Important things you need to know about cheap car rental

Elvis Elvis

Cheap car rental is more difficult to understand then flights and hotels. It comes with all the extra equipments and surcharges – GPS navigation, insurance, fuel, drop-off charge, late return policy, taxes and many other features.

I remember when I first time rent a car. I had booking for fixed price and I thought that everything is included. But when I got receipt I was shocked as there where nearly $120 more for different kind of options.

Let’s take a quick look on all these options

GPS navigation – it cost around $10-$12 per day. If your rental is more then 7 days you will pay half of its regular price (not mentioned promotions). The best option is to buy it before you use cheap car rental services as you will have it for at least 5 years and you can use it everywhere. It is huge saving.

Insurance is more difficult option. Generally it will cost you from $10 – $30 per day, so it is big expense. There are several insurance types including but not limited – Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and Personal Effects Coverage (PEC). Totally I counted 25 car rental insurance types. It seems to me that cheap car rental and insurance companies just trying to figure out new possibilities to take clients money.

One thing is for sure, you need to have some kind of insurance, as anything can happen. From all insurance types I mentioned above you should consider to take CDW and LIS. CDW cover repair and replacement costs for car. LIS protects you for lawsuits if you have injured anyone or damaged property when driving.

Important things you need to know about cheap car rental

The secret what none of the cheap car rental companies will tell you is that in many cases your credit card company already covers your rental car services. You just need to check what it exactly covers and when. In most cases, you will need to pay for car rentals with exact credit card in order to be covered by this insurance. My suggestion is simple: check the insurance type with your credit card provider and be sure to have it on paper in your hands.

Fuel is very simple option, but can cost you more then it should. The simple rule is here: if you take car with full tank and you need to return it with full tank. In this case, you will not loose money. If you will return with less fuel you will need to pay fuel charge which can be up to $5 per gallon plus some luxury fee around $20 for not filling it yourself.

Drop-off charge is when you pick up car in one place, but return to another. There is not something behind, just expense for this service and amount can charge depend on locations.

Late return is very expensive. Usually if you return car 30 minutes later as agreed you will need to pay full day rate.

Taxes and surcharges is something that you can’t affect directly, but from some you simply can escape, just by choosing other rental location. Only be aware that the difference should be at least $50-$80 to make it worth to use.

Credit card deposit

It is not some expense, but any cheap car rental company will block some amount of money in your credit card in order to cover risks. It will not be more then double rental sum – if your rental agreement is $100, they will take those and block another $100. However, if you have long rental – more then seven days, they can block more money and they usually do it after two or three days. When you will return the car they will unblock the difference – the funds will be available for you after 14 days.

If you strongly plan your travel budget, I suggest you to use two credit cards – one for cheap car rental and hotel, and second for other payments. This way you can plan how much car rental company can block