If you’re planning to visit the countryside in any way during your travels and are free to travel wherever and whenever you’d like, most likely, you’ll require a San Francisco car service rental for your trip. With that comes the difficult task of figuring out the rules, understanding and being familiar with the different rules and regulations so that you don’t commit costly mistakes when renting a car.
We’ve rented cars for a long time all over the globe, but regardless of the number of times we’ve tried it, there’s always something that surprises and confuses us.
If you aren’t getting the facts in order when you are at the counter for car rentals, jetlag and tired, with dozens of customers awaiting their turn in line behind you, you could get suck into services or additional charges you don’t require. In this blog, we’ll go over the 12 most common car rental blunders you should be sure to avoid.
Avoid These Costly Rental Car Mistakes
This list of 12 expensive car-rental errors you don’t wish to commit serves as an important reminder to yourself and a reminder for us not to get caught in the car rental trap the next time we’re to the airport.
In every circumstance, every rental car company and destination you might be in has different rules and regulations. Not all of these errors could be in place, but it’s important to be alert!
1. Buying Extra (Unnecessary) Insurance
One of the most common and expensive errors that individuals make when renting a Bay area limo service vehicle is purchasing additional insurance that’s not needed. We’ve made this error several times, and I’m embarrass to admit it.
Many rental agencies provide insurance coverage at a daily cost, such as Supplemental Liability Insurance Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and a few other insurances. If you are not aware of what they all mean, what do you know whether you’re required to have insurance or not? Since you have to use a credit card when renting cars (in most instances), you may already protect with the card you use to make payments on the rent.
Before rent a car, examine your credit card coverage to ensure that your card is cover. If our rental vehicle sustain damages in Spain in which we were already entice into purchasing premium insurance (which did not cover the kind of damage we sustained). We discovered that you need to deny the insurance offered by the rental car company to obtain insurance benefits for your rental car through your credit card.
The four major card networks have rental insurance. However, the benefits and requirements differ considerably. Certain cards only provide secondary insurance that will be in effect following the coverage you already have under your personal automobile insurance policy. Other cards, such as those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, provide car rental insurance as a primary service without additional cost.
If you plan to use your credit card to pay for rental insurance on your car, read the fine print before making a decision. This is an extensive article about credit insurance coverage on credit cards to follow as a reference. However, double-check the benefits of your card to ensure you are aware of the benefits.
2. Not Refilling the Gas Tank Yourself
If you’re not a fan of waiting around or in too big of a rush – as we learned the hard way- to visit a gas station while driving back to the airport. You’re probably spending more money on gasoline than is needed which talks WAY more. The car rental service charges the per-gallon price higher than what you’d pay at a station, but there’s also that tiny cautionary note you probably didn’t get when you took the easy route.
According to the website of Budget, If you choose the fuel option, you’ll be able to return your car without filling the tank as they’ll “charge you for a full tank of fuel at a reduced price per gallon.” Did you read the small text? Even if you send it back with only a half-empty tank, they’ll charge with a fully-filled tank regardless. Any fuel left in the tank at the time of return will not be credit.
Instead of having to pay the outrageous cost per gallon charged from the hire car service, you can add time to purchase gas on your way back. To avoid the mad search for a gas station, note every gas station you pass by at the airport so that you are aware of the best place to go once you return.
3. Not Using Discount and Coupon Codes
You can avail of many discounts when you rent a car. One of the most popular is to use an affordable or discount-based booking system when you are looking for the lowest price on your car rental. For instance, I priced the cost of a car directly on the rental agency’s website and found a cheaper deal to get it for half the price via Priceline.
Many banks and credit cards offer discount coupons for their members for booking the rental. My bank provides a fantastic discount and other perks, including a free driver when I use their promo code. Certain Visa cards also provide discounts on car rentals, and so does AAA.
Sometimes you’ll even locate discount coupons online and directly at the rental company. It is a good idea to search for a coupon code before making a reservation. You could save as much as 25% off the rental price.
Be aware, however, that if you rent via an online platform, such as rentalcars.com and rentalcars.com, you will not receive the car rental company’s advantages, such as Hertz Gold Club perks.
4. Not Joining the Club
If you’re not signed up for the rental car agency’s Club membership, it leaves some perks, savings benefits, and discounts to be found. One of the most significant benefits of being a club member is the chance to bypass the long lines and walk straight toward your car instead.
Programs such as the Gold Plus rewards program offered by Hertz permit you to bypass the line, look up the number of your car’s lot on a signboard and go straight away without waiting. Additionally, you can earn points towards future rentals and upgrades and get an additional driver. All of this is completely free.
Most car rental companies offer a rewards program. Make sure you look it up online before you decide to go. The cost you pay through the agent could be higher than that charged with a network, but the rewards could compensate for the difference.
5. Turning Away Award Points or Miles
You’re an expert traveler, and you’re aware that you can get free travel by accumulating enough reward credits, and you wouldn’t hesitate to use your miles earned, do you think? You might be, but you aren’t aware of that. If you’re not signed to the car rental company’s award program for free, You’re leaving points on the table.
Even if you’re not part of their programs, you could typically earn bonus miles through an airline or hotel program’s award program. Many car rental agencies have partnerships with major hotels and airlines to provide award miles for rental cars.
For example, with every qualified car rental booked with Budget, you can earn 1000 best Western Rewards Points or 500 Hilton Honors points. Also, you can get 500 miles for each rental with American Airlines AAdvantage miles. It’s worth investigating the additional miles and perks provided by the car rental company to ensure you don’t waste unaccounted for valuable miles.
