6 Car Rental Tricks You Need To Watch Out For

Despite the competitiveness of the car rental industry, it’s not uncommon to find rental companies that still employ dubious marketing tactics and policies to undercut the consumer. That’s why so many people are often suspicious about using the services of a car rental company, but with the right information at your disposal, you can successfully avoid falling prey to unreliable car rental companies. Read on for some tips on how to avoid the most common car rental tricks out there.

New Damage Scam:

Some rental companies will try to pin old car damage on the customer by saying that it occurred due to the customer’s doing so as to try and force them to pay for it. The good news is that there are countermeasures that you can take to avoid this kind of scam.

For one, you should make sure that all the damage on the car is detailed and included in the “check out form” that you fill out before you take the car. If you see any discrepancies between the form and the actual damage that you see on the car, take it up with the company before you drive away so that they can clearly note it and not try to pin it on you when you return the car.

Also, make sure to take “before” photos of the car before you drive off, and “after” photos when you return it. If the car does get damaged while it’s in your possession, do the right thing and report the damage as soon as it occurs and describe the incident in detail so that it’s recorded.

Dodgy Fuel Policies:

The terms and conditions that come with car rental bookings include things like the fuel policy, which simply sets out how much fuel the car should have when you pick it up and drop it off. Most rental companies employ the “full to full” policy which states that since you will receive the car with a full tank, you should also return it with a full tank. A few operate according to the “full to empty” fuel policy, whereby you’re allowed to return the car with an empty tank even though you will receive it with a full tank.

It’s important to check the fuel policy of the rental company that you’re considering before you pick the car up, because the fuel policy that they advertise on their website might be different from the one that they offer you in person.  The best way to avoid falling prey to dodgy fuel policies is to compare the fuel policy advertised online with the one you get when you actually pick up the car. If the company’s consistent and you’re satisfied with the policy, then by all means take the car. But if you feel like something’s not adding up, then it’s probably not a good deal for you.

Mileage limit scams:

Some of the car rental companies you’ll come across out there place a mileage limit on their cars so that if you drive the car for longer than the limit you’ll be required to pay extra. Now, the same company might offer an unlimited mileage deal as well, but it will cost significantly more than the former option even though you might be limited to something as low as 15 miles per day in some cases.

The easiest way for you to reach a beneficial decision in this scenario is to consider what you’ll be using the car for in the first place. If you’re going to be using the car to drive around a small island or to go from the airport to your hotel, then a limited deal will probably suit your needs. However, if you’re planning on driving the car around to go sightseeing and the like, then an unlimited deal will most likely be more cost effective.

Extra Insurance and Car Upgrades:

While insurance comes as a standard part of any car rental agreement, it is not uncommon for a rental company to try and get the customer to purchase extra insurance like fine insurance to cover the admin costs in the event of a traffic fine (but not the fine itself), medical insurance (which you probably already have), and super collision damage waiver for the unexpected damage of small parts like mirrors and tires.

It’s important to note here that these insurance extras are not legally required and it is entirely up to you whether or not to add them, but keep in mind that they will come at an extra cost.

Another hard-sell that the car rental company might try to push down your throat is that of getting you to upgrade your car to a newer or bigger model. This will obviously come at an extra cost as well and is completely unnecessary. To avoid getting taken in by this scam, consider the reason why you chose the car you chose in the first place. You were obviously confident in the car you chose so there’s probably no real need for you to change your choice now, is there?

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