Have you ever hired a car? Most people have at some point in their life, either for pleasure or business. It can be both an expensive and confusing activity as there are many things to consider when renting a car, like how long you need it, what type of car to choose as well as researching various hire companies. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Car rental is a big business, with many loopholes. When done well, renting a car can be a comfortable and affordable way to travel. Here are some serious car rental mistakes to avoid, the next time you need to hire a vehicle.
Never hire a car at the airport
While the airport may be the most convenient place to hire a car, it is also the most expensive. This is most likely because the office space and storage at airports is incredibly expensive to rent. This expense gets passed down to the customer.
Alternative locations to hire a car are in downtown areas and those positioned just outside the airport. Compare these prices, including the transport costs and inconvenience to get there with that of the airport before confirming your reservation.
Jumping in and driving off in your rental
It is rare to pick up a car in brand new condition, without a mark on it. Every time you hire a car take photos of it from multiple angles and close-ups of any scratches or dents. This can be helpful if they try to charge you for pre-existing damages.
Signing without reading the contract
Always read or at the very least scan the agreement you are signing with the car rental company, because there may be some hidden charges. For example, some companies have a mileage limit per day. If this is the case, multiply the limit by the number of days you are hiring the car and make sure you don’t travel above the total by the end of your hire period. If you do, you will be charged a contractually agreed amount per mile or kilometer. Don’t let this additional and unexpected payment ruin your holiday.
Did you know that some countries, particularly in Europe, have road taxes, which are more often than not excluded in the price of your car rental agreement? These road tax bills will be added to your credit card statement and you probably won’t notice them until your holiday is over.
Before renting a car check the rental car company’s policy, to see if it is included. That way there will be no surprises. This may even affect your decision on which company you hire from, as what may initially appear to be a bargain may not be in the long run. The more you know about the cost, the better you can shop within your budget and you can avoid any nasty credit card bill surprises.
Don’t forget about your credit card
You need a credit card to rent a car. This is because a money hold is placed on the card during your rental and can take a few days for the hold to be released. The hold can be as low as $100 or as high as $1500. The amount is important to know and plan for, especially if you need access to the credit card whilst on holiday. Perhaps the worst thing to happen would be to be in a foreign country without any money because it is on hold in case the rental car is damaged. You may want to take an additional credit card or more cash, just in case.
I bet reading this recalls for a few mistakes in your own rental history. But the past doesn’t matter anymore, only the future does. Now you have more knowledge about how to get the best deals and experiences when you next hire a car. Don’t forget these handy pieces of advice by bookmarking the page in your browser, so you can easily refer back to it, every time you need to rent a hire car.