Should You Opt To Purchase Rental Vehicle Coverage?

Are you in the safe zone with coverage if you have car insurance already?

Whether you still have that summer family road trip ahead of you or your car is in the shop, perhaps you are looking at an automobile rental in the near future. Finding the perfect rental car may prove to be the easiest decision making process throughout your venture. After all, Enterprise Rent A Car will actually pick you up and drop you off at your destination so you do not have to wait. But, if you are like most individuals, the most difficult decision is whether to purchase the additional insurance coverage or damage waiver often offered by the majority of rental car companies.

Below are a few factors to take into consideration when considering the additional fees associated with added coverage.

Do you already have auto coverage?

  • You should! California drivers are required to have car insurance at all times
  • Typically personal auto insurance should extend to rental cars in the event of a collision or certain liabilities. However, be sure to check with your agent regarding the limitations that are set forth on this type of coverage. Questions to ask:
    • What is specifically covered when renting a car? Does your current insurance policy offer the full cost of replacement or repair to the rented vehicle?
    • What is your total deductible? This may be higher than what the rental company is offering you.
    • Are there specific restrictions surrounding vehicle damage if the collision occurred while you were speeding, driving on unpaved roads or driving while intoxicated.

What is the cost of additional coverage offered by the rental company?

  • Is the cost going to double your rental costs? Then perhaps this is not the best option for you.
  • Does the fee associated with extended collision/liability coverage cover all drivers of the vehicle, or just the primary driver?

Do you already have coverage offered through other outlets?

  • Some credit card companies offer rental car protection. Check with your credit card provider for details.
  • Again, be sure to inquire on what is actually covered, if the credit card company does in fact offer coverage.

With all that being said, some individuals simply opt to choose rental coverage because they fear their personal auto insurance rates will increase in the event of a collision. But keep in mind if you are at fault for any collision, it may not matter that you opted to cover your rental vehicle. An accident is an accident and will be reported as such under your name. So this thinking may not always be true.

These are just a few tips and guidelines when it comes to being an educated consumer renting a vehicle. Classic Autobody hopes that you and your family enjoy your rental, whether it is for business or pleasure. Don’t get stuck with unexpected costs should the unfortunate collision or liability event occur. Be safe out there!

Back to School


Heading to UC Berkeley for the 2015-16 School Year?

Tips, Facts and Events to keep you in the know!

The boxes are packed, the dorms are assigned and the long good byes begin! It is that time of year to prepare for the college sessions to begin. Whether you are a freshman or returning student, this year is sure to be jam packed with hard work and awesome events headed your way. If you are headed to UC Berkeley, you have made a wise choice. Did you know that the estimated financial return on a college degree for students attending UC Berkeley rose from No. 34 to No. 22 this year? Below is a list of other fun facts, events and tips to help kick your first semester off.


    • UC Berkeley offers over 350 degree programs housing nearly 8,000 courses
    • More than 36,000 students attend UC Berkeley in any given semester
    • There are 30 men’s and women’s intercollegiate squads that have won 87 national team championships, 9 of these are intermural
    • 29 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to UC Berkeley alum
    • Over half of the attending seniors have assisted faculty with research or creative projects


    • Choose courses based on the professor not the course description
    • Attend the FIRST and LAST day of class. This is where you will obtain a plethora of information you will utilize.
    • Make sure your professors know WHO you are! If you decide to go to grad school you will need a list of recommendations.
    • Be sure to make friends. Many of us make our lifetime friends while attending college.
    • Live within walking distance of campus if at all possible. It will keep you close to the center of both academic and social life.
    • Take advantage of the exercise facilities to relieve the stress and pressure of attending classes.


And now time for some FUN!

    • Welcome activities begin the week before classes begin
    • Classes begin Aug. 26th
    • Watercolors Exibit by Gary Bukovnik starts on Aug. 25th at the UC Botanical Garden
    • Homecoming will be held Friday, Oct 2nd through the 4th
    • Be sure to check out the Berkeley Art Museum for some really cool, education exhibits
    • There are also ongoing social events (check out the calendar) like a Trip to San Francisco by the quick and convenient BART.
    • Theater buff? Be sure to visit the PFA Theater to see some of your favorite stars in action


These are just a few facts, tips and fun info to get you started. It is sure to be an exciting year for all. So from all of us here at Classic Auto Body to all you amazing UC Berkeley attendees…have a safe and enjoyable academic year!


Texting and Driving


The Risks of Texting While Driving

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or anywhere in California for that matter, you should be aware of the driving laws regarding cell phones by now. Cell phones must be used with a hands-free device while driving. Talking on your cell phone is a $162 ticket and texting while driving is a $20 ticket for first offenses. However, additional penalty assessments can be made that could increase the dollar amount to more than double. If approved by the Senate, bill AB-1646 may soon increase the minimum fine to $50.

