With the global car rental industry valued at $98.14 billion by the end of 2020, it’s easy to see why so many people prefer renting cars instead of buying.
Renting a car means you have a mode of transportation when you visit a new country, and you can easily move from one place to another without purchasing a new car.
Unfortunately, renting a car also means you are responsible for someone else’s property. Therefore, it’s quite easy to make a mistake.
If you like renting cars, below are seven car rental mistakes you should always avoid:
1. Buying an Additional Insurance Coverage
When you visit any car rental service, they will likely push you to purchase insurance from them. The biggest mistake car renters make is falling for this and purchasing additional insurance without checking if they’re covered. Before visiting a car rental service, ensure you check whether you’re sufficiently covered to avoid being pressured into buying additional coverage.
Check your credit card insurance and your current auto insurance covers beforehand. If you have full or comprehensive coverage, check whether it covers even the rented vehicles you drive. Your credit card insurance could also apply to rental cars if you paid for the rental booking using that particular credit card.
Other credit cards also cover ‘loss of use’ charges if you use them to pay for the rental car. Therefore, it’s essential to check your insurance coverage before heading to the car rental office. This could save you a few hundred dollars.
2. Failing to Research More About the Car Rental Company
All car rental companies aren’t the same, and different companies have varying rules and policies. Hence, it’s essential to do your homework thoroughly before choosing one rental company. Check different rental services in your area and compare their policies, prices, and quality of service.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do this manually by visiting each car rental office. You have the internet, an invaluable source of information, at your fingertips. Failure to do your research could result in you making a bad decision that could potentially cost you a lot of money and time.
If you’re visiting Dubai and looking for a car rental service in Dubai, ensure you check online for different companies located in the city. Research more about each company and check their reviews and online testimonials. This helps you know their quality of service and how they treat their customers.
3. Not Inspecting or Examining the Vehicle Before Renting it
Before taking any car from the renter’s office, ensure you examine it from top to bottom. Inspect it thoroughly and look for any dents and interior damage. If something is wrong with the car, notify the company before leaving the parking lot.
You can also ask for permission to take the car for a ride to ensure that everything is working perfectly. If you don’t inform a company representative about any damages the car has before taking it, they could hold you responsible.
With this in mind, ensure you’re also very careful when driving the car to avoid causing accidents. Always return a rented car in the same condition you found it. If the car has visible damage and you notify the company, remember to take pictures of it to avoid being blamed later.
4. Connecting Your Personal Devices to the Car
Technology is a great addition to our lives, making it easier. And with the invention of the car charging ports and Bluetooth connections, it’s easy to charge your phone or listen to your favorite music while driving.
However, be very careful when connecting your personal devices with a rental car. That’s because the connected device could give the owner of the car access to your data. Cyber security experts advise that car renters avoid connecting their electronic gadgets to rented cars as it could open you up to a cyber breach.
5. Rushing Through the Rental Contract
Finding the right rental car to fit your needs is great. But don’t let the excitement cloud your judgment, and rush through the contract.
When putting your signature on any contract, never rush through the details. Read through every detail of the contract and ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. No matter how excited you are for the upcoming trip, ensure that you go through the contract’s fine print.
If you sign a contract you don’t understand; you could be legally charged for something you didn’t know about. If there are things in the contract you don’t understand, and the car rental company won’t explain, you are allowed to walk away and find a better car rental service.
6. Not Knowing the Penalties Attached to the Car
Everyone knows that there are penalties for returning a rented car late. Sadly, most people don’t know that some companies also charge their customers for returning cars early.
Read your contract very carefully and ask for clarification on the penalties. Remember to ask the rental company about any other penalties you should know about. This could save you hundreds of dollars in the future.
7. Exceeding the Maximum Miles Per Day
When renting a car online, many companies often state that the cars come with unlimited miles per day. However, this doesn’t apply to all types of cars. Ensure you ask about the maximum mileage allowed per day.
If you don’t do this, you may find yourself paying hefty fines and penalties for exceeding your daily miles. Additionally, some companies have policies that limit the number of miles you can drive when visiting certain locations. Ensure you’re clear on their policies before signing the contract and taking the car off the lot.
Now You Know the Car Rental Mistakes to Avoid
When planning a long trip with your family, friends, and loved ones, you may find yourself in need of a rental car. While renting a car is very convenient, it also comes with many responsibilities. However, many people don’t know much about the car renting process.
Whether this is your first time renting a car or your tenth, save yourself some money and time by avoiding the above car rental mistakes.
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