Every year thousands of people rent cars while abroad. It can be one of the easiest ways to get around and get a feel for the the place you’re visiting. However, with horror stories of rip offs at rental desks, many are deterred from the experience.
We’ve put together our list of the biggest rip offs that catch people out so you can be aware of the situations in which the rental company may be trying to make a premium from your rental.
Paying Over The Odds:
Due to the huge levels of competition especially at airports, companies will generally try to make high initial rates when discussing a potential rental. Always negotiate and ask if that’s the best they can do. Discuss having seen better prices for similar models with their competitors and this will usually result in a fairer rate. Do your research before to have a general idea of how much you can expect them to bargain down to. Make sure you feel completely happy with the deal before putting pen to paper.
Other Hidden Charges:
Under 25? Been driving fully licensed for under 4 years? Well you may have to pay a hefty extra for this. Shop around for some of the companies that do not charge daily fee’s for some of the above. These will add to what will seem like a growing list of expenses on top of what initially looked like a great deal!
Many rental companies will offer special “one day offers on luxury upgrades” or something to that effect. This could be a ploy to take advantage of holiday goers who feel the need to splash the cash having only just landed. Take this with a pinch of salt as although these cars may look great, they may incur extra costs and charges that will all add up. This is particularly an issue while road tripping across America so try to resist the urge for that Mustang and stick with the more economical models.
Many rental companies will offer you a full tank of fuel when you leave and allow you to return it empty. This may sound appealing but generally the costs are high and you will return it with some fuel left. Shop around for companies that allow you to simply return it with the same amount as when you found it to avoid these service charges and control your own fuel spending. In last weeks blog, we spoke about a useful mobile app that can help you save cash on your fuel while traveling abroad.
Be very weary of companies that will not let you pay in the local currency. Many countries with a weaker economy will benefit greatly from exchange rates by having foreign customers pay in their own currency. Always insist on paying in the local currency and be aware of fair exchange rates so that you don’t fall for this trap!
The renting of baby seats, sat nav’s and other accessories are a huge source of income for all rental companies. They will usually charge a daily rate for these which will sound appealing but will add up. If possible, bring these items with you so that you won’t have to incur the daily rental fees. Although this may be a headache for the larger items like a booster seat, a highly portable version like the BubbleBum, will keep your children happy and won’t be a burden.
Car hire excess:
“Car hire excess is the amount you are responsible to pay towards repair costs if the rental vehicle suffers any damage. The excess amount can vary between car hire providers and normally ranges between €500 and €2,000.” This is one of the main areas where Rental Companies make money of unsuspecting travelers. With the only other option being seemingly to take the risk, most people needlessly pay up. If you’re planning a car rental abroad, don’t get caught out with the excess, and book Car hire excess insurance.