With the way the world is going right now, you need to be careful in doing business with anybody, even with seemingly simple things like renting a car. There are car rental companies who can’t resist ripping off their customers every chance they get.
First off, you should be careful in dealing with car rental companies. If possible, just use the professional services of Enterprise and not just any fly-by-night car rentals. Thankfully, more and more companies are trying to avoid cheating their customers because they know this is bad for their business.
Here are some of the ways you can avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous car rentals:
Compare car rental rates carefully.
There are car rental companies which minimize their headline rates so that their rental deals can get near the top of price comparison websites. And then they try to recover their cost by charging extra fees such as waiver insurance fees and higher fuel rates.
To avoid this scam, compare the prices of at least three car rental companies very carefully. This is the only way you can get the prevailing rate for the car that you want to rent.
Choose a company that doesn’t overcharge fuel costs.
You should not be charged with extra fuel costs if you return the car with the same amount of fuel when you rented it. That is only fair.
However, there are car rental companies that will require you to buy a full tank of gas when you pick up the car even if you can get the same quantity of fuel at a gas station cheaper by approximately 20 per cent.
Some rental companies will not also refund you for the gas that you were not able to consume. In effect, you are just giving it away to them for free. Thus they will also be able to make money from the fuel that you did not use.
You should ask the car rental company if they are observing a ‘Fair Fuel Policy’ before you book a car from them. If they are not, look for another car rental service.
Get excess waiver insurance
You should be aware that most car rental insurances are burdened with excesses. If you do not purchase additional excess waiver insurance, you may end up paying extra dollars if you cause some damage to the vehicle. This waiver practically reduces the excess to zero, or at most, just a small sum.
Pray that the rented vehicle is not stolen for if that will happen, your bills could skyrocket. It could be even more than your rental cost.
So, the best thing you can do is to get an excess waiver policy from an insurance company. More than likely, it will be more comprehensive, and may even be cheaper in the long run. Should the rented car be damaged, you will need to pay the car rental company, but the amount you spend will be reimbursed by your insurer.
Inspect the rented car carefully before driving it off the lot.
You should thoroughly inspect the rented car for any damage, in and out, before you drive it off the company’s car lot.
Look for scratches, dents, missing parts, and so forth. If possible, take some pictures of the existing damages and have it documented on your rental contract. This will prevent the company from charging you with repairs for these damages because they know that you have already noted them previously.
And when returning the car, have them sign a confirmation receipt that it is in good condition at the time you returned it.