Renting a car is sometimes dangerous if you are not careful enough. For example car hire companies abroad will try to flog you all sorts of unnecessary extras when you arrive at the airport, and it’s easy to be caught out - particularly if you’re jet-lagged or have fractious children in tow.
The hidden costs starts with the car itself. Some companies will try to persuade you to upgrade or fob you off with one you did not order. When you book online you will usually have to choose the size of car, but holidaymakers can be told the car may not be big enough and they will be advised to get a bigger model at extra cost. If you don’t get what you paid for then the car hire firm is breaching the contract. You are entitled to claim back any extra costs of getting what you were initially promised.
Most car rentals include some level of insurance - usually called a ‘collision damage waiver’ - but will carry an excess that you must pay yourself if you make a claim.
Many companies will offer you added insurance to cut your liability to a much smaller amount - typically between £50 and £100. This can be called the ’super collision damage waiver’ or ‘damage excess insurance’.
According to a recent report, this will cost up to £10 a day for a small or compact car, but even if you pay this, the windscreen, wheels, tyres, roof or undercarriage of the vehicle may not be covered. ‘You need to make a judgment call,’ adds Mr Crowder. ‘You may feel that paying an extra amount to protect yourself in the unlikely event of making a claim may not be worth it.’
You’ll also pay through the nose for fuel if you’re not careful. Some car rental firms give you the option of buying a full tank from them and returning it empty, or paying for the petrol you use. Both of these can work out much more expensive. The best option is taking a full tank of petrol and filling it up when you return the car. You may need to plan to have enough time to full the tank.
And then there is damage to the car. Less scrupulous rental firms will try to make you cough up for damage you didn’t cause, so make sure you check the condition of the car before you drive off.
We recommend you mark any damage - no matter how small - on the car diagram that comes with the contract and get the salesman to agree with your notes. If there is more than one driver make sure you specify this when booking, as some firms charge high rates if you add more at the airport.
In short, when you get home check your credit card to make sure extra charges haven’t been slipped on to your bill.
Source : budgetcarrentalreview.com