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7 Expensive Car Rental Errors to Avoid – AS AMERICANS hit the street this summer time, many will drive rental cars in other parts of the nation or the world. Whereas rental cars may be convenient, the related costs are often complicated. Right here’s a look at automobile rental mistakes that might cost you cash – and how one can avoid them.

1. Buying extra insurance you don’t need – When you’ve got your personal auto insurance coverage policy, it may cowl collision damage and private legal responsibility for momentary use of a rental car (however doubtless not a shifting truck). And in case you use a credit card to e book and pay for the rental automobile, it could provide secondary collision protection. “The credit card protection will kick in for anything your personal coverage doesn’t cover, and you don’t need to pay your deductible,” says Brian Karimzad, the director of MileCards.com, a travel rewards card comparability web site. “Verify on that earlier than you hire a automobile, and you might be able to decline that protection on the rental car counter.”

Alternatively, if you do not have your own auto coverage or you’re involved about potential premium increases ought to it is advisable file a claim together with your auto coverage, the automotive rental company’s insurance coverage might make sense.

2. Renting from an airport – Renting from an airport usually means airport surcharges. To avoid these charges and possibly bag extra financial savings, Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com and author of “Shop Smart, Save More,” suggests choosing a automotive rental service away from the airport. “Many off-airport rental workplaces present transportation to and from the airport,” she says. “And it may be more handy than reserving on the airport and having to take a rental automobile shuttle and dealing with big crowds.”

3. Not buying around – Automotive rental rates can fluctuate depending on the company or the quantity of lead time, so it pays to shop around as a substitute of taking a “one-and-done” strategy. Websites reminiscent of CarRentalSavers.com and AutoSlash.com will let you comparability store between rental firms and look for coupons. AutoSlash will even monitor your rental rates and rebook for you if the rate drops.

If you’re planning to drive lengthy distances, examine for mileage caps. “Many rental companies offer limitless miles for the car rental period, permitting you to drive the car as a lot as you need with out facing further charges,” says Angie Hicks, founding father of AngiesList.com. “However others could assess additional fees for surpassing a each day mileage most. When you rent a vehicle, particularly for a period more than a few days, ensure you have limitless miles or sufficient miles to cover your travels.” When choosing between a rental with unlimited miles and a cheaper rental with a mileage cap, you might come out ahead with the former.

4. Prepaying for fuel – Prepaying for gas could seem handy (who wants to plan further time for a pit stop on the way in which to an early morning flight?) but it surely means you’ll pay for a full tank of gas, even when you return with the tank half full. “It’s higher to refill your self since you can usually find cheaper fuel costs at a nearby station anyway,” says consumer and money-saving professional Andrea Woroch. “However don’t forget to fill it up as a result of the price to take action after drop-off could be a whole rip-off.” You’ll want to prime off the gas, because some corporations will cost you even when the fuel gauge is just a hair away from the place it must be.

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5. Paying additional for GPS or a automotive seat – Automobile rental firms are happy to charge you extra for equipment like a GPS or little one automotive seat. But as Woroch points out, a GPS can cost a further $10 per day or more. “Use your smartphone when possible, or print directions utilizing your hotel’s free business center,” she says. When you’ve got a conveyable GPS you could possibly pack in your suitcase and use on your journey, keep in mind to take away it from the rental car on your return.

Based on Sarah Schlichter, senior editor of IndependentTraveler.com, many airways will can help you check a car seat or use it on the airplane without cost, so that you don’t need to pay extra to make use of one out of your rental automotive firm.

6. Speeding by the inspection – Totally examine your rental automotive before you drive away. In any other case, you may be charged for harm you didn’t cause. “Most rental automobile fleets are maintained meticulously, however damages like scratches or dents in the body or spills, stains or tears in the interior can go unnoticed,” Hicks says. “When you see any wear, damage or defect during the inspection, make sure you immediately make the corporate aware – or you would possibly end up paying for it.” Never assume that a ding is too small to warrant noting or that the car company already knows about harm. If it’s not listed on the car condition form, communicate up.

