Ahead of Thanksgiving travel, consumer advocate Clark Howard of Atlanta warned consumers to consult their auto insurance policies and credit card protections before falling for these car rental 'gotcha's':
* COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER. "Be sure to find out if your auto insurer covers you for temporary use of a rental car," said Howard. "That should always be your first line of defense against ...a CDW."
Howard said the CDW is also known by the codes LDW and PDW. He said many credit cards offer this coverage, too, so consult both your insurance policy and your card's benefits summary before a rental agent talks you into buying the waiver.
* PERSONAL EFFECTS COVERAGE. It's intended to cover you in case something's stolen from your rental car. Howard said again, most auto policies and credit cards cover the holder's personal effects.