Be Aware of Car Rental Hidden Costs
Looking for extra low car rental rates? Don't be too fast to sign up a cheap deal, it may turn out that unexpected charges will be piled on you at the rental counter and a fabulous low day rate may be twice larger than you expected. But you can avoid that unpleasant situation by reading this list of most popular hidden costs that add up to your bill. It was specifically created to give you more transparency on additional car rental charges, so we hope the following tips will help you cut expenses and save money on your car rentals.
- Extras – Many agencies offer additional equipment to make your trip comfortable including GPS, child seat, satellite radio and many more. The rule number one for renting a car is that you should always read the fine print thoroughly, often you may find that some extras will be automatically added into your bill if you don't specify them prior to leasing a car.
- Mileage – Most car renting companies offer unlimited mileage, it means you can drive as far as you need without being charged extra penalties. But some agencies allow you to move within a state only. It's better to specify mileage limit in advance. The most unexpected thing you may find is that you are allowed for unlimited mileage but will be charged tax on that. You should better clarify that in advance, too.
- Gasoline Costs – Pay attention to this point in order not to be dinged for that too. There are two options you may be offered: with pre-pay fuel option or without it. Speaking about the first, on renting a vehicle you are offered a car with a full tank of gasoline and it is demanded to return it with filled tank, too. Full means full, when the needle is not quite on 'F' when you return a car, you will be subjected to surcharge. When the second case is concerned, you aren't obliged to buy gas from a car rental company which is usually more expensive as well as you are not expected to return it with a full tank. It will be cheaper for you to shop around and save a few bucks on gasoline.
- Insurance Policy – Be ready that a car rental agency will impose car insurance on you. In most cases it is very expensive and will double your rental fee. Carrying your own insurance policy will be your money-saving alternative. In case your policy doesn't cover you in a rental car, use your credit card to pay for your rental and it will provide you with insurance. However, sometimes it makes sense to overpay about $30 for LWD (Loss Damage Waiver) to be sure you won't get penalties for any car damage.
- Additional Airport Charges – Comfort means extra costs but if you are not about to pay them there is a nice chance to save on. As you can guess, picking up a car at airport will cost you more than the same car but at off-airport location. It means that, for example, Toronto Airport hire deals will be quite expensive for budget-minded travellers. Higher prices are caused by customer facility tax charged by local governments which differ greatly from state to state. If you still want to jump into a car right from the main entrance, ask the agent beforehand how much will it cost you. Otherwise enjoy a bit of a walk that is pretty money saving.
- Age requirements – If your age is between 25 and 70 there is nothing to worry about, otherwise be ready to pay extra money and there is hardly a way to save on that only to find an older or younger driver respectively.
- Early/Late Return Fees – Everything is clear with late return fee: if you don't manage to come at the proper time get ready for penalties. There is usually 30 minutes allowance. It is better to specify the size of penalty, just in case. But there is also a penalty for early returns and “Ups, I've made it earlier” phrase is not an excuse. Many car rental agencies charge an early return fee since you are no longer qualify for a rate package you've picked, on the other hand some companies may offer you a refund. Make sure you know the details of that before you lease out a car.
- More than One Driver – Consider on this issue if you are travelling with your spouse. You can save on car rental expenses if you decide who is going to be the driver in advance. In case you consider on sharing a wheel, be ready to pay extra bucks. This fee varies from company to company and can be from $7 to $25 per day, so shop around.
Enjoy your trip without rip-offs!