How Car Rental Companies Are Ripping You Off?
The travel industry is rife with rip-offs, but rental car companies have taken price gouging to an art form. They’re the masters of exorbitant add-ons, hidden fees, and fine print. They may offer you a low base rate at the outset, but don’t be surprised when you hand back the keys and receive an enormous bill with all kinds of unexpected expenses tacked on in return. It’s just how they operate.
Fortunately, there are work-arounds that will allow you to dodge the company’s attempts to overcharge you. Closely read the terms of your contract, remain vigilant during communications with your service provider, and keep the following information in mind in order to beat them at their own game.
Rental-car collision insurance is indisputably, totally overpriced, plus it’s not really insurance in the technical sense of the word. It’s more of a waiver – you’re paying the company not to collect damages from you in case of an accident – and an expensive one at that. Why pay up to $30 per day to the car rental company when you can get much less expensive coverage through a third-party source or even completely free coverage through your credit card?
Monstrous Fueling Fees
Most rental companies offer three fueling options: (1) Purchase a full tank in the initial transaction, (2) have the company refuel the tank, or (3) fuel the tank yourself before returning the vehicle. Always, always go with option number 3.
If you go with the first option, consider any and all leftover gas a donation. Most companies don’t reimburse renters for leftover gas even if they purchased a full tank.
Go with the second option and you’ll be charged two to three times the local price per gallon (or liter) for the fill up. Why? No reason, really, except the company wants to make a few extra bucks.
Rather than take an unnecessary hit to your wallet, hit up the gas station closest to the rental location and get a refill before you return the car.
Killer One-Way Charges
No longer can you rent a car in Los Angeles, cruise around California for a week or two, and then return it in San Francisco without penalty. Nowadays one-way car rentals cost hundreds, even thousands of extra dollars.
The most obvious way to avoid this charge is to avoid one-way rentals altogether. However, if you have no choice, then you may use the following alternatives to save some serious cash:
- Compare one-way rental quotes from different companies and choose the best deal.
- Call the rental office in your pickup location and ask if they need any vehicles transferred to your destination. If they do, they may waive the one-way fee.
- Combine local rentals with rail or air trips to move your base of operations and keep fees to a minimum.
Accident Caused by Defective Rental Car? Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you love has sustained considerable damages in a rental car crash due to a vehicle defect, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages during recovery, pain and suffering, and more from the liable car rental company. To discuss your case with one of our dedicated California auto accident attorneys, call (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE comprehensive case reviews.