... often BMW, Cadillac, Acura, Lexus, etc, or big behemoth SUVs.

    For inside info on making the most of the Emerald Club, check out the National forum at Flyertalk here. In addition to some handy FAQ threads, regular renters post latest sightings from the Emerald Aisle (EA) and Executive Selection (ES) indexed by airport.
    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 19th Aug 18, 12:27 PM
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    owenjt
    Thanks jamesbrownontheroad. I hope it's the case that I can choose from a selection of Mustang's. Will see on Wednesday!
    • dotchas
    • By dotchas 20th Aug 18, 9:20 PM
    • 2,407 Posts
    • 3,426 Thanks
    dotchas
    We have done the PCH in a Mustang and it was fab, it was my dream holiday. I hope to do it again sometime!
    I love bargains
    I love MSE
    • Roland Sausage
    • By Roland Sausage 22nd Aug 18, 10:54 PM
    • 567 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    Roland Sausage
    Enjoy yourself, you will love it. Just don't think you are doing something original and unique. We were in California a few months ago and there were Mustangs everywhere.

    When driving through Death Valley, it seemed like every second car was a Mustang. Sometimes 2 or 3 in a row would go past. Probably a large majority of them were rentals.

    There was also a large amount of them on California State Route 1.

    Maybe I'm just a little jealous because we had a crossover SUV thing.
    • Technoteacher
    • By Technoteacher 26th Aug 18, 8:44 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Technoteacher
    California Car Hire includes ALL insurance for UK renters.
    In response to the queries about car hire insurance I have just returned from 4 weeks in the USA and can confirm that UK citizens hiring cars in California are fully covered for CDW, LDW, etc by Californian State law. I had bought a stand alone policy for about £45 as advised in the MSE pages and found this to be totally unnecessary. A rare bit of MSE misinformation, i believe!
    I had booked my car through Hertz and if you trawl through their T&Cs you will see some confusing reference to the fact that the 'additional' insurance costs are included for overseas hirers. This was confirmed by the agent dealing with my paperwork at the Hertz rental outlet, as was the fact that my wife was also covered to drive the car at no extra cost. Sadly, we had a Mazda rather than a soft-top Mustang, but the principle is the same.
    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 26th Aug 18, 11:11 PM
    • 531 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    stevie11
    In response to the queries about car hire insurance I have just returned from 4 weeks in the USA and can confirm that UK citizens hiring cars in California are fully covered for CDW, LDW, etc by Californian State law. I had bought a stand alone policy for about £45 as advised in the MSE pages and found this to be totally unnecessary. A rare bit of MSE misinformation, i believe!
    I had booked my car through Hertz and if you trawl through their T&Cs you will see some confusing reference to the fact that the 'additional' insurance costs are included for overseas hirers. This was confirmed by the agent dealing with my paperwork at the Hertz rental outlet, as was the fact that my wife was also covered to drive the car at no extra cost. Sadly, we had a Mazda rather than a soft-top Mustang, but the principle is the same.
    Originally posted by Technoteacher

    Interesting thanks for that. As for your £45 policy was that not an excess policy rather than CDW, LDW etc? If so it still may have been useful for you.
    • Technoteacher
    • By Technoteacher 29th Aug 18, 10:37 AM
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    Technoteacher
    Stand alone policy complications
    Interesting thanks for that. As for your £45 policy was that not an excess policy rather than CDW, LDW etc? If so it still may have been useful for you.
    Originally posted by stevie11
    Interesting question! Until reading more in this thread yesterday I had not been fully aware of the distinction between the various types of stand alone policy and certainly had not realised that some policies cover only any excess and are not full replacements for the CDW/LDW provided by the hire companies. However, my policy was for excess and CDW, and several other benefits such as key loss, misfuelling and admin costs which were not covered by Hertz, so you are right, the policy could still have been useful.
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 29th Aug 18, 1:00 PM
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    cubegame
    Interesting question! Until reading more in this thread yesterday I had not been fully aware of the distinction between the various types of stand alone policy and certainly had not realised that some policies cover only any excess and are not full replacements for the CDW/LDW provided by the hire companies. However, my policy was for excess and CDW, and several other benefits such as key loss, misfuelling and admin costs which were not covered by Hertz, so you are right, the policy could still have been useful.
    Originally posted by Technoteacher


    Car hire insurance in the US, as provided by the inclusive packages available to UK visitor have never had an excess so an excess policy is never necessary for this purpose.


