The state of New York will have to do without CDW for at least another couple of months. Voting on Assembly Bill 4488D, which would allow for CDW sales to be reinstated in New York, was again postponed. Bill 4488C, the same bill prior to the addition of amendments by the Assembly, had previously been passed in the State Senate. Industry representatives could not agree on whether or not to accept these amendments and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to vote on the Senate version of the bill due to time constraints.

The bill will now have to wait until sometime in October when the Assembly reconvenes. “Whether this bill will be considered at that time is still a question mark,” says Howard Conklin, director of government relations for AutoNation Inc. According to Conklin, the industry hasn’t given up on getting the bill passed and if it can get a non-controversial bill done, it may be voted on. Here are the amendments contained in Assembly Bill 4488D:

  • Rental companies are required to report claims experience and damage to the DMV in a form they prescribe; requires Attorney General, Commissioner of DMV and Insurance Superintendent to report on the conduct and investigations of rental companies.
  • Provides for injunctions against and increases fines to $1,000 for age discrimination.
  • Credit card and geographic discrimination prohibited. A fine of $1,000 and an injunction procedure is called for. On cash deposits, a pre-qualification application is acceptable, but the limit on the deposit allowable would be 150% of the rental term or four days, whichever is greater.
  • Discrimination for race, creed, sex, disability, etc. would call for an increased fine of $1,000 and an injunction procedure.
  • Eight small insertions undetermined at this time; requires lengthy contract verbiage, which admonishes the renter about buying CDW and structures what car rental companies can tell inquiries on the telephone, etc.
  • “…an authorized driver shall not be liable for mechanical damage unrelated to an accident, nor for any normal wear and tear or other damage that could reasonably be expected from normal use of the vehicle.” This page also gives strict limitations on the amount of security deposit that could be taken for any rental — restricted to 150% of the expected rental term; increases additional driver charges to $3 per day; and requires a diagram of all important controls in all rental cars.
  • Requires a large sign in every office, which says a) discrimination is illegal, etc. b) no imposition of any additional charges c) no additional terms on any rental — limitation on deposit, and d) must list the New York State attorney general’s address and telephone number.
Richard Aronow, president of the New York Vehicle Rental Association (NYVRA), sees deficiencies in the new version of the bill. He is opposed to Assembly Bill 4488D because it limits security deposits, prohibits price differentiation throughout the state, diminishes rental car companies’ ability to collect damages, changes the definition of “authorized driver,” and requires that certain information be reported to the DMV.