You might be thinking that $20 or $50 for a ticket doesn’t sound too outrageous, but the risks are much larger. When you’re looking at your phone, you’re not watching the road, and anything could happen in a matter of seconds. You could veer into another lane, a tire could blow on the truck in front of you, traffic could screech to a stop, and a million other possible scenarios. If you’re concentrating on your phone, you won’t be able to react quickly enough to something happening in front of you. Here are some eye-opening facts taken from about texting while driving:

  1. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. (2009, VTTI)
  2. Reaching for a phone, dialing, texting and other uses of portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. (2009, VTTI)
  3. 11% of all drivers under 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. (2012, NHTSA)

Bluetooth and other hands free devices are very reasonable in price and can make it easy to communicate with others while you’re on the road. Many newer vehicles even have Bluetooth as an available feature so talking with a hands-free device can be done very easily. Many phones also have a talk-to-text feature that will interpret your voice commands and send a text to whoever you like. There is always the option of pulling over to send a message as well. The bottom line is, texting while driving, even for a second, could change your life or someone else’s in an instance.

The holidays are also right around the corner which means more drivers on the road, people in a rush, figuring out holiday plans, etc. At this time of year, it’s a good idea to be even more aware of your surroundings on the road, especially on holiday weekends. Distracted driving is a bad enough issue, combine that with holiday partiers and people who drink and drive, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. There are enough wacky things going on around Berkeley already! If you’re someone who plans on partying during the holidays, have a designated driver, call a cab, take an Uber, or hop on BART. If you’re not driving, you can text with your phone the entire ride home!

Don’t be another statistic, please don’t text and drive. If you’re traveling during the holidays, be patient, be courteous, and be aware of everyone else on the road. We wish you all safe and happy holidays from the Classic Autobody team!




Classic’s Favorite Restaurants

Classic Autobody’s Top 10 Restaurants in Berkeley

At Classic Autobody, we love to eat. Being in Berkeley presents us a number of different restaurants with a wide variety of options. From lunches and dinners packed with meat to all organic, vegetarian dishes, from specialty coffees to monstrous pastries, Berkeley has it all. Located on Gilman Street in North Berkeley, we are surrounded by great restaurants and food choices and a quick drive across town is well worth it for even more options. If you are ever wondering what to eat when you visit the beautiful city of Berkeley, wonder no more! We have put together a list of our 10 favorite restaurants.

  1. Cheese Board Pizza. The Cheese Board Collective has been around for over 30 years. Starting as a small cheese store, they have expanded into a full service pizza restaurant. Our favorite thing about it? They only make one type of pizza everyday and use the most quality ingredients. Their one-a-day pizza eliminates the usual long wait time associated with a huge line. And trust us, their lines are out the door and down the street daily. Aside from the deliciousness of the pizza, they regularly have live bands playing to increase the pleasure of this experience!
  2. Tacubaya. Located down the street from us at the Fourth Street shopping district, Tacubaya is another one of the Dona Tomas taquerias. Tacubaya really brings out the traditional Mexican dishes with its assortment of tacos, tamales, tortas and tostadas. There one of a kind chile relleno is sure to leave an impression on your taste buds.
  3. Cafe Gratitude. “Our food is prepared with love” is just one of the great things about this restaurant. Located on Shattuck, this 100% organic vegan restaurant provides you with love and happiness from the moment you walk in the door. With friendly service, quality ingredients, and a menu that will sure to make you smile, Cafe Gratitude screams Berkeley!
  4. Philz Coffee. Starting in San Francisco in 2003, Philz has moved over the bridge and is quickly leaving a lasting impression on the Berkeley area. Their newest location just opened up down the street from us! Each individual cup is freshly brewed in front of your eyes with an added touch of mint. Our favorite is the Mint Mojito which is loaded with fresh mint leaves!
  5. Top Dog. Top Dog hot dogs are just plain delicious. With choices like a Frankfurter, Hot Link, Mango Habanero or Linquica, you are sure to find a dog that suites your cravings.
  6. Cinnaholic. When you’re satisfied with your lunch option for the day, make sure to freshen up your breath with a 100% vegan cinnamon roll. Choose your frosting and add as many toppings as you like to create your own experience or choose one of their special rolls. Either way, the options are endless and no matter what you decide, your mouth will thank you!
  7. House of Curries. If you are looking for something with lots of spices and exotic flavors, House of Curries is the place to go. Their wide variety of lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetable curries and your option of spicy or mild, there is sure to be a dish to satisfy anyones palate.
  8. Chez Panisse. Founded by Alice Waters in 1971, Chez Panisse is a delicious upscale French-American restaurant. For a fancy and elegant dining restaurant, Chez Panisse is sure to please. Try the petrole or the halibut, your taste buds will thank you!
  9. Lama Beans. Formerly known as Jimmy Beans, Lama Beans has only improved. Using quality and fresh ingredients, this small cafe is worth a taste. Located behind us, we visit them often. Some of our favorites for lunch include the tuna melt, chicken panino, daily pizza special, or their pre-made sandwiches.
  10. Yogurtland. If you are simply looking for a tasty treat or want to sweeten up your palate after a wonderful dinner, Yogurtland can definitely assist! Whether you like your yogurt basic or love to load up on the fun toppings, there is an assortment of options that will satisfy everyone

This is only a slice of the great places to eat in the Berkeley area. Berkeley’s diversity has really allowed the options to satisfy the needs of any and all people. We are always open to hearing about new places, so please share with us your favorites!