Published by Rentalcars1.com on Mar 14, 2020
Just when you thought you found a great deal on a car rental, you got stuck with a final bill far larger than you imagined. Taxes, extra charges, and hidden fees can turn that deal into a dreadful expense in a hurry. To avoid those sneaky surcharges we brought to you this article How to Avoid Taxes & Extra Charges in Car Rentals by reading the fine print and paying close attention to details and terms disclosed online or at the rental office.
Avoid Airport Rental Locations
An airport car-rental desk may be convenient, but it’s rarely the place to get a good deal when renting a vehicle. Besides potentially charging a higher daily rate than an offsite rental office, an airport rental location may pass along extra airport “concession fees” that they are required to pay for their prime spot. These may amount to more than 10 percent of the entire rental bill, so the fees can really add up for lengthy rentals.
Skip the Extra Insurance
When you pick up your rental car, the agent may offer extra insurance to cover potential vehicle damage. In many cases, this insurance is overpriced and unnecessary. Furthermore, your own car insurance may cover you when you drive rented vehicles. Many credit-card companies also offer car-rental coverage. Before your trip, read the terms of both your car insurance and your credit card to determine whether add-on insurance is worth the investment.
Many car-rental agencies offer the option to prepay for gasoline so you don’t have to refuel the vehicle upon its return. This option is convenient if you plan to use a full tank of gas and won’t have time to refuel before returning the vehicle. The prepayment rate tends to be the same or even a little less than the average local gas-station fuel rates, so it could be a good deal if you do indeed return the car with a nearly empty gas tank. If you don’t use much fuel, however, prepaying to refuel is a waste of money.
If you choose not to prepay for refueling the rental vehicle, note the gas gauge before your trip and be sure the rental agent agrees just how much fuel is in the vehicle. Return the vehicle with the same amount of gas in the tank or you’ll be charged a hefty refueling charge, sometimes quadruple the going per-gallon rate. Driving a few minutes out of your way to refuel can save big money on your rental bill.
Forget the Add-on Gadgets
A GPS unit comes in handy when driving in an unfamiliar area, so many rental cars offer them at the rental counter for a daily charge. Instead of renting a GPS unit, pack your own or use a smartphone app to map out your driving routes instead.
Some agencies also rent child car seats as well. If it’s not too inconvenient, bring your own on the trip to prevent yet another add-on to the daily car-rental rate.
Check Your Card Statement After the Trip
Compare your final rental-car charges with the bill given to you upon the car’s return, making sure the amounts are the same. If the numbers simply don’t add up, call the rental company and question the charges. Usually the company will remove or refund a charge made in error.