This blog post was updated on October 8, 2018.
Just as is the case with hotels and flights, there are hidden fees and charges to car rental agreements. You might see a price quoted. You decide that you can afford it. You book the car, only to arrive to the rental counter and promptly hand over your wallet, an arm and maybe a leg too. A hotel might disguise its WiFi and breakfast charges but the guest often realizes the issue before having to pay. However, in the case with car rental fees, it is generally too little too late. You have exceeded the mileage. You forgot to fill up the tank. Car rental companies can hit you will a bill just in time to end a good trip on a bad note. Before you book your car rental, you should always look out for these potentially wallet draining car rental charges.
Limited Mileage: Some car rental companies will limit the distance that you can drive. If you exceed that distance, you can be hit with a bill when you return the car. To avoid this charge, merely shop for car rental companies that don’t limit your mileage. This condition should be spelled out in the rental conditions. If you think you will be driving a great deal and you don’t want to worry about going over, find a company offering unlimited mileage in their terms and conditions.
Young Driver Fee: Some car rental companies don’t trust drivers under 25. As a result, they will add an additional fee to each day of the rental. Some will even limit how long a young driver can actually rent the vehicle. The charge per day can vary from company to company. If you are a 24 year old looking to rent a car, these charges need to be examined. Some companies might not charge an extra fee while others will hit you with a hefty charge. You need to do a comparison to find the company that won’t penalize you too much for your youth.
Fuel: Many car rental companies have a fuel policy. If you rent a car that has a full tank, you must bring it back with a full tank. If you think your car rental company won’t notice if you car is not 100% full, chances are they well. The car rental company’s price per gallon or liter almost always exceeds what it would be at a local service station. Some bookings include the fuel charge so that you don’t have to worry about filling up the car upon return. However, this is almost always more costly to the renter. You should be sure to book a car rental company that has a fuel policy where you are in control of the price, not someone else.
Insurance: Insurance can be the most confusing aspect to renting a vehicle. Not only can it cost a considerable amount on top of the rental, but it can also be completely unnecessary. Car rental counters want you to buy more when you arrive a little out of it from your flight. As a result, they will push different policies at you. Obviously, insurance is a personal issue. You might want to spend the money for full coverage. However, it is important to note that many car rental rates can include most of the coverage that you will need. Some come with collision and damage waivers in the rental price. Others will include a policy for theft or third party liability. Before you book, see what insurance policies are included and what aren’t. If you think you need more coverage, it is worth it to see if your credit card company covers car rental insurance or other outlets that you might be a member.
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