6 Car Rental Mistakes That Can Cost You Big

a stressed man sitting inside a car

You need to be extra cautious when renting a car. You should ensure that everything works properly, like the lights, the handbrake, and the air conditioning. Before you leave, make sure to fill the car up with gas and then recheck it before you go. You must also check the outside trim and windows for any damage. These things will help you save a lot of money and avoid making mistakes that will cost you a lot.

Also, be aware of hidden charges, mileage limitations, and damage claims due to dents and dings. This blog will discuss six crucial things people usually forget while renting a car that cost them big and how to avoid them.

 

Misfuelling

 

Sometimes, a simple mistake can lead to thousands of dollars in fines. And the chances are that the rental car’s insurance policy will not cover it. Mistakes like misfuelling could cause major engine problems. Never attempt to drive a rental car that has been misfueled or make the mistake of misfuelling your car. Make sure that the fuel cap clearly indicates the type of fuel used. It will help prevent drivers from accidentally filling their tanks with the wrong fuel type. 

 

Mileage Limitation

 

The limitations on car rental mileage are an important factor when choosing a rental vehicle. A higher mileage package is often a better choice for those who plan to drive more than one hundred miles during the rental period. You should check around to ensure that this option is available at all locations.

Many rental agreements restrict mileage, but there are some exceptions. To ensure you don’t exceed the allowed mileage, you must understand the mileage restrictions in rental car agreements. For example, you may not be able to exceed the mileage limit on a luxury vehicle. You might also be allowed unlimited mileage if you use the car domestically. 

Vehicle’s Inspection

 

Inspecting the car before renting it is a crucial step of the process. It would be best if you familiarize yourself with the vehicle in case it differs from yours in terms of the model. You should look for any signs of damage to the car and report it to the company. On the other hand, if you just got on the road and found a dent or any damage to the vehicle, you should take a picture with the time stamp to prove that it was there before you got the car.

Take your time and walk around the car several times to ensure that you thoroughly check every item. An extensive pre-trip inspection will help you avoid many CSA violations, which could cause your vehicle to be out of service and potentially cost you a lot. 

 

Filling up the Gas Tank

 

A car rental without filling up the tank can lead to a large expense. Many rental agencies offer special rates to fill up your tank. Some of them even offer 10% off a gallon. These can add up quickly, especially when the company refuses to refund any fuel you haven’t used. This can be avoided by carefully reading the rental agreement to ensure you don’t pay for the fuel you haven’t used. 

The best way to get the most from your rental car is to pre-pay for the gas you plan to use. The majority of rental companies now offer fuel at a lower price than local gas stations. USA TODAY recently found that nearly half of all locations provide fuel at a lower price than local gas stations. Although this might seem like a good deal, it’s not worthwhile unless you return the car with a full tank. 

 

Hidden Charges

 

When you rent a car, it’s essential to look for hidden charges in the contract. Car rental companies often charge additional fees for extra services like GPS, airport charges, and tolls. You can avoid these extra charges by reading the company’s policies before booking a car. However, many car rental companies also charge drop-off fees that you don’t always see. These fees can be costly and not always clear. You can avoid these hidden fees by reading the fine print. 

Another common hidden charge is airport charges. Some car rental companies charge extra for picking up and dropping off your rental car at the airport. 

 

Cancellation and No-Show Fee

Rental companies can have different cancellation policies if you cancel your booking for a car last minute. You can request a refund after this time for the total amount. However, if you do not show up for your appointment or cancel, you will not receive a refund. 

When renting a vehicle, it is vital to know the difference between a cancellation fee and no-show fees. The company will charge the cancellation fee if you cancel your reservation after making it. On the other hand, if you don’t arrive even after the grace period, you will be charged a no-show fee.

Some rental companies have flexible cancellation policies. They might waive cancellation fees if you are ill or have a genuine reason. However, you may need to provide documentation, such as an illness certificate, to get your money back. Otherwise, you won’t have your money back.

If you want to be extra cautious about these things, you should hire a luxury car service. Doing so will give you complete relaxation by providing a chauffeur, the luxury of sitting in the back enjoying yourself, and a hassle-free ride without stressing about the car’s security or anything else. You can read more here about luxury car services.