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Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Melbourne, Australia
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Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Hi,

We are planning on a 4-5 days car rental in August and found Midnight Sun Car Rental to be most reasonable priced. I wonder if there is anyone who has hired a car from this company and could tell us what is your experience with Midnight Sun? Are their cars reliable and any hidden fees/charges or surprises?

20 replies to this topic
fti
MN
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1. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

There are multiple posts on the forum about this company. They seem reliable. They are a local operator. Generally when one waits until 3-5 months in advance of arrival to book a rental car for Alaska, the local companies by then are often less expensive like you found out.

I have not personally rented from this company, but I can tell you that EVERY rental company seems to have some "hidden fees" if you want to call them that. Normally they are not really hidden, but most people arrive at the rental counter not having any clue what they want or don't want to purchase, are tired and just want to get to their hotel. So the rental companies (all over the world in fact) take advantage of it. So know before you ever arrive at the rental counter which optional coverages you want to accept or not, if you want to prepay the fuel (never a good deal financially even with their "discount", but convenient), etc. Then, most importantly READ the contract before you sign it. It makes no difference if you say you want to decline various coverages if you end up signing that you accept them (happened with me with Hertz in Europe once). Of course I caught it. Do not rush through trying to get out of there just because you are tired. If you do, you will pay a price. This applies to any car rental company anywhere.

Edited: 14 May 2018, 15:26
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Alaska
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Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

If you look at the T&Cs a few things stand out to me.

Liability Insurance...they are really aiming at the NA market who will have their own. It should come with the State min, but they are low compared to the $1m coverage you would get as a foreigner with a major rental company usually.........so I’d check with them and source your own ( not sure what your travel insurance might do but rentals are really covered AFAIK and I don’t think Aus CCs or auto places have this either?) if they don’t offer any SLI.

You will want their CDW/LDW. Note the unavoidable excess/deductable levels for some events, think about standalone cover for these?

I have seen people system they let their vehicles on unpaved roads, but the T&Cs clearly not without written permission ( including AMHS) ferries.

https://ineedacarrental.com/terms-conditions/

Edited: 14 May 2018, 23:46
Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

That should read rarely covered by travel insurance.....in the UK anyway.

Those other costs do not appear to be detailed or included so I suggest you ask them the questions before you commit?

Edited: 14 May 2018, 23:51
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4. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

I would reconfirm the reservation a week or so before arriving. Last time I was in Anchorage the company I had a car reservation with claimed they didn't have a record of my reservation, even though I had a reservation number. It took about 30 minutes for them to come up with a car.

I guess that can happen anywhere, though.

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Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Yes thanks for the suggestion to check and confirm at least one week before I arrive in Anchorage.

I am actually feeling edgy now whether the booking is confirmed.

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Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Did you book with Midnight Sun then?

If so, what about the other stuff like liability insurance etc? Did you get an answer? Did you ask them?

It’s useful to know for other foreigners who might read this?

Edited: 15 May 2018, 22:51
Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Yes I booked online with Midnight Sun. But I only received an email confirmation with a booking reference number. No other details given.

Wednesbury, UK
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8. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Then I suggest you ask them about the stuff I listed, it’s important, honest, unless of course you have it all covered elsewhere?

Edited: 16 May 2018, 23:17
Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

Thanks for your advice on pursuing the insurance coverage with Midnight Sun.

We don't know what the abbreviations are in your earlier message such as AFAIK, etc. As such, did not pursue this until yesterday. I know now what CDW stands for.

We received a reply from Midnight Sun that they do not offer Collision Damage Waiver. Our travel insurance only covers the excess portion of the insurance. We have never encountered a rental company with no insurance coverage. Is this a common practice in the USA or just in Alaska or unique to this company only?

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Alaska
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10. Re: Recommendations on Car Rentals in Anchorage

No it’s not common practise with the major rental companies not to provide it, although they offer it as an additional cost unless you take an all inclusive rate.

But this is a small local company and as I said, many US citizens provide their own cover through their own auto insurance or credit cards etc. Something we foreigners do not usually have the luxury of, and something often overlooked by North Americans offering advice on rentals!

AFAIK means ‘ as far as I know’. 😀

SLI is Supplementary liability insurance that tops up the low levels usually provided by rental cos to suitable levels, but again, I don’t think they offer that.

The statement about CDW/ LDW is interesting, seeing as how they mention it in the T&Cs as availiable for an additional fee!? That inconsistency, along with the other stuff in there would put me right off them!

I think you would be much better advised to take a rental with a standard major company, Hertz, Alamo, Avis etc. who will recognize you as a foreigner and offer you the required coverages etc.

I can buy worldwide standalone rental car coverage ( CDW, SLl etc) but I’m not sure who offers that in the antipodean insurance market?....if anyone?

You could check if your travel insurance covers the lot if there is no basic cover ( it’s all excess then!) or what the limits are, but that still leaves you exposed in terms of third party liability coverage?

Edited: 17 May 2018, 15:57
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