Getting a rental car is so common that you would think the process would be transparent and straightforward, yet it really isn’t. Many travelers aren’t sure how to go about renting a car and end up making mistakes that cost them a lot of money. That’s why we’ve made a list of 5 things you should not do while renting a car.
Prepaying for Gas
Prepaying the gasoline charges may seem like a good option, especially if you’re worried about being late for your flight. But, unless you are entirely sure that you cannot spare the time to stop at a gas station and fill the tank or you’ve found yourself an inexpensive early morning flight that makes it worth it to skip refueling the car, don’t make this mistake. Keep in mind that rental car companies charge a much higher rate for fuel, so you’ll save yourself a good amount of money by filling the tank before you drop it off.
Purchasing Insurance Without Checking if You Already Have Coverage
Rental car companies will try to sell you a rental car insurance plan. But, before you pay for this coverage, check if your auto insurance plan already offers you this coverage. Or, check if you can pay with your credit card to get this coverage.
Don’t Ignore Offers or Upgrades
During busy times of the year when the rental car company is running low on its most basic models, they may offer you the option to upgrade to a bigger and better model for a minimal additional cost. So, if the desk agent offers you an upgrade, don’t turn them down immediately. Instead, find out what the rate is for the upgrade and check if it’s worth it.
Failing to Check for Discounts
If you’re a member of a group or association like the AARP, AAA, Costco, etc., you may be eligible to get a membership discount. Check for any other possible discounts that you may be eligible for as well.
Not Inspecting the Car
Before you pick up the car, make sure to check the interior and the exterior for damages and issues like scratches, loose parts, and scuffs. If you spot any issues, either ask for a different car or take videos and photos of the damages, so the company can’t charge you for the damages at the time of return.