Renting a car when you travel is a great way to explore a new city on your own terms. It’s convenient, comfortable and especially useful with you’re moving around in a large group or with your family. You get to explore remote locations and hard-to-reach areas more freely and in half the time that it would take if you were to rely on public transportation and there’s something incredibly gratifying about cruising down the roads of a foreign destination – discovering new sights, smells and sounds with each mile that you take.
While there’s no denying the many benefits that come with car rentals, renters often lose sight of certain factors that can sometimes turn into costly mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that you can take note of and avoid making in the future.
Renting from an airport
It may seem as though renting a car directly at the airport is the most convenient route but what people often don’t realise is that renting from an airport also means additional airport surcharges. Airport taxes can upcharge you up to 30% – that is nearly double the rate to what you’re most likely to pay a rental service outside of the airport. Your best bet is to take a cab or Uber from the airport into the city and then run a Google search on available car rental services within your vicinity.
Not comparing companies
Rental rates often differ between companies so it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare services instead of settling on the first company within reach. Websites such as RC9 allows you to compare rental companies and make bookings directly from the website. To ensure that you get the most bang for your buck, the site partners with Saleduck to bring potential customers the latest promotions and deals available on their platform.
Paying extra for add-ons
From the likes of GPS navigation systems to additional insurance, car rental companies often include additional accessories and services that will incur extra costs. Always check that the total price doesn’t include any hidden charges for these added features that you can often do without.
Not inspecting the car prior to renting
Rushing through the inspection process prior to driving off with a rental can sometimes end with you paying for damage that you aren’t responsible for. Scratches, tears, dents and stains can sometimes go unnoticed which is why you should thoroughly inspect the car with an agent and make sure to notify the company as an when you spot a damage or a defect while the car is still on the property. The same goes for any mechanical issues, if you notice anything out of the ordinary when you start driving, return it.
Some rental companies are extremely particular about returning their vehicles within the allotted timeframe and not doing so can risk you getting charged with a late-return fee or in some cases, getting charged for a full extra day. While you should always aim to return the car within the agreed-upon window, it’s always a good idea to first find out about the additional charges on late returns to avoid any nasty (and costly) surprises.
Prepaying for petrol
This point in particular is geared towards renters looking to rent vehicles for a short period of time. Renters are usually given the option to pick up their car with a full petrol tank which does indeed seem like the most convenient option but it also means that you’ll be paying for a full tank even if your journey consumes less than half the tank. If you plan on only renting a car for a short journey, it’s a better option to just fill up the tank yourself at a petrol station as and when you need it. That being said, always remember to refuel prior to returning the vehicle or as some companies impose a refuelling surcharge on vehicles returned otherwise.