Most travelers have to rent cars most of the time, no matter where they are going or where they are coming from. It becomes more important to hire a car if you need to tour the countryside, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and sample life in those faraway locations. However, car rentals come with some fears and the hard task of understanding, applying, and being at peace with car rental rules and regulations, lest you find yourself committing costly mistakes.
The following are some common car rental mistakes you should avoid at all costs:
- Renting an automobile at the airport
Most of the time, airports are the most convenient places to make rental arrangements, especially when you arrive with lots of luggage or with little knowledge of where to find car rental services; however, they are also often the most expensive places. You may end up paying higher taxes and even higher rates due to the high costs of operating businesses in airports and other factors. Unless you will be overly inconvenienced or if the cost of getting from the airport to other places is too high, avoid renting a car at the airport before comparing the rates.
- Buying overpriced/extra insurance
Most of the time basic coverage is provided by auto insurers, and many travelers operating on a tight budget often check with their insurers to be sure they are covered before renting. Also, credit cards offer coverage on car rentals, so seek out such information. However, car rental companies are likely to persuade you to take their additional coverage with the promise that you will be without any worry. Before buying this coverage, be sure that it is vital. Unless you do not have insurance coverage or if there are some critical things that your policy does not cover, you can do without the additional coverage.
- Not factoring in waiting time at small offices/locations
Locations with high-volume rentals will often have many cars. Even when the model you reserved is not available, you will easily be upgraded within no time. However, when going to small cities where there are limited fleet sizes, you need to consider the possibility of having to wait for the next return. Also, remember that the vehicle will need to be cleaned before it is delivered to you, so that means a longer waiting time. When traveling to small cities, allow for some wait time in your itinerary, as it is better to have more time than to be short of time. However, with big cities or distinguished car rental services, like Milani Exotic Car Rentals, where you can get luxurious models, you have no reason to worry.
- Failing to do a pre-rental inspection
It is in your best interest to conduct a pre-rental inspection, and when possible, to do it with the agent present while recording any issues. Take note of stained upholstery, chipped paint, dents on the body, cracked mirrors or windscreen, scratches, and anything else you could be forced to pay for when returning the car. You can also do the inspection alone and inform the company about the issues upon signing the contract, so you will not be surcharged upon returning the car. Also, check for mechanical problems and return the car if it is not in proper working conditions.
- Returning the car late
The majority of car rental companies have their daily rates based on 24-hour periods. While some companies allow a slight grace period, like 29 minutes, you may have to pay late charges, or at worst, a full day’s amount for returning the car past the given timeline. To avoid such costs, allow yourself enough time on the return day.