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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Car rental via the BA Avios site – experiences?

  • Chris R 23 posts

    Anyone had experience of renting a car through the BA avios hotelsandcars.ba.com site? I can see reasonably decent pricing and an avios bonus for an upcoming trip to the states but the site is very light on the detail around insurance coverage/excess and ability to purchase add ons etc

    JenT 152 posts

    I haven’t booked through it, but when you go through the booking the Ts & Cs say: Any optional extras, including additional cover to reduce the excess amount, will be available to purchase locally.

    Especially in the US, those extras can be quite expensive to buy at the desk so you might want to consider booking elsewhere. If you have the Platinum Amex, then you already get insurance coverage. Booking through carhire-ba.com gets you a free additional driver if that’s what you need.

    Michael C 644 posts

    Used this article to book Avis via BA – all v easy and was the best price by far at the time:

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/04/02/how-to-earn-avios-from-avis-car-rentals/

    (and as @JenT says, Amex plat includes insurance if applicable)

    yonasl 929 posts

    When your rent a car on a UK website it comes with 3rd party insurance. People renting in the US usually price without that and then have an option to add all sort of insurances (I believe because many have different deals through their credit cards etc.)

    If you rent from BA or Expedia.co.uk the only risk you have would be the excess (which you can reduce by getting an insurance for that).

    I have many times noticed that the prices I get offered in the UK for rent in the US are much cheaper that what Americans get … I don’t know why!

    In the US they are also obsessed with liability insurance and body harm insurance. Don’t be fooled by this. If you have health insurance for your trip that should be enough.

    NorthernLass 6,764 posts

    As stated, you can (and should) check the Ts and Cs in the small print on the booking page. There’s usually a pretty stiff excess charge (can be £1k or more) so it’s worth getting a policy to cover this, I think it’s about £50 – £60 for 12 months.

    You get an extra driver free with Avis, not sure about other companies. We hired a car via BA/Avis for our Florida Xmas road trip and had an excellent experience – got upgraded to a much better car and they didn’t charge any extra when we changed our drop-off point from MIA to MCO.

    dougzz99 614 posts

    The thing that’s unclear is whether you want to pay with Avios or earn Avios, that site offers both. Since you mention a decent bonus I’m assuming you’d pay cash and earn. I started a booking and see,

    Included:
    UNLIMITED Miles
    Tax and Surcharge
    Third Party Liability (TPL)
    Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
    CUSTOMER FAC FEE
    STATE SURCHARGE
    TIRE & BATTERY FEE
    VEH. LICENSE FEE

    What isn’t clear at this point is the level of cover, TPL needs to be $1 million, and ideally without any excess.

    If you book as a UK person for car hire in the US it almost always includes full insurance, I’m thinking Hertz, Avis and National. This being a BA site it is likely to be Avis, or possibly Budget, same company. The excluding insurance rates are usually either exotic sports cars, or people who have used random country sites to find lower rates, usually with Hertz.

    There is a number you can call for further details.

    One thing in regard Amex Plat insurance, and this is my understanding so read policy yourself, but the car cover is up to $50K, that’s fine with saloon or smaller SUV, but definitely short of the replacement cost of the bigger SUVs and certainly sports cars.

    No help with that specific site, but usually if you add your Avis number to a BA booking, you can see the rental in the Avis app, and add-ones like child seats and Sirius are shown.

    NorthernLass 6,764 posts

    @dougzz99 – you’ve just reminded me that we didn’t need excess cover with Avis – they specifically include it, though I don’t know if that’s just a deal they have with BA. I thought there was another reason we were so pleased with them but forgot that was it!

    And yes, level of cover is important – the Cadillac XT6 they gave us (which I’m still pining for) had a list price of $65k!

    dougzz99 614 posts

    As good here as anywhere. I’ve just returned a car in Denver, National as it happens. The car had considerable damage as a result of the craziest hail storm I’ve ever been through. It lasted no more than 5 to 10 minutes but in that time hail the size of large marbles pounded the car. Despite being on an Interstate I slowed to 20 to 25 mph as did almost all other traffic, with hazards on. The result was 50+ decent size dents as if someone had taken a ball-pein hammer to the car.

    On return I’d just opened the door when the return agent said you went through some hail huh, so clearly a known issue in the area. They asked for circumstances and I explained what had happened. They said no worries you have CDW, receipt printed or emailed? I asked if I needed to sign or report anything and they said no all fine.
    I just offer this as I suspect relying on Amex or other personal insurance would have been a very different experience, and in terms of simplicity and peace of mind, CDW, and SLI/TPL from the rental company is the way to go.

    I appreciate others will see absolute minimum price as the aim, but for me the insurance included rates from Avis and National are the winners. I’d previously have included Hertz but haven’t seen a competitive rate from them since pre-2019.

    JDB 4,181 posts

    As good here as anywhere. I’ve just returned a car in Denver, National as it happens. The car had considerable damage as a result of the craziest hail storm I’ve ever been through. It lasted no more than 5 to 10 minutes but in that time hail the size of large marbles pounded the car. Despite being on an Interstate I slowed to 20 to 25 mph as did almost all other traffic, with hazards on. The result was 50+ decent size dents as if someone had taken a ball-pein hammer to the car.

    On return I’d just opened the door when the return agent said you went through some hail huh, so clearly a known issue in the area. They asked for circumstances and I explained what had happened. They said no worries you have CDW, receipt printed or emailed? I asked if I needed to sign or report anything and they said no all fine.
    I just offer this as I suspect relying on Amex or other personal insurance would have been a very different experience, and in terms of simplicity and peace of mind, CDW, and SLI/TPL from the rental company is the way to go.

    I appreciate others will see absolute minimum price as the aim, but for me the insurance included rates from Avis and National are the winners. I’d previously have included Hertz but haven’t seen a competitive rate from them since pre-2019.

    This is a very valid point. It’s definitely worth enquiring what the cost is to ‘buy out’ any excess rather than risk a pay now, claim later insurance claim. In Tasmania last month, that cost was A$25 for a week, an option I felt was better than relying on my excess insurance. People should be wary of over reliance on excess policies, particularly for example in some Latin countries where franchisees may not let you take the car unless you buy some of their insurance, but more importantly, in the event of any accident involving a local car, motorbike or person they will come at you in a terrifying way; we have met tourists who have experienced this. Buying the local insurance removes all that. It all depends on each person’s risk appetite, cash resources and where you are, and these excess policies can be very good but are sometimes fairly ineffective or disadvantageous.

    ChasP 158 posts

    Last Oct I hired a SUV from AVIS via BA at LAX
    For the first time in my life I returned a hire car damaged. A full sheet of heavy plywood (3/4 inch and 8×4) came off a lorry at 60mph on the motorway and literally flew toward me fortunately hitting the headlight/wing
    The returns guy said I had been lucky – I know, it would have killed me 2 ft higher. He asked if I had insurance said I had booked with BA and that was the last I heard

    So yes I would recommend.
    There is howvever some talk on DIBB that the insurance has been reduced to 500k from 1 million and some people are getting nervous

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