How to Avoid Hidden Costs When Renting a Car

Car rental is a popular way to explore a new city, but many people don’t understand all the fees involved. Here are a few tips to help you avoid hidden costs and make the most of your rental experience.


When booking with a consolidator, ask about add-on fees and restrictions. Also, consider adding an EZ Pass transponder to your reservation; this will save you time at tolls on the way back to your hotel.

Paying in Advance

Paying in advance allows you t 운전연수 o skip the line at the rental counter and get on your way. However, it’s important to understand what you’re agreeing to and consider your options before you do so.

No-shows are a huge problem in the car rental industry, which is what led most companies to offer prepaid rates. Prepaid rates give the renter some financial accountability to actually show up for their rental, since if they don’t, they’ll be charged a penalty or forfeit the entire amount paid.

The terms and conditions for a prepaid rate will differ from those of a regular rental, but there are some commonalities. For example, a prepaid rate often requires that you present a major credit card in the name of the primary driver and the same credit card at pick-up. In addition, most prepaid rates are non-refundable.

Also, if you’re using a site like Priceline or Hotwire to book your rental car, these types of deals are often known as “opaque” because the names of the actual rental companies don’t appear on the contract until after you’ve paid. These opaque rates are sometimes cheaper than renting directly from the company itself, but you should always shop around for better prices before booking.

Reading the Contract 운전연수

Car rental companies tend to include several terms and conditions in their contracts, and it’s important that you read them before signing them. Often, they have terms such as the maximum distance that you can travel, mileage limits, and taxes. It is important to carefully review these terms so that you are not caught off guard by any surprise charges down the road. You can also have a lawyer or an insurance agent review the contract to make sure you fully understand it before you sign it.

One of the most important terms to check out is the gasoline tank policy. Many car rental services require that you return the vehicle with a full gas tank or you will be charged extra. This is to ensure that the car-for-hire is returned in the same condition it was picked up in.

If you are unsure about a certain term in the contract, it’s best to contact the customer service representative and ask for clarification. Also, it is a good idea to pay close attention at pickup time and look for any damages inside and out of the vehicle. You can even take pictures or a video of the car before you drive away to make sure that nothing is missing or damaged. With the use of online forms, you can create a basic car rental agreement contract in just minutes. To get started, simply log in to your Formplus account or create a new one in 2 seconds.

Picking Up the Car

If you have a credit card that includes car rental insurance as part of your policy, call and make sure they cover your vehicle. Many auto rental companies add a surcharge to the cost of a rental for a daily insurance fee, which can include coverage for loss or damage to the car, road tolls and motoring related fines. These fees can add up.

Don’t forget to check out the interior of the car for scuffs, scratches or other damage. Also, make sure the power windows and mirrors are working correctly and there is a full tank of gas. Many of the newer vehicles have fuel efficiency features, so if you return it with the fuel gauge at less than full you will likely incur a fee to refill it.

It’s important to respect the pickup and return times assigned to you; if you show up late you will be charged an additional day’s rent. It’s also a good idea to have your reservation number on hand, as the staff at the pick-up counter will probably ask for it.

Be aware that car rental rates change all the time and that they are based on supply and demand, as well as promotions or discounts offered by the company. But if you know what to look for and plan ahead, renting a car can be an inexpensive, convenient way to travel.

Returning the Car

Once your rental period ends, you need to return the car to the location you picked it up from. Make sure that you have enough time to complete the process before closing hours. Rental car companies can charge extra for several things if you return the vehicle late, such as an extra day’s rent or optional coverage items.

When you return the car, inspect it with an attendant to be certain that it is in good condition. Some people take pictures of the vehicle before and after they return it to document its condition in case an unexpected charge appears on their credit card statement later.

Many rental car companies require you to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. If you don’t, they will add a fuel surcharge to your bill. Often, this is much higher than the price of gas at a local station.

Some rental companies will allow you to prepay for a full tank of gas, so that you won’t have to worry about getting to the nearest gas station before returning your rental. However, this convenience can add up to a high rental-car cost. In addition, many rental-car companies place an authorized hold — or block — on your credit or debit card for the estimated total cost of your rental. This can be problematic if you are close to your credit limit or don’t have a lot of money in your bank account at the time that the blocked amount is processed.