The details of your rental car agreement may be hidden in the fine print and be confusing even if you do find it. Before signing on the dotted line, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips for saving money and not being taken advantage of at the rental car counter.
Shop Around Looking for Hidden Charges
Check out several travel sites to get a feel of companies’ prices and be sure to always check the car rental’s site directly to see if they have better deals. The BBB warns against low-balls offers that tack on massive taxes, surcharges and fees later on, and suggests always asking for a final price before committing. And remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
Choose a Smaller Car
The salesperson will likely push you to upgrade to a bigger vehicle—but just say no. Smaller cars tend to be in high demand, and representatives will try and push a bigger car for just a few extra dollars a day—but that can add up over a course of a vacation, not to mention the cost of filling up a larger car is also more expensive. Stick with the smallest car that will fit you and your cargo.
Make sure you ask the salesperson lots of questions particularly if anything seems vague or too good to be true. For example, make sure to get the full terms of any “unlimited miles” packages and ask for all the restrictions and terms.
Gas Up and Be on Time
Sure it’s convenient, but prepaying for gas may not always be the best deal. Always refill the tank before returning the car, or expect to pay hefty fees. Also be sure to return the car on time, some companies charge for an extra day when a car is returned late.
Bring Your Own Car Seat and GPS
Many companies have a daily fee for extras like navigation systems and child seats, plan ahead and brining your own.
Summer is the busiest season for rental car companies, and if consumers aren’t careful, they risk being overcharged and signing up for unnecessary enhancements and coverage that hike up the cost of their rental.