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Rental Car FYI – Know These 4 Tips Before Renting a Vehicle


Rental Car FYI – Know These 4 Tips Before Renting a Vehicle

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.

Related: Bumped from Your Flight – You Have Rights to Compensation


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.

Related: Airlines Will Now Face Higher Penalties for Luggage Issues and Overbooking Flights

Policy Predicaments

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.

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  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    We always pay to return the car on empty. It’s usually less than what it would cost to fill the tank.

  2. Jeanine says

    We don’t drive, neither of us have our licenses which is really terrible. Our MIL used to rent cars for us, we’d pay her to drive us around AND pay for the car. I had no idea any of this, no wonder it would cost us a ton.

  3. valmg @ Mom Knows It All says

    Good point about the gas, we learned about reading which gas option we chose the hard way once many years ago. Also if you have a smartphone you don’t need to pay their daily fee for a gps.

  4. Liz Mays says

    I do this quite a bit so this is helpful. I need to be able to save as much as I can on them!

  5. Mykidsguide says

    These are great tips. We never rented a car, but this will come in handy when the time comes that we need to do this.

  6. Julie @ Running in a Skirt says

    Such great information. I’m pretty good at booking hotels and flights, but didn’t know some of these car secrets. Thanks for spilling! Happy travels 🙂

  7. Onica (MommyFactor) says

    Good tips for when you’re renting cars. Those little points can cost more if your careful

  8. Toughcookiemommy says

    It’s important to know this information, especially when renting a car while traveling. I have friends who have been taken advantage of because they weren’t better informed.

  9. Kael Drake says

    I’m going to be travelling for a vacation soon, and I’m going to be renting a car when I get to my destination. I really liked your tips, and I think that they’re going to help me a lot with the rental process! I liked that you mentioned how most car rental companies expect you to return the car with a full tank. I wasn’t aware of this before I read your article! I’ll make sure to remember that, and fill up the car just before I return it. Thank you for the information!

  10. Julio says

    Is it good idea to rent a car not in airport. I think it will be much cheaper or am I wrong?

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