Scary Car Rental Fees
Hidden things can be scary. We like everything to be transparent so we know what to expect and we can plan ahead for what’s coming in the future. Not everything can be this way, but we do our best to control as much as we can. However, with all the planning that goes into our travel, when we’re in the whirlwind of traveling to a new place or on a quick business trip, we can easily miss fees that the airlines and other travel companies can hit us with. Rent the car you need or want, but just make sure to watch out for fees that could add up quickly if you’re not careful. Here are a couple of “scary” examples of car rental fees to watch out for:
Gasoline Surcharges – Think about this one as a “convenience fee” as it can cost you as much as a whopping $175-$200 to fill up an empty tank if you don’t buy the full tank prior to renting the vehicle. However, buying the full tank and then returning the vehicle with a full tank also can help the rental car agency make some profits. Tip? Make sure to fill up the tank yourself prior to returning.
Age Surcharges – Under 25? Some rental car companies will not let you rent at all due to the insurance risk associated with your age. Some rental car companies will let you rent a car, but will tack on a surcharge of at least $20/day. Plus, it can raise your insurance rate if you get pulled over for a moving violation or get into an accident.
Extra Driver Surcharges – Depending on the level of membership (if any) you have with the car rental company, as well as other affiliate memberships you may have, you may get hit with an extra driver surcharge. This surcharge may be as much as $10-$15 a day depending on the type of car you are renting. Plus, don’t think that because you skip the paperwork that you can get away with the fee. If you don’t register the other driver, and that driver gets into an accident in a rental car, the rental car agency and/or the car insurance company can hold you liable for not following the rental policies when you rented the vehicle.
Tax and Airport Surcharges – Airports around the country and the world want to try to improve their facilities, so one of the best places to raise that revenue? They do it through the car rental company. While it may provide a brand new runway, better airport facilities, or a more efficient environment, it can be a hidden drain on your wallet. This is why it can be significantly cheaper to rent a car through a local car rental location that is not affiliated with the airport versus renting the same car through the airport location. If you have the time and patience, and can get to a local rental location, this practice alone can save you tens to hundreds of dollars a year if you rent many vehicles.