For those who do not have vehicles and waiting for public transport is an issue, car rentals are the other option. Paying for taxi all the time can take a toll on your pocket because distance is everything in the taxi business. With a hired car, none of that matters however there is need to know the hidden charges involved thus the need to know car rental basics to ensure they do not take a toll on you.
1.Your credit card may provide an insurance policy.
When you rent a car, you’ll be offered an expensive option at the counter of purchasing rental car insurance to cover any damages. This rental car insurance is usually rather pricey – from $10 to $25 per day – and you may not need it, even if your auto insurance doesn’t cover rental cars. Many major credit card companies, if used for the car rental, provide coverage to the card holder with no additional cost. But be sure before you bank on it. Some credit cards may limit their coverage, and not all credit card companies offer it. Call and check first, and you may be able to save on the additional cost of rental insurance.
2.Your credit card policy may not cover fees over the cost of damage.
When you do call to check your credit card’s policy on covering rental car costs, ask specifically what they cover. Some credit card companies may cover any damages you incur on the rental car, but will not cover the cost of fees assessed by the rental car company. Fees can add up, too, so you don’t want to be left holding the bill.
Just because a car rental company gives you the keys does not mean that everything is in good shape. Check the car inside out and ensure that there is nothing wrong.
Making too cursory an inspection upon departure.
When you pick up your car, check it inside and out for anything that could potentially be considered damage before you drive away. Look for scratches, scuffs, loose parts, working power windows and mirrors, and more.
Keep an eye out for problems both small and big; the tendency is to take a quick walk around the car looking for scratches and blemishes, thinking that big problems would have already been noticed, but this is not always the case.
I once rented a car that had a loose back bumper that the car rental company had not noticed previously. If I hadn’t caught this before we left the garage and an inspector had seen it later, I would have been held completely responsible — I would simply have thought that someone had banged into the car while it was parked, and that it had happened during my rental.
Your best protection here: take photos or a video of a slow walk around the car, and “kick the tires,” so to speak.
When you make a complaint about a car rental then at times you can be refunded. Always ensure t5hat you complain to the car rental company first. It is only when the company becomes adamant that you can take further action.
Complain to car hire company
Always complain to your car hire company in the first instance. You can do this verbally or in writing but make sure you keep a clear record of your complaint.
Give the car hire company a reasonable time to address your complaint and to rectify the situation, say 14 days.
If your complaint has not been resolved, you can then turn to one of a handful of organisations who have codes of conduct for members and aim to resolve disputes with customers.
Escalate your complaint
The European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) has a free service to help with unresolved complaints concerning cross border vehicle rentals within Europe.
It will only deal with complaints about member companies. In June 2012 these members were Avis, Alamo, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt.
If you’re using the ECRCS to help you get your money back, you must have booked with the car hire company direct – not through a broker or travel agent.
It will investigate to see if a car rental company has breached its code of practice. The code covers advertising, customer information, vehicle condition, pre and post-rental inspections, and billing.
The ECRCS can get refunds for charges it rules were incorrectly made by a rental company.