Rental Cars: 5 Tips to Avoid a High Bill
You’ve been thinking lately, “Boy, it’d be really nice to get away!” haven’t you? Whether it be a sandy beach or a mountainous hike, your heart is set on hitting the road!
So, you’ve booked your flight, your hotel and planned a variety of awesome adventures to experience during your stay – but have you narrowed down the car rental company you plan to use?
It’s easy to put your car rental on the back burner before you reach your travel destination. However, this task should be high on your planning list. Here are 5 rental car tips to keep in mind so you don’t get slammed with a high bill once your fun’s over:
1. Double Check Your Personal Auto Policy
Most rental car companies will attempt to sell you insurance for your rental vehicle, but oftentimes this coverage is redundant and not worth the money. If you’re fully covered under your Personal Auto Policy, then your coverage should transfer over to your rental vehicle. Essentially, the coverage you have on your auto policy is the precise coverage you will have on the rental vehicle.
For instance, if you have comprehensive and collision coverage for your own car, than your rental vehicle would be covered for comprehensive and collision damage.
The benefit of using your own insurance is that you would file a claim with your insurance company in the event of a loss instead of a company you are very unfamiliar with.
2. Age Affects Rate
Young drivers, likely those under 25 years of age, are likely to experience a higher rate. Drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to turn in large insurance claims on vehicles. It is unfortunate that even good young drivers suffer the consequences of higher rates, but rental car companies base their pricing on this statistic.
On the contrary, if you are a senior citizen you could qualify for a senior citizen discount!
3. Be on the Lookout for Added Fees
Although your anxious to start your vacation, carefully reviewing the rental agreement can help you avoid extra fees. Look for these contract provisions and ask your rental car representative about them if need be:
- Returning the car with a full tank of gas when you drop it off.
- When the vehicle needs to be returned - is there a specific time? Some companies will charge a late fee or even charge you an entire day if you return the vehicle 30 minutes late.
- Added fees for upgraded vehicle equipment, such as GPS.
- Vehicle clean-up charges
4. Be Weary of Skipping the Pre-Rental Inspection
Often times you’ll need to fill out a vehicle condition report before you drive off of the lot. This report allows you to identify any visible damage to the vehicle before you use it. You don’t want to be held responsible for damages you didn’t cause and have to pay for them out of pocket, so never rush this step.
Complete a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior of the vehicle until you are positive that all damages have been documented.
5. More Drivers Could Cost More Money
Your rental car may give you the option to add additional drivers to the vehicle. Sometimes, companies will charge you extra fees per additional driver, and as stated above, drivers younger than 25 will cost more.
The rejuvenation of vacation could be a thing of the past if you return to a hefty rental car bill! We hope these tips will help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest, and settle in comfortably once you get back home.