6. Paying for a GPS or Extra Services
It’s a new place, and you’re unsure what to do to navigate. A GPS assures you that you’re in the right direction and won’t be lost in a back alleyway; however, you don’t need to shell out $14.45 per day to lease one from Budget and $12.99 for one from Enterprise.
Instead of paying the costly rental costs, you could use Google Maps on your mobile phone, even if you don’t have a SIM card and data. If you download offline maps for your destination before you leave, then put the phone in airplane mode to offer directions. Also, you can buy a sim card in the arrivals hall at the airport once you arrive, before taking the vehicle. Sim cards are
We picked up a secondhand Garmin GPS unit on eBay and loaded it with the latest maps of the city we’re heading to. You’ll pay about $40 for a secondhand one and $80 for an entirely new model from Amazon. The cost will be paid within a week’s rental.
Other services can be an expensive mistake to make when renting a car. It’s extremely inconvenient to carry the car seat of your child. However, it could save you around $70 during a week’s rental.
Do you realize that you could get a mobile with a local SIM card at the car rental service today? You can pay $7 per day for “extended roadside assistance” when you already pay for other services such as AAA. Satellite Radio will cost you an additional $7 per day.
7. Pairing Your Phone to Bluetooth
Many cars can pair your phone with the vehicle’s navigation or satellite system using Bluetooth. This is great as it lets users play music or make a call hands-free. When creating it, the system will ask you to transfer your contacts and telephone numbers. If you answer yes, all your details will transfer to the car and could be store in the car for future renters.
The car we were renting was still packing with the information of the previous renter, which allowed us to gain access to his details and name and access to his call logs and contacts. Do you need the information that is on the internet?
8. Ignoring Existing Rental Car Damage
If we rent a car and take the initial five minutes looking around the exterior of the vehicle for damaged areas, then note the damage on the diagram provided and use time-stamped pictures. The only method to ensure that any damage another person cause to the vehicle before you were given possession isn’t invoicing to you. You can be sure they want to believe what you say without proof.
Walking around the car after returning to it, take note of any changes you notice compared to the time you took it home. The drop-off procedure is now so simplified that you will rarely see anyone at the return. However, you’ll have evidence if they discover something.
If they discover damage to the vehicle after you’ve dropped it off and gone to the airport, you’ll have no way to prove that the damage was present when you left it. Yes, 9 out of 10 times, it won’t an issue, but in that one instance when you’re being accuse of damage, you’ll want to have an inspection.
9. Failing to Note Specific International Rental Laws
Have you been aware of a tax on roads? In certain countries, like Italy, you’ll pay $5 per day to pay this tax. A fee for environmental protection of up to $10 per day add. In Italy, it is a minimum $20 daily fee to protect against theft. If you rent in Mexico, Third-party liability insurance is required. It is not insured by credit insurance for credit cards.
Ireland is among a few countries where Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is not included with a rental. You can check the credit limit on your card and find out whether you’re covered or expecting to receive that coverage. It’s important to note that each country has its own rules and regulates car rental differently. Before renting in a different nation, you should review the rules to know what to expect.
10. Taking a Rental Car Over the Border
There are specific rules that are in effect when traveling in a rented vehicle and truck from one nation to another. We had planned to rent the car in Portugal and drive to Spain during a trip we went on last fall. However, we swiftly decided against the plan when we realized the staggering price the rental agency would charge us to pick up the vehicle in another country. It was approximately $650.
If you’re driving your vehicle into another country and then back, you don’t have to pay an extra cost; however, you may have to cancel your insurance and be detained in the customs line at the border. Always inquire about the regulations before you do this. Make sure you’ve revealed all the places you’ll be taking with the vehicle.
A country might require an International Driver’s License, while another doesn’t, or, if the vehicle is a foreign one, it may require a permit for entry. Each of these situations could cost you money should you be found guilty.
11. Not Returning the Car on Time
If you hire a vehicle on a Saturday and return the vehicle the following Monday could charge three days instead of two. Most businesses charge on a 24-hour basis, meaning if you leave your car in the parking lot for an entire 26-hour period. You’ll charge for two full days. Remember when you booked the airport car service San Jose car on the internet and entered the time you’d prefer to return the car?
These times may seem random. However, you can be assured that the car rental company took note of this and will cost you the appropriate amount. If you are returning the car in the late hours, some companies provide a grace period of 29 minutes before charging you either per hour or for a whole day. You could think that returning your rental car an hour or two earlier will work to your advantage; however, you’ll likely need to pay for that as well.
Some rental car companies will provide a prorated reimbursement when you return the car early. However, others will cost you the early return fee of up to 15 dollars. It is also possible charge a significant cost difference, especially if your rental duration is reduced. Implies that you do not have the opportunity to avail a special rate you got.
12. Not Asking About Tolls
Certain freeways are open to the public for free. But the majority aren’t. You should ask about toll fees when you’re waiting at the cash register. I’ve observed that rental vehicles in areas with tolls have an express pass that could be activated in all stations or disabled to stop and pay for the toll on your own.
We took advantage of the speed pass in Washington DC and up to Philadelphia during a recent trip which was a breeze to get through toll booths, but it was an additional “convenience fee” of $3.95 per day to make use of it. Is it worth it? Maybe. Perhaps not. However, you must clearly understand policies before making a decision.
You’ve probably made one or two of these mistakes before, perhaps two times. However, you can avoid costly mistakes in rental cars and save money that you could have wasted. What are your suggestions to avoid car rental blunders? Please post them in the comments!