Before signing paperwork and taking a rental car off of the lot, you need to have a complete understanding of the terms laid out by any of the rental car companies you do business with. For example, who is responsible if the car breaks down? Are there any fees you could incur when returning the car? Will you have to pay for scratches or dings? The following are several important questions you should ask all rental car companies.
Most companies offer some sort of insurance policy. Is this something that interests you? Of course, just because they offer it, you are not obligated to accept it, especially if your own car insurance policy covers rental cars. Or if you decided to pay for your rental car via credit card, the credit card company might cover rental car insurance too.
However, if neither your car insurance or credit card company offers car rental insurance, purchasing insurance offered by rental companies is a smart idea. If something does happen to the vehicle and you do not have any insurance, you will not only have to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket, but also all of the days you are holding on to the rental car, even if you are not driving it.
As far as cosmetic damage is concerned, make sure you examine the car from bumper to bumper and have the rental company make note of any scratches or dents before you sign the paperwork. Otherwise, you could be liable for damages you were not responsible for.
Fees and Charges
Although most companies are upfront about the daily cost of renting a car, too many times consumers are shocked by the fees and charges incurred upon returning the vehicle. Customers are frequently charged for gasoline. This flat, per gallon fee is usually put onto the final bill in a sneaky manner. For example, a rental company might ask their customers to bring back the car with an almost empty gas tank so they can charge the gasoline fee. But if you do return it full of gas, you should not be charged. So if this is possible, fill it up before turning it in because the cost per gallon charged by the rental company is always significantly more than the cost per gallon at any gas station.
Also, if you are under the age of 25 and can find rental companies that will allow you to drive one of their vehicles, or if you will have more than one driver put on the contract, expect to be charged extra. And of course, turning in the car late will cost you too.
Although renting a vehicle might seem easy enough, avoiding fees and charges billed by rental car companies can prove to be difficult. However, if you follow the above advice and understand what you are getting into before singing paperwork, you will save yourself a lot of hassle as well as money.
Source by David Patullo