    The US renters don't work on the loss-leading headline price business model of their European counterparts.


    However, insurance doesn't cover such things as keys, windows, the underside of the vehicles and wheels/tyres so there is a need for cover.
    • owenjt
    • By owenjt 5th Oct 18, 6:10 PM
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    owenjt
    UPDATE!

    I've returned from my holiday and got the convertible mustang Awesome car and loved driving it, especially with the top down in the California sun. Luggage also fitted in fine btw!



    So, in the end, I booked through budget.com. You are able to book as a UK resident and do not have to choose their insurance options - these are expensive and you're better off using a third party to get insurance.

    I paid £600 for 2 weeks hire. I then purchased my insurance for £62. I would highly recommend checking out www.moneymaxim.co.uk for insurance - there's lots of useful info and cheap policy recommendations. I ended up phoning them up for some advice and they were extremely helpful and I purchased a policy through Bettersafe. I also phoned Budget in LA to check that they were happy to accept a policy from a third party - apparently some rental companies are a bit funny about this as they want to sell their own policies to get more money out of you!

    When I actually picked up the car from Budget they obviously tried to sell me additional things. We did end up purchasing two options - one was a policy that meant if the car broke down they would come to us and collect and replace it (the standard policy means you're responsible for getting the car to a Budget location) and the other was a full tank of fuel so we could take it back empty (in hindsight I wouldn't have taken this as I think it's easier to take it back full than empty and end up paying less). It cost £144 for both of these.

    The only other cost we incurred (apart from fuel) was for toll roads. There's a e-Toll service which means whenever you drive on a toll road it's automatically charged to your credit card. Now we were told we would drive on a toll road so should take this option. What we didn't know until after we got home is that in addition to the actual toll road charges, Budget charge a 'convenience fee' of $3.95 for each day of the entire rental period, including any days on which e-Toll is not used, up to a maximum of $19.75 per rental month. So instead of paying $6 for the one toll road we went on, we paid $19.75 (£19.70). I did recheck my booking emails and noticed this was mentioned in a small box at the bottom of an email (which I missed). Apparently Budget are not the only rental company to do this, so keep in mind!

    So in the end it cost us £600 (hire) + £62 (insurance) + £144 (breakdown cover and full tank of fuel) + £19.70 (e-toll) = £825.70.

    On budget.co.uk it was £1,100 including insurance (I'm not sure if this included the additional breakdown cover). With the toll and full tank of fuel this would've cost us around £1,170, so you can see we made a significant saving by not using the UK website.

    I hope this helps other people save money on their USA car hire. You do not need to book through a UK website!

    In response to the queries about car hire insurance I have just returned from 4 weeks in the USA and can confirm that UK citizens hiring cars in California are fully covered for CDW, LDW, etc by Californian State law. I had bought a stand alone policy for about £45 as advised in the MSE pages and found this to be totally unnecessary. A rare bit of MSE misinformation, i believe!
    Originally posted by Technoteacher
    This isn't correct. You were just covered for these things becuase Hertz include it in their rental. Not all rental companies do this. With Budget I had the choice of including CDW, LDW etc in my car hire but I chose not to as it's very expensive.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 5th Oct 18, 6:24 PM
    • 5,553 Posts
    • 9,294 Thanks
    Gavin83
    When I went to the states I bagged myself a brand new 5l V8 Mustang and I loved it, especially the growl it made. I can't blame you for opting for the Mustang at all.

    I think the next time I do a US road trip I'll hire a Corvette Stingray instead.
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