Car rentals can be a saving grace on a business trip or family holiday. However, they can also be a headache if you aren’t careful. Travelling shouldn’t be a stressful experience. Here are four things to keep an eye out for when you are booking car rentals:
- Watch for hidden fees. Things like fees for young drivers, premium insurance charges, fuel or mileage fees, and late return or pick-up fees could be lurking in the fine print of your bill. If you don’t refuel the car before returning it, in most cases, you’ll be charged premium rates and spend two or three times what you might have spent at the gas station. Make sure that your rental is clearly explained to you, including all charges and fees.
- Be aware of premium rates for weekends and holidays. If you absolutely need the car during these times, you will just have to pay more. If, however, your travel dates are somewhat flexible, consider booking earlier or later to avoid paying the premium rate. Some rental agencies may also have minimum or maximum limits in place during holidays and special events, so check for those as well.
- Don’t fall for insurance sales pitches. You DO need to have insurance cover for the rental car that you hire. However, you may not need every single type of insurance offered at the rental counter. You may not need any of it at all, in fact. Check your personal car cover and see if rentals are covered. If not, shop online to save as much as 50% compared to what you would pay at the counter.
- Watch out for bad business practices. Some rental agencies aren’t operating on the up-and-up, and might not have all of the appropriate paperwork or legal protections in place. If nothing else, their customer service might not be there when you need them, such as if the car were to break down. No matter how cheap their rental rates are, make sure that you choose a company that is reputable and professional first and foremost.
Car rentals have a lot of benefits. The internet has also made the rental process a lot simpler. However, you do still have to be wary of what you are agreeing to with any kind of rental. These tips should help you get more out of your car rentals both now and in the future.