You show up at the car rental counter with a confirmed reservation, only to learn that you have to buy mandatory insurance. And before long, you’re paying 20 to 30 percent more than you expected.

It happened to Sheldon Rittenberg when he rented a car through Hotwire at the San Jose del Cabo airport recently.

The rental for was for one week at a rate of $492 including taxes and fees. At the Thrifty counter, I presented my Gold Visa card and declined all insurance as well as my personal insurance to cover the liability.

I was told these instruments were not acceptable and I would have to take Mexican liability insurance or go elsewhere to rent a car. This additional cost that was not accounted for in the Hotwire agreement and came as a shock when I learned it would be an extra $314.

On my return to the U.S.A., I promptly e-mailed Hotwire and Thrifty. I have yet to receive an answer from Thrifty and have had a response from Hotwire refusing any co-operation.

Here’s Hotwire’s non-answer:

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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