It used to be simple to rent a car. Now that has changed and you will find much more complexity and difficulty in this area than ever before. You will find that it is more difficult to find good deals because car manufacturers have reduced discounted sales to large fleet buyers. New taxes have been added as well and rental car companies are now charging fees for things that used to be free.
Here are some ways to avoid rental car traps.
Look high and low for good deals. You would do well in searching the Internet for the best rental deals. They are out there, but must be sought out with determination. Also, booking your rental early in the process will help lock in a rate and keep it from rising. But, also if the rate goes down in the meantime, you will be the beneficiary of that action, too.
Larger vehicles are no longer more expensive than the subcompact cars because it is more expensive to fill the gas tanks. In addition to this, if you rent vehicles a lot, it would be worthwhile to obtain a major car-rental frequent-renter's club which can help speed you through the rental process much quicker.
Taxes that tax. The car rental business has become the favorite target of local governing authorities when it comes to piling on taxes in order to raise money for local projects. The thought is that when you visit an area for business or pleasure, you really do not have much in terms of options unless you plan on using public transportation.
Some of these 'taxes' are only applied at the local airports, but you can avoid some of them by renting from off-site locations but only if it is convenient to get there from the airport. You must consider the time factor involved in the process.
Smorgasbord of fees. Some of the fees that you could encounter include late fees based on a 24 hour clock that begins ticking as soon as you pick up the car. Also, there are standard fuel charges which can be as much as 4 to 5 dollars per gallon if you fail to fill up before you return the vehicle. Additional drivers or younger drivers are now added as a fee. One way rentals are charged a fee as are mileage fees in some cases. Other add-ons include fees for navigation systems, ski racks, child seats and satellite radio.
Damage charges. Now renters are being held responsible for acts of nature such as hail, flooding, tornadoes, and hurricane damage. Even minor scratches and door dings can cost you hundreds of dollars. The best advice is to take pictures or video with a digital camera or your cell phone.
Insurance confusion. Check with your insurance company before you rent to make sure that they will cover you in the rental vehicle. If you do not have comprehensive coverage or collision on your own vehicle, it will not be covered in a rental one either.
Just like balance transfer cards used to be the the darling of the credit card industry, car rental programs used to offer the most for the money in your travel rewards plans. That is no longer the case, so you need to work the system in order to find the best deals available.