Steer clear of these 5 car hire rip-offs

Don’t be taken for a ride and steer clear of these common car hire rip-offs used by car rental companies!

Whether you’re thinking about kicking back and relaxing in the sun, or an adrenaline filled holiday, renting a car can make your time away easier without having to rely on public transport. We all look forward to a break, but the car hire industry is notorious for hitting customers with hidden fees and can leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Overpriced, unnecessary insurance

When you turn up at the rental desk, the hire company will often try to upsell you expensive, and mostly unnecessary insurance.

When you hire a car, you do not have to buy additional insurance, because basic insurance is included in the rental costs. If you were to have a bump abroad, you would have to pay the excess. To withstand the pressure from pushy car rental agents, you can buy a reimbursement policy online from a top-rated provider, which would mean you can say ‘no’ to the extra cost of unneeded insurance and a speedy exit at the airport!

Avoid being charged for someone else’s scrapes

It is expensive and hugely frustrating to be charged for bumps and scratches which you didn’t see happen. Make sure to take a thorough look over your hire car as soon as you’re given the keys. Take lots of photos of the car, including pre-existing smudges, before driving away.

Your rental agreement should detail any scruffs, but if you notice any existing damage that isn’t listed, point this out to staff straight away and have your agreement updated to make sure you aren’t charged for damage you didn’t cause.

Upon the car’s return, ask the rental office for a signed receipt clearly stating there is no new damage to the car. If you’re boarding an early flight or departing late in the night and need to drop the car off out-of-hours, take another set of photos to evidence there were no addition scrapes.

Don’t pay over the odds for fuel

Make sure to check the fuel policy before choosing your rental car.

Full-empty fuel polices require you to pay for the full tank of fuel in the car upon collection. You will likely be charged excessively for this, which you could find a lot cheaper at a local garage or supermarket. You’re then told to return the car with an empty tank, but you will not receive a refund for unused fuel.

Which? found full-full policies are often cheaper because you’ll pick up the car with a full tank of fuel and return it full, but you could fill it up at cheaper fuel stations in the area. Remember to keep your fuel receipt and take a photo of your fuel gauge at the end of your trip, as evidence if the car rental company tries to charge you a premium for fuel.

Never pay for mileage you didn’t drive

Some rental deals include a limited number of miles, and you’re charged extra if you travel above the agreement. Rental companies can get this mileage incorrect, so make sure to take a photo of the dashboard before leaving the airport, and again when you return the car so you can dispute any charges.

Remember, if you’re planning to explore your holiday destination, and drive to different sights abroad, look for rentals without a limit on mileage!

Resist overprices extras

Hiring a Satnav with your car is a waste of money. Many smartphones have a built in GPS service which will help you navigate the local roads. Even buying a brand-new device can be cheaper than just a weeklong hire from the rental company!

Child car seats from car rental companies are overpriced and lack in quality. The additional cost of flying with a car seat is often less than hiring a car seat along with the car rental. Some airlines even allow you to put a car seat in the hold free of charge! It is a win-win to keep your little one(s) safe and save money at the same time!

Need a helping hand?

Voyager Alliance offers a range of Personal loans to members, with no hidden fees, whatever the purpose!

A Voyager Alliance loan could be cheaper than you think and save you some hassle at the car rental desk at the airport. Try our Loan calculator to see how much you could borrow, and the bite-sized repayments.

Don’t let sneaky car companies take you for a ride and apply for a loan here.