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rental cars
Posted by: jimmy54 (
Date: May 23, 2009 10:27AM

On my last visit in April someone attempted to break into the rental I was driving. The car bore rental plates (rented on the Dutch side). This resulted in an out of pocket deductable cost to me. My question is, can I rent a car on the island that that does not have rental plates.

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Re: rental cars
Posted by: pat (
Date: May 23, 2009 01:19PM


The rental companies from the French side would not have the "R" plates and there are some companies on the Dutch side that seem to offer both so it is possible to NOT get them. Regarding the deductible you had to face, I don't have an answer to that but I believe there are some policies, AE premium coerage perhaps, that offer first dollar coverage for things of this nature.

The following is purely an opinion so please take it as that and nothing more:

Personally speaking, I don't think it really matters what kind of a plate you have on your car. Over 35+ years and who knows how many trips, we've rented both and once in all those years did we have a problem. Yes, we had the dreaded "R" plate that time, but honestly, I believe the nature of the plate had a lot less to do with our problem than the location in which it was parked - Mullet Bay Beach parking lot and further back from the main stream of traffic in and out of the lot. Usually we get there very early in the day and park in the front row closer to the area the concession workers are but this particular day we went in the latter part of the day and had to park way in the back.

The reason I think this is so is because all the cars around us in the immediate area where we were parked were broken into and one or two others had the R plates like us but a few more had the French plates and from the appearance of a few of the cars, they appeared to be residents cars as opposed to rentals.

I think the choice of cars to break into had more to do with the fact they were in a location where the little creeps could hide in the taller grass and brush and easily access our cars when no one was looking than the fact they had "R" plates. This was the first (and might I add the last) time we ever parked in that part of the lot and it was the only time our car has ever been vandalized on SXM. And truth is, we never leave anything in the car so all their effort was for nothing beyond causing grief for the rental car company.

I know it's easy to blame the problem on the R plate, but honestly, I'm skeptical of that and think it has more to do with time, place and opportunity.


smiling smileysmiling smiley

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Re: rental cars
Posted by: BobP (
Date: May 24, 2009 12:13PM

When we had items stolen off our car AM EX paid us back the $940.00 2 months later.IMO, your CC should cover the charges.Last Feb at the Pelican guarded level parking our car locks & doors were damaged. This is not an unusual problem on SXM and our new rental company didn't charge us.I insist on French plates and still have problems.good luck.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2009 12:15PM by BobP.

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Re: rental cars
Posted by: Dane (
Date: May 25, 2009 10:45PM

I really don't think an R plate has anything to do with it. I always wonder if there is a system in the French plate to denote rental as well (since every car I've rented had a similar letter combination starting with Z).

In any case, a white Corolla or similar parked at the beach, Grand Case, etc. will likely stick out as a rental no matter the registration.

Regarding deductibles, most credit card coverages carry a $0 deductible as long as you waive the rental agency's CDW. Unfortunately, the CDW usually will carry a deductible of $200 or so.

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