Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Terrible And Costly Mistakes To Avoid With Car Rentals

When you are thinking about renting a car for your vacation or business trip, the first logical step implies browsing through the online listings of the companies servicing the area and selecting what you consider to be the most appropriate one. The criteria that enable you to dissociate between the available agencies include rates, fleet options, reputation, potential discounts, the inclusion of additional services, so on and so forth.

Basically, you choose the company with what appears to be the most agreeable "terms and conditions", sign the contract and leave their parking lot at the wheel of your new rental. The headache starts only when you return the car, as you notice there are several other unexpected fees that you need to pay. Let's review the top 5.

1. Early return fees

As the cautious and responsible customer that you are, you will of course do your best to avoid the late taxes which, let's be honest, are quite substantial nowadays. In order to do so, you might consider that taking the rental automobile back to the lot of the agency a day earlier constitutes the best option or even that you may get a discount. Wrong. Most rental companies will not compensate you for your punctuality, but will actually apply additional fees or increase the rates. For example, if the rates are lower when you rent the automobile for 7+ days and you bring it back on the 6th day, you lose the discount.

2. Location surcharges

Certain key locations where the rental vehicles are always in high demand – think airports, for instance – are often a great deal more expensive than the agencies in the downtown area. You can avoid paying extra without the inconvenience of taking public transportation to town by confirming the rental ahead of time and requesting that the car be there when you arrive. By using an online comparison service such as Compare Car Rentals, you can see the difference in price between rental companies near an airport and those situated further away.

3. Preexisting damage costs 

he biggest mistake you could possibly make is to rely exclusively on the goodwill and honesty of the rental agency representatives when it comes to preexisting damage. If your rental car presents dents, scratches, cigarette burns, etc. and you do not document them with dated pictures before you drive off, chances are you will be asked to pay for the damage. Never assume that your word will weigh heavier in court, should it come to that.

4. Taxes that were not included in the advertised rates

What you see on the websites that promote incredibly low rates is generally not the amount that adds up when you count taxes and other fees. Those rates are mainly there to sway the customers and if you look closely at the fine print, you will notice that they do not include all the fees. Bottom line is that you should always ensure you know how much you have to pay before putting your signature on the contract.

5. Overlapping insurance charges

In numerous cases, the insurance policy of your personal car and/or the credit card company has the rental covered. However, the job description of the rental agency representative clearly states that he should do his best to persuade you to purchase the most comprehensive insurance package, whether or not it overlaps your policy's coverage. Again, check this aspect beforehand in order to avoid signing under pressure. Be wise, folks! The Guardian Website has an entire section dedicated to credit cards and learning about the latest news surrounding them and what your provider should and should not cover as standard - click through to visit the site.

No comments: