The rate of car rentals might look reasonable, but once you get the final bill for your rental car, the bottom line can be a shocker. Taxes, fees and charges for everything from an additional driver to satellite radio, concession charges at airport locations and refilling the gas tank – all this can quickly add up to a big surprise if you have not navigated the confusing world of rental car contracts before renting. Read the fine print before you go. And don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Q 1 – Insurance
Enquiry your car rentals company about the insurance included in the quotation. You need to know who and what is covered.
Questions to ask:
- What is the excess in case of an accident?
- Any additional excess in case of a single vehicle accident?
- What if the accident is not at your fault?
- What if there is a dispute in liability?
- What if the repairs are less than the excess amount?
Q 2 – Roadside assistance
It is something you definitely need while on holidays. Unfortunately bad things happen – tyre puncture, empty fuel tank, broken or lost car key, etcetera. You don’t want to ruin the day of your precious holidays dealing with some towing service or booking a hotel in the area where the car broken down.
All the prices of Low Cost Car Rentals include 24/7 premium roadside assistance. It means a help is just 10-60 minutes away from where you are, depends on your location and type of the issue.
Q 3 – Location fares
If you found the best price, don’t often assume it includes the taxes and GST. Even though it is not entirely legal to hide surcharges and GST, some companies find legal ways to work around it. Do not hesitate to ask the rental company if the price is final. Ask if it includes the car delivery (if applicable), airport fares or any other fees when picking up the car.
Check the company’s drop-off policies, which may include hefty charges for one-way rentals or drop-offs at a different location.
All quotations issued by Low Cost Car Rentals are final and include all the taxes, fares, delivery fees (if applicable) and refundable bond.
Q 4 – Membership points
If you own some credit card that has an awesome points system. Don’t use it just yet. Ask the rental company if there is any charges apply when paying with the credit card. Some companies charge it daily, most of the time it is one-off fee.
Low Cost Car Rentals does not charge any fees for any of the accepted payments methods.
Q 5 – Car Rentals fuel policy
Most of the companies follow the “full tank out – full tank in” policy. It is worth confirming though. You don’t want to get a car with 10% of fuel in and then being asked to return it with a full tank.
Also, sometimes you can be in a rush when returning a car and will not have a chance to re-fill the tank. Ask the rental cars company if there is any charge apply in this case.
If you happened to return a car to Low Cost Car Rentals with less than 100% in the tank. We would refill the car for you and only charge you the amount we pay at the petrol station. This is only valid if you return the car to our CBD location in Alexandria or Sydney Airport. Please ask our staff for any extra charges if you return the car into a different location.
Q 6 – Fines and toll payments
Obviously during the rental period you are liable for any toll payments, fines or parking tickets. If you know you would be travelling through the paid roads, be careful. With some car rentals, they would charge you a fee for each of those fines you receive. Additionally they might charge you an administration fee for each day you use the paid roads.
More tips on using the toll roads here.
Q 7 – Return date and time
Sometimes the trip doesn’t go as planned. Whether you are running late or one of your travel companions gets sick. You have no choice but extend the car rental. Most of the companies would start charging you a non-discounted daily rate. You will not be entitled for any discounts or specials you might of had before. Be careful, it is no uncommon the rental company would start charging you hourly rates. So a day of the extended rental can cost you an air ticket to LA and back 🙂
Here, at Low Cost Car Rentals, we are very flexible. As long as the car you have is available for the dates you need, you will have it for the same price. We are easy on 2-3 hours late returns as well and will not charge you any extra fees. The only condition, you have to contact one of our staff members in advance and make sure they are aware of the extended rental.
Examine both the exterior and interior of the car carefully before leaving the rental lot, making a note of any damages. A quick time-stamped photo on your cellphone is a good idea. Point out any defects out to the rental agent to avoid being charged for damage that was already there when you picked up the car.
Follow the rules and conditions of your contract. Do not smoke in a non-smoking car. Never let an unauthorized driver operate the car, even a valet. Never drink and drive. Violations can void the contract and result in hefty charges. Treat the car as you would your own, keeping it clean, parking it in safe locations and always locking the doors and trunk.