Planning a trip can be stressful. Between hotels, airlines, amusement parks, and other entertainment – it can be overwhelming. However, make sure you know these rental car facts – know these 4 tips before renting a vehicle.
Extra Coverage = Extra Cash Drain
Never take the extra car insurance. It’s typically always overpriced and usually unnecessary. Most rates hover around $30 a day, and that can be more than what you are actually paying in the daily rental rate! Skip the collision loss coverage and check with your current car insurance policy. It is likely you are already covered by your existing policy. If you don’t have automotive coverage, check with the credit card you booked with. You might be surprised to learn most credit cards provide a no-charge coverage.
Just like with most airlines, car rental companies often overbook in the hopes of cashing in on no-show renters. However, when an airline bumps you because they overbooked, you are entitled to compensation. When a car rental company overbooks, you don’t have that federally mandated benefit. When the company runs out of the model you booked, agents will likely try to get you to upgrade and pay for it or find a car through a different company. Make sure you push for an upgraded vehicle without any additional fees in a pleasant and reasonable tone. You might still get shut down because there are genuinely no cars left or the fact that are currently no rights for consumers when it comes to overbooked car rentals, but you might enjoy some success with the right attitude.
Fill It Up or Empty Your Wallet
Most companies have a policy in which they give you a full tank and expect the vehicle to be returned with a full tank. It’s a common practice, but a tricky situation thanks to gas gauges. It is vital you keep the receipt from your pre-return fill up. Avis and Hertz are sticklers for demanding a receipt. Make sure you turn in the receipt from a nearby gas station and it probably couldn’t hurt to take a quick picture of it – just in case you lose the small slip of paper.
Along with charging you for filling up, rental companies can also charge for you returning the car early. It seems like borrowing something and returning it before you said you would should play in your favor, but it might now. Some companies will charge you a fee for bringing the car back before the agreed upon date. So, if you rented the car for a week at the rate of $300, don’t be surprised if you are asked to pay $350 if you bring it back a few days early.