I’m renting a gray 2006 Hyundai Accent (interior, exterior). It fits me well, although the rear-view mirror hangs lower than I’d like; traffic approaching from behind will look like traffic coming from the right until my brain retrains. The error seems to be on the side of caution, though, so that’s okay. And the contract-negotiated price, through State Farm, is only about half of the normal price: $15.55/day, of which I pay 80%. Even if fees push it to $25/day, that’s still 25 days before I’d hit State Farm’s $500 ceiling (for my policy), and I’d have only paid $125 for my portion of the rental by that time.
State Farm says it takes 48-72 hours to get a claims adjuster out there, so it’ll likely be Saturday before I get their verdict. Assuming that it’s worth repairing (and I suspect it is; if they can negotiate body-shop work they way they negotiate rentals, it’ll almost certainly be cheaper for them to fix it), the work would likely be authorized on Monday morning. I’m guessing that with all the parts they’ll have to straighten, remove, and/or install, I’ll probably be in the rental for a week, maybe two.
Since the body shop doesn’t have an existing partnership with State Farm, I’ll pick up a check from State Farm to cover the repairs-minus-deductible. I’d rather go out to their office near StudlyCaps Plaza than wait for the check to be mailed. Timing will be essential in the endgame. Here’s why:
- The body shop will declare they’re done with the work.
- State Farm will stop contributing to the rental cost at that point.
- I’ll be at the office at the time.
- I’ll have to go out to the body shop, pay for the repairs, and collect my car.
- I’ll also have to return the rental that same day, or early the next morning.
So I want to be ready to pay for the repairs, and that probably means having State Farm’s check applied to a credit card balance before I re-hammer that card.
TBLC knows I’m coming in tomorrow but not today. I’ve got enough to take care of for today. For example, I’m about to go over to the leasing office and get a temporary parking pass so that the clipboardiferous Tyler of the tarmac won’t desecrate the rental with a warning about reserved parking. (I like that she does that for us; I just don’t want to fall afoul of her.)