Second driver charge on Dollar car rental in Florida?

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Mar 4, 2018
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#1
My wife and I will be renting a car from Dollar in Orlando and returning it to Miami after 2 weeks. I’m all set with the reservation, but I have a question. Is there any problem with my wife also driving it if I only registered it under my name? In the past if I indicated a second driver (only available at the desk, not on-line when I reserve it) we have to pay additional daily fees (about $15/day). I’ve usually not opted for the second driver and thus only drove the car. Can't a spouse drive a rental car without incurring an extra charge? What happens if my wife drives the rental if she’s not listed with them as a second driver and something happens? We’re both on our car insurance policy and will pay with Discover which is also both our names, but not opting for the company's insurance.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
If you have an accident there will be. If she is driving and not named in the policy, your car insurance may not cover your accident and tou’ll be forced to pay out of pocket for all costs associated with the accident.

Look for a car rental that allows a second driver at no charge, pay for her to be added, or don’t allow her to drive. Sometime AAA or even Costco allow a second driver at no charge.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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Sep 19, 2015
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#4
My wife and I will be renting a car from Dollar in Orlando and returning it to Miami after 2 weeks. I’m all set with the reservation, but I have a question. Is there any problem with my wife also driving it if I only registered it under my name? In the past if I indicated a second driver (only available at the desk, not on-line when I reserve it) we have to pay additional daily fees (about $15/day). I’ve usually not opted for the second driver and thus only drove the car. Can't a spouse drive a rental car without incurring an extra charge? What happens if my wife drives the rental if she’s not listed with them as a second driver and something happens? We’re both on our car insurance policy and will pay with Discover which is also both our names, but not opting for the company's insurance.
Even though you have insurance there may be a problem with being an unauthorized driver as per the rental car company and that could easily be a reason for the insurance company to deny a claim. One such case went to court in FL

The majority ruled in the Gadsden County case that the rental car was covered by Katusha Shazier’s insurance policy because the rental car was a “temporary substitute auto” and the accident occurred when the car was being driven by someone to whom she had given permission.

The justices rejected Geico Indemnity Co.’s argument that the rented auto no longer fell into the category of “temporary substitute auto” because Shazier had let someone else drive in violation of the contract with the rental car firm, Avis
.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2011/11/28/225266.htm

Now this decision would likely not apply to a vacation rental -- in the court case the renter had to get a rental car because the insured's car broke down -- and that is why it was a temporary substitute auto. But this shows that the insurance company may use the unauthorized driver as a reason to deny.

I would follow Neil's advice if there is a chance that the spouse will drive -- pay the fee or find a rental car company that will cover spouses with no additional fees.
 
Likes: VoR61
Apr 10, 2017
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#5
I am guessing they will charge you a second driver fee even though she is your spouse. More and more car rental companies seem to be going this route, as it's another way to make more money. If you and your wife are both AAA members you can rent from Hertz with no additional driver fee. Otherwise you will either have to pay the fee or you will be the only driver. It's not worth the risk of something happening with an unauthorized driver at the wheel.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#6
Can't remember where my parents rented from in San Diego but the policy was as long as you have the same last name you're covered. So I became the driver.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Can't remember where my parents rented from in San Diego but the policy was as long as you have the same last name you're covered. So I became the driver.
Carrie there are some states that prohibit the additional driver fees for spouse and related families -- I think CA is one -- as long as the child is old enough to rent (ie not 17 years old with a new license)
 
Sep 18, 2014
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If you have an accident there will be. If she is driving and not named in the policy, your car insurance may not cover your accident and tou’ll be forced to pay out of pocket for all costs associated with the accident.

Look for a car rental that allows a second driver at no charge, pay for her to be added, or don’t allow her to drive. Sometime AAA or even Costco allow a second driver at no charge.
We nearly always rent cars through Costco Travel, because of their overall pricing and because of no added charge for a second driver.
 
Likes: Neil Maley