Renting a car doesn’t have to be expensive. Even if you’ve been caught paying extra fees on a rental in the past, you can avoid that if you know what to expect and what is expected of you when you need a car rental. Nothing is worse than getting hit with a final rental charge only to find out that you’re paying a bunch of fees that nobody warned you about. Most of the details are in the fine print for a reason.
How to Avoid Extra Fees on Your Next Car Rental
Here are some common extra fees associated with car rentals, as well as how you can avoid them.
If you return a rental car with anything less than a full tank of gas, you may be charged for the fuel, and that rate will be much higher than current petroleum prices, no matter where you are. As a good rule of thumb, just fill your rental up before the return. Otherwise, a tank of gas could cost three or four times as much when charged by the rental company.
Take notes and photos of every damaged spot on the vehicle when you pick up your rental. Do a walk-around with a customer representative so that you can agree on damage spots and make notes of any pre-existing situations so that you aren’t held accountable. When you return the car, do the same thing.
Extra Days or Hours
Car rental companies may have a specific return time listed on your rental agreement. Even if it’s just a “by the end of the day” return, you should ask what time the “end of the day” actually is. In some cases, companies may charge a full additional day’s rental if the car is returned late or after hours.
Rental agencies offer car insurance cover at the front counter to accommodate guests whose car insurance does not extend to cover a rental. This insurance may also provide more coverage than what people have already. If you want to avoid paying rental insurance fees, ask your insurer about beefing up your car rental coverage on your personal auto policy.