7. Returning a automotive late. Most automobile rental firms cost daily charges based on 24-hour periods. “While some could give a 29-minute grace interval, you might be charged late charges – or for a full extra day – in case you return the car previous that point window,” Schlichter says. Allow loads of time on the day you are returning your car to keep away from this extra fee.

6 automobile rental tips that can save you money and frustration – Renting a automobile could be costly, but it surely’s usually a necessary a part of a trip. Like airfare or lodge charges, car rental rates might be comparatively opaque, and it may be onerous to determine guidelines like timing and methods to economize.

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Whereas figuring out and predicting automobile rental charges could be troublesome, there are nonetheless a couple of simple ways to economize without having to make main adjustments to your journey plans.

1. All the time compare rental agencies — together with some much less frequent ones.

Nearly everyone is aware of the large brands — Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, and so on — however there are a variety of much less apparent brands that may offer higher rates. Price range, Sixt, Thrifty, and Fox are only a few of the out there ones. To cowl all your bases, you possibly can book by an internet journey agency website — like Hotwire or Priceline — to check a number of totally different rentals.

2. Go for an “opaque” booking.

Hotwire gives steep discounts by “opaque booking,” a practice the place you make and prepay a reserving with out understanding exactly which company you are reserving with — it should still be a major agency, though.

Whereas it might sound dangerous, it is actually perfectly advantageous — you will know precisely how much you are paying, the place you may be choosing up and dropping off, what class of automotive it is (and sometimes the precise model), and any phrases. Except you’re useless set on a sure agency, it is a great approach to save a fortune.

3. Decline the rental insurance — you may already be coated.

Chances are very good that your private home auto insurance coverage policy covers rentals that you just drive. While the rental agent could try and strain you into buying extra protection, that is often unnecessary and redundant to your existing protection. Simply be certain that to check your policy before assuming that you just’re lined.

In the event you don’t own a car, or if your home policy doesn’t cover rentals, you should still have protection.

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Plenty of standard bank cards, together with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve, come with free primary auto rental insurance. “Primary” means that it kicks in before another coverage that you have. For those who get into an accident and have primary protection separate from your property coverage, that means the accident will not must be reported to your personal insurance, so you won’t see a price spike.

In an effort to activate the insurance coverage that comes with a bank card, you’ll have to use that card to pay for the rental, and decline the general rental insurance coverage, additionally referred to as a “collision injury waiver (CDW)” or “loss injury waiver (LDW)” supplied by the rental company. If you don’t have your own automobile insurance coverage, you should still need to consider adding liability insurance.

4. In the event you can, decide up your rental downtown as a substitute of on the airport.

This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but basically, rental charges at airports are costlier than charges a little bit bit further away. Try looking for charges from pick-up spots nearer to your hotel, and even within the city heart.

Be sure that to all the time evaluate those to rates from airport companies, though — generally, the price difference can be negligible, or the airport may even be cheaper. Additionally keep in mind that you will want to rearrange transportation to the rental agency, whether you possibly can take a lodge shuttle, or you must pay for mass transit or a taxi into town.

5. Skip the extras — your smartphone does all of it.

GPS navigation. Satellite radio. Speaker phone. Car rental companies would possibly supply these features while you decide up your automobile, however beware — they all include extra fees that may add up rapidly. As of late, there’s no have to pay additional when you could have a smartphone that can do all of that and more.

6. Test weekly charges — even in the event you solely want the automotive for just a few days.

It may seem paradoxical, but it can be cheaper to lease a automotive for longer.That’s because the majority of people who rent a automobile for simply a couple of days at a time are business vacationers, who’re less cost-conscious because their workplaces are paying or the trip is final minute and urgent. Conversely, many week-long renters are attempting to save, since they tend to be leisure travelers. Due to that, the weekly price is commonly cheaper than the rate for simply three or 4 days.

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