Hiring a car can be confusing. Between insurance requirements and hidden fees, it can be difficult to know if you have missed any important details while booking your vehicle. VroomVroomVroom has listed a few points to remember when you book a rental car.
Hiring from different locations can affect the price
Certain car rental depots attract higher surcharges. The extra charges differ between locations, but generally you will pay a higher fee to pick a hire car up from the airport. Airports are a popular location to pick up cars, so expect longer wait times at rental desks.
Weigh up the added convenience of picking up your hire car at the airport against the extra prices charged for using a premium location. Consider using public transport to get to other locations downtown and pick up your car from there to save money.
Beware of additional fees
Even though it may seem like a great deal at first, there are a lot of hidden charges that can really increase your car rental bill. For example, additional drivers will be charged a daily fee from some car rental companies. If you and any of your drivers are aged under 24, be aware that you may have to pay a daily underage surcharge. There is usually minimum and maximum driving age requirements, but these do differ between countries.
Make sure you have a place to refuel the vehicle before you return it. Car rental companies will charge you additional fees if the tank is not completely full upon return. You can pre-pay for fuel with some companies, but often this works out significantly more expensive. Unless you prefer to pay the extra fee to avoid the inconvenience, it is generally better to fill the tank yourself.
Make sure your rental car is properly insured
It is important to make sure your trip is insured. However, make sure you have the details of the policy and do not purchase any additional unnecessary insurance. Car rental companies will often try to offer you their insurance product, which you may not need if you have an existing policy that already covers you for damage caused to the car.
Don’t leave it until the last minute to buy insurance. Often insurance products offered at the rental counter are more expensive, and may exclude some specific causes of damage. Familiarise yourself with the details of your policy so you know what you are covered for.
Double check your hire car for any damage
Before you leave with your rental car, check very carefully for any additional damage that may not be noted on the report. If any new damage is found when you return the car you will be charged for the cost when you return. Many people choose to take photos in case the damage is later disputed.
If you have insurance from a third-party company, you will still be charged for any additional damage by the car rental company. You will have to make a claim for reimbursement after the charge has been paid.
Read the rental terms and conditions
Be sure to check the fine print before you reserve your car. Although a lot of rental car companies offer unlimited mileage, in some cases, particularly from remote locations there can be a daily limit. You could end up paying a lot extra if you go over the mileage limit.
Make sure you know what documentation to bring with you to the car rental depot, as some companies have different requirements. Note that if you plan to take the car over any international borders you will normally require pre-authorisation from the car rental company as some do not allow their vehicles out of their base country.
If you prepare for your journey well, and carefully read the terms and conditions of your car rental, you can avoid any problems at the rental desk. Do you have any tips on things to watch out for when hiring a car?