A rental car can be a great benefit for those who live in a city and don't want the hassle of owning a car. With renting, you'll get the chance to travel to your destination and pay a certain price for the duration of the trip. However, it's not always as easy as agreeing on a price and hopping behind the wheel. Salespersons behind the counter at a rental car store will try to get as much money out of you as possible.
And when you're hurting for time and just want to get a move on, you may be willing to just accept what they offer and hit the road. But this approach could end up hurting your bank account and make renting a car a more expensive option than you first believed.
Here are five things that you should avoid when renting a car:
The Arizona Daily Sun noted rental car workers will purposely try to withhold information to get you to upgrade your vehicle. Though many people will pay online and then show up later to pick up their vehicles, it turns out you don't always get what you paid for. Due to a lack of availability, you might be forced into renting a different car, which could be much more expensive. You could also be faced with either taking the car they give you or having to cancel your trip. That's why it's best to look at several different rental car companies and have a backup plan if you can't get the car you wanted at the agreed-upon price.
While you're in the store, you'll likely have to turn down a series of questions relating to extra features like GPS, security systems or Internet radio. These tactics are simply ways to get you to pay for more than what you actually need. And they can add up quickly if you're not careful. Just stick to the basics and do your best to not be persuaded into buying additional items.
3. Extra fees
WIRED.com indicated there are so many fees on top of renting a car because public officials are trying to increase tax revenues in a more discreet way. Many companies have a variety of fees that relate to parking, license recovery, sales tax and other surcharges. Additional fees are most common at airports because there is a higher congregation of tourists. Politicians would rather tax tourists than those who vote them into office. Find a company that's not located in a big city or near an airport to have a better shot at getting cheaper rates.
Because you have to return the vehicle with the same amount of gas as when you received it, some companies try to sell you prepaid gas, according to USA Today. Instead of filling your tank on your own, companies will go ahead and bill you for the first full tank before you begin driving. However, if you intend to drive several hundred miles, then you could be overbilled for the full tank, when, in fact, you're using much less. When this deal is offered, just choose to fill the tank on your own.
You could already have car insurance that covers rental cars as well. However, rental car companies may not make you aware of this and tell you that you should also purchase additional renter insurance. Check your policy details to see if you're already covered to make sure you're not paying for twice the coverage.
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