Car rental companies are notorious for advertising ultra low rates, only to hit you with a slew of hidden surcharges and fees. If you see a great deal advertised, don’t take it at face value. There’s likely a catch or restriction hidden in the small print. The following are seven common (and costly) car rental restrictions to watch for when reserving a vehicle rental.
1) Drop-off and Pick-up Charges
Planning to pick your car rental up in one location and then drop it off at another? Be careful – you could be driving into some gigantic charges! If you’re planning to rent a one-way car rental, you’ll probably have to pay a drop-off charge once you arrive at your final destination. This is because the car rental company will need to pay to have the vehicle returned to the original location. Unfortunately, these drop-off/pick-up charges can be extremely high, depending on the time of year and location of your drop-off.
2) Mileage Limitations
Some rental deals include unlimited mileage. Others impose strict limits. It’s common for car rental companies to limit your mileage to 100 miles per day; if you exceed this limit, you’ll be required to pay an overage charge when you return your vehicle. If you’re planning to do a lot of driving during your vacation, make sure your rental features unlimited mileage. Overage charges can add up quickly.
3) Geographical Restrictions
Car rental companies often impose limitations on where and how far you can drive your vehicle. More often than not state lines determine this restriction. Before you confirm your rental, make sure you contact the rental counter for clarification. If you’re booking your rental online, you should be able to find the information in the terms of your rental agreement.
4) Hidden Fees
Remember that too-good-to-be-true advertised rate? That was just the base rate. Car rental base rates are normally quite reasonable; it’s all of the additional fees and surcharges that pump up the price. Certain fees are unavoidable, like government requirements and taxes. Other surcharges are added by the car rental company in order to increase profits. When comparing rates online, make sure you pull up the final price, and not just the advertised rate. The lowest advertised rate isn’t necessarily the cheapest option.
5) Insurance Insanity
We’re always harping on this issue here at Car Rental Express, but that’s because it’s so important! Don’t assume you need to purchase over the counter car rental insurance. In most cases, your personal auto insurance will cover your rental vehicle. If it doesn’t, check with your credit card company – most offer comparable rental coverage at no additional cost.
Car rentals often lead a rough life, which can easily result in scratches, dings, and damage. Before you drive off the lot, make sure you go over every inch of your rental. Report any damages that you can see, even if they seem minor. Otherwise, the rental company may hold you responsible when you return the vehicle.
7) Refuelling Costs
Always remember to stop at the gas station before dropping your car rental off. If you don’t, your rental company will hit you with a refuelling charge. And of course, this rate is higher than the price at the pump.
The Car Rental Express comparison tool makes it easy to view and compare car rental restrictions across multiple companies. Start your search today to see how our interface makes it easy to reserve an affordable rental.