BonaireTalk Discussion Group
Getting around Bonaire: Confused about locking truck
Getting around Bonaire:
Confused about locking truck
| By Jan (BonaireTalker - Post #25) on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 9:50 am: |
Hi, we are excitedly planning a return visit to Bonaire for late Feb./early Mar. We have read the recommendation to leave rental truck windows down and doors unlocked at dive parking areas, but understand that this is a violation of rental agreements.
We realize that by leaving windows up and doors locked, we risk broken windows. But don't we risk being responsible for damage to vehicle if we leave it unlocked and it is vandalized in any way, or much worse, stolen? We understand that stealing rental trucks is very uncommon, but stolen batteries, cut fuel lines, etc., seem to be more of a problem. I realize that a battery can be stolen even if a car is unlocked, but I am concerned that violating the rental agreement will open us up to all sorts of financial liability.
Advice and explanation will be much appreciated. By the way, we had no security problems on our first trip a couple of years ago, but we did have a close call at one dive site, where we arrived just after some divers had chased away folks who were trying to break into a truck. From the posts on this site, it sounds like the problem has gotten somewhat worse.
| By Phras (BonaireTalker - Post #63) on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 4:31 pm: |
The rental companies place big stickers/signs on the dash stating to leave windows down and doors unlocked. Not sure about rental violations.
| By Antony Bond (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #551) on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 4:42 am: |
Sorry Jan. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
If you lock your vehicle, especially at dive sites, there is a good probability that the vehicle will be broken into.
You are less likely to incur expensive damage if your vehicle is unlocked and as you say, vehicle theft is pretty rare. If that is a concern, just remove the H.T. Lead from the coil to the distributor.
Fuel lines can get cut regardless and batteries can get stolen whether the vehicle is locked or not. If you rent a Mitsibushi pick-up, they have a drain plug for the fuel tank, they don't appear to be targeted any more than other vehicles and the loss is restricted to fuel as opposed to fuel lines and labour costs.
My advice as a former resident and employee of a rental company is shorten your odds against expensive damage. Leave the vehicle unlocked, don't fill it with fuel and don't leave anything of any value inside. Isolate the engine as I suggested above and your vehicle is unlikely to be stolen.
In a nutshell, regardless of what you do or what you sign, you will be charged for any damage to the vehicle or the loss of such things like the battery, wheel brace, jack etc.
Some people have endless problems, I lived there for three years, never locked a vehicle or chained up a scooter and had none.
Don't worry about it and for added piece of mind, use a credit card that will cover any losses.
Antony (without the 'H')
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