Author Topic: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car  (Read 4067 times)

Mark B

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Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« on: August 21, 2013, 01:33:08 AM »
My car got bumped on the freeway here in So Cal (Orange County), not my fault, and the guy who hit me admitted it was his fault.  So far so good.  Not much damage at all, really, just the passenger side front fender.  The insurance end of all of this went just fine, it was when I went to get a rental car and to get my car fixed where things got interesting.

First the car rental.  I prearranged with the chick at Enterprise to get a subcompact, the smallest, most miserly, fuel sipping car they had, because I was going to Sequoia National Park that weekend, which is about 270 miles one way. 

I got to the Enterprise office, and lo and behold, they had reserved for me a Toyota Avalon.  Sweet!  The Avalon is a big floaty land shark of a six cylinder car.  I told them this would just not do, and they said hey, it's Friday, that's what we've got.  Awesome!  The guy who walked me out to it tried to sell me on it, told me what a sweet ride it was, with the leather and the power every goddam thing, but I was pissed at this point and having none of it.  At that point though, the deal was take it or have a nice walk home.  They did, however, end up telling me that they'd keep a lookout for small cars and would deliver one to my door when one showed up, and at least they were good on their word.  Later that day they dropped off a brand new Prius.  The whole time though, the mindset of these young Enterprise workers was, "what, don't you have enough money for gas?  It's not that much more.  My F-150 gets 12 MPG."

Then I get an email from the body shop with the estimate for the body and paint work.  Keep in mind, the damage was just to the passenger side front fender.  The estimate included the doors, the rear quarter panel, front and back fenders, the mirror, and more.  There was some mention of the roof of the car, I believe.  The total was almost $3k.  I called them and told them there was some misunderstanding, and I rode my bike :-) back there to get it straightened out.

The body shop estimator guy and I went to my car, and he showed me that he had included scrapes to the rear passenger side quarter panel and rear bumper to the estimate, as well as both passenger side doors and front bumper.  I informed him that only the fender damage was related to this claim, and both he and the office manager told me, "dude, the insurance company has okayed this, you have the green light for the whole thing.  I told him that making the other guy's insurance carrier pay for something that wasn't his fault isn't how I roll.  Neither of them could believe it.  They thought I was just dumb. 

So, what does this have to do with "Mustachianism"?  Well, it seems to me that MMM's posts talk not only about being frugal, but doing the right thing--financially, morally, any way you want to analyze it.  I've never seen him write anything about benefiting from unfairly taking advantage of someone.  All I can say is, when I'm lying in bed tonight I'll know I did the right thing.  That's worth way more to me than a pretty bumper.

BTW, it turns out that a small part of the front passenger side door and the front bumper were actually scratched when this guy hit me.  I totally didn't notice this but it's true. You can't paint part of a bumper or door, so the front bumper and door are legit (barely) and will get fixed.  Some karma right there.


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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 07:06:36 AM »
Excellent, sir!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 09:20:17 AM »
Well done. Agree'd on the MMM code of conduct. There no good in making insurance pay for something they aren't supposed to.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 11:09:23 AM »
I wish what you did was the rule rather than the exception. People don't understand that by their taking a little bit more of the pie than they are entitled to, they are contributing to a downward spiral (higher rates for everyone, etc.).


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 11:34:53 AM »
that's very impressive...
it's an amazing moral strength and you epitomize MMM-ism.
thanks for the inspiration....


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 01:05:31 PM »
The last time our car had been hit and was in the auto shop this was my conversation at the rental place:

Counter - "OK sir, here are the keys to your rental car - it's an 8 cylinder Dodge Challenger!"
Me - "Uh, I'd prefer a smaller vehicle please."
Counter - "But your insurance covers the vehicle upgrade!"
Me - "No thanks.  You have anything that's 4-cylinder?"
Counter - "I guess you could take the Dodge Caliber . . . but it's a compact car, you won't even fit in that"
Me - "I'll take my chances"

Apparently I was lucky to get the Caliber (which seemed to be quite a roomy vehicle IMHO).


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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 01:54:51 PM »
haha @Mark B, your story reminds me of my sister then first time she had a car accident. She rear ended a high school kid driving his mom's mini-van. it was basically a fender bender and my sister admitted that it was her fault. so they just both pulled over and exchanged insurance info and phone numbers. Both drivers were first timers in accidents so they weren't really familiar with the whole ordeal. so when my sister got home and was going to call up the insurance company, she realized they got her own contact and insurance info on the piece of paper. haha, they were both so nervous that they mixed up the papers and each got their own info instead. she felt bad because she couldn't track the kid down. I'm sure the kid got an earful from his mom about getting scammed.

Numbers Man

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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 02:01:25 PM »
Great story Mark B.; I'm impressed by the way you roll!

Mark B

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Re: Getting my car fixed and getting a rental car
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 02:26:12 PM »
Thanks all, it felt good to get that out and to get some love from you guys (and of course, "you guys" includes girls).