It seems like you got a great deal on your rental car at $19.99 a day but before long you find the price skyrocketing as your bill is rung up at the rental counter. There are the sales taxes, airport surcharges, licensing fees, and the car rental travel insurance – suddenly you are having melt down over the exact price and do you really need to buy car rental travel insurance?
So how can you avoid being nickel and dimed to death? What charges can you eliminate from your bill? Are there things such as the car rental travel insurance that you can avoid paying without risk? Read on for tips on how cut costs
Sales tax and airport charges vary considerably between countries, states, and cites. Unfortunately, you probably can’t avoid these taxes which can be as high as 25%.
However, you may be able to avoid the airport charges by picking up and dropping off your car at location other than the airport. You will need to consider the possible inconvenience and the price of any additional transportation against the fees charged by the airport. The bottom line is if you don’t want to pay the airport concession fee and check out other options.
One of the most common extra charges is for car rental travel insurance, usually referred to by rental companies as collision damage or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). If you pay the extra fee which can range anywhere from $10 – $35 a day, you ensure you are not liable for any damage to the vehicle. That is providing you are not charged with gross negligence. Car rental travel insurance is optional in most countries although it is compulsory in some regions which then it is built into the car rental cost.
Before you purchase the extra car rental travel insurance, check to see if your regular car insurance covers you in a rental car because many policies do. Also some credit cards also offer the additional coverage. Either of these options can save you a bundle of money on car rental travel insurance.
Other optional insurance coverage includes Personal Accident Insurance, Personal Effects Coverage, and Additional Liability Insurance which you can purchase from the rental company. Same applies here – check existing policies and credit cards to see if you already have this coverage.
Again, your best bet is to check your existing policy to see whether you are comfortable with the coverage you already have.
With many of the rental companies you return your rental with an empty tank and allow them to fill it and bill you there will be a premium so it’s better if you fill it before returning it.
Many car rental companies, including Avis and Hertz now offer the option of purchasing a full tank of gas at the time you pick up your rental which lets you return the car with as much or as little fuel as you want. The problem with this is there is no refund for fuel you don’t need. So for example if you return it with half a tank you aren’t going to get a refund for the other half of tank.
These are just a few ways to save money but the car rental travel insurance will save you the most money so make sure you do your checks and balances.