Finding a deal on a rental car isn’t as easy as it seems. There are plenty of websites offering discounted rates that at first glance, look like a great deal. But, look closer and you’ll find so many miscellaneous fees added on, your great car rental deal evaporates before your eyes.
Let’s face it, when you’re traveling, you’re vulnerable. Often you can feel as though everyone is out to take advantage of you. The only way to avoid feeling like a victim is to read your contracts carefully in advance, and that means reading the fine print too!
Laws and regulations regarding car rentals will vary from state to state. It’s worthwhile to spend some time on Google researching your travel destination. You’ll want to research what the local laws are and what kind of fees can be legally charged.
Different car rental companies such as Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty, and others, will have a variety of fees they may charge. One common fee is the “concession recovery fee.” This can add a whopping 11% to your total bill. Do go to the vendor site and read the fine print before you rent.
Here’s an explanation of some fees charged by Dollar Renta Car from their website:
“Additional Fees: At most DOLLAR locations the renter may incur one or more of the following charges and fees: (i) an (airport)concession recovery fee or off-airport access fee; (ii) an (airport) consolidated facility charge; plus, frequent flyer surcharges, and vehicle license fees which are the estimated average per day per vehicle portion of our total annual vehicle taxes, licensing, titling, and registration costs, and other governmental fees or charges on top of the daily rate and any optional products and services the renter selects. These charges are calculated either as a per-day or a per-rental charge.”
I was recently charged a fee for using a credit card to pay for my rental car. Who knew?! They had a small sign taped to the counter. The print could only be read with a 10x magnifying glass. Seriously! I never even saw it. And of course, no one bothered to tell me to read it or advise me of my options.
If you pay cash or pay with a debit card, this fee can be waved. Nice one. How many people do you know who carry a lot of cash when they are traveling?
To summarize, Google everything, read everything; either way you’ll pay, but maybe you’ll pay a little less. Was this helpfu? Share your stories or comments.