7 Obstacles You May Face In Renting A Car
Car rentals can be a great way to get around when you are on a holiday, a business trip or visiting friends or family. A rental means that you don’t have to rely on expensive cabs or public transport that you are likely unfamiliar with. However, car rentals can come with their own set of challenges and there are many ways that the process can go wrong.
Here are seven of the most common issues that consumers have encountered when renting a car.
1. Confusing Price Structures
Each car rental service will have a different approach to pricing their rentals. Daily rental hire might be much more expensive than weekly and you may end up paying less for a week than you would for a few days. That being said there are also peak rates, prepaid petrol and other payment options to consider. Ensure that you understand the pricing structure and are able to determine the best price for your rental.
2. No Cars Available
When you arrive at a car rental site without pre booking occasionally you will luck out and there will be no cars available. This is particularly common with smaller operations who might not keep as many cars on hand. It’s an unfortunate fact of business that these smaller operators cannot afford to have too many cars sitting in the yard unused. You can usually avoid running into this issue by booking ahead, just be sure to check that your booking guarantees that a car will be set aside for you and that you allow a bit of extra time between your expected arrival and the time you will pick up the car in case there are delays and they lend out the car to someone else.
3. Pre-existing Damage
When you hire a car you will be asked to inspect the vehicle and sign a form that details the condition in which you received the car so the rental service can compare that to the condition of the car when you return it and charge you accordingly. This is why it is vital to take the time to thoroughly inspect the car before you agree to the conditions in the condition report. You don’t want to be held accountable for pre-existing damage to the car when you return it so don’t rush that initial inspection.
4. Insurance Costs
A lot of car rental companies won’t tell you the truth about insurance rates. Not only do they advise an unnecessarily high insurance rate but they make it sound like a requirement. However if you go through a trusted rental service like Europcar you are more likely to get accurate information about your insurance requirements.
5. Renting at the Airport
There is no denying that using a rental service that is just a few hundred metres from the arrival gate is a very convenient option, but you may end up paying a substantially inflated rate for that convenience. Compare car rental prices online before your flight if possible to determine what your best options are. Even if you have to catch a cab or public transport to a rental car location it may be worth the extra hassle to get a great rate on your rental.
6. Beware of the Upsell
Many rental car companies will try to sell you on extras and gimmicks like GPS. The problems with these extras are that your phone can do a lot of the functions that GPS and other gadgets can do and also that you are going to pay a lot for these extras that may not even work anyway.
7. Not Enough Experience
Many companies will require that the driver have a full driver’s license and a certain amount of experience. If you are still learning to drive or are on a probationary licence you may not be able to rent a car or may have to pay a much higher rate than other drivers. Ensure you do your research to determine whether you will be able to rent in the state or country you are travelling to and how much it will cost to avoid nasty surprises.
Researching ahead of time and booking ahead are two easy ways to avoid a lot of the problems you might encounter when renting a car. But it’s important to note that sometimes it can be difficult to find out from the rental service exactly what hidden costs and issues you might encounter. Be prepared and ensure that all of the conditions of your rental are put in writing so that you have some documentation if things go wrong.