Car Rental Charges Explained

Posted on July 01, 2010 by Fiona Hilliard

Extra Car Rental Charges

Image by Bashed via Flickr

When it comes to car hire, it’s the little things that add up.  The following are just some of the ways you may incur charges during you rental:

Fuel: There’s no denying it – filling up your vehicle yourself definitely saves money.  Although many car rental agents offer prepaid tanks cheaper than local garages, you will not receive a refund for unused petrol, meaning you will often pay more in the end.  If you decide not to go for the prepaid option and you return the car less than full, you can expect to pay a much higher per-gallon rate than if you had opted to fill it yourself.

Special Equipment: Child Safety Seats, GPSs, ski racks and snow chains are usually not included in your rate. These are reserved online and paid for in person when collecting your vehicle.

Additional Drivers: Including additional drivers in your order can add extra charges per day. You shouldn’t assume that spouses are included in your rate, as more than likely, this won’t be the case.

Underage Drivers: Fees vary by company and by state.  Say for example you’re renting a car in the US, in New York National car rental add an extra $23.50 (€19, £16) per day for drivers aged 21-25 and $70 (€57, £47 ) per day for drivers aged between 18 and 20.

Late Returns: Dropping your car back late can prove to be expensive.  Many car rental companies charge by the hour until the hourly rate exceeds the daily rate.

Other Fees…

No Show Fees: These are quite a new addition but, depending on the company, these could cost you up to €41 (£51) plus taxes and surcharges.

Early Show Fees: These are  being introduced more and more by car hire agents.  Some companies add extra charges if a vehicle is returned one day early as the daily/weekly charge is less.

Detail Changes: You’re probably aware that charges for dropping your rental car off at a different location can be expensive, but extending your rental dates can prove costly too.

Peak Surcharges: Certain special offers may not be available during busy travel times.

Fiona Hilliard

One Response to “Car Rental Charges Explained”

  1. Anonymous

    - 8th Jul, 10 04:07pm

    Thank you for writing this post. It is extremely helpful for those considering their transportation options while planning a trip abroad. When budgeting for a trip it’s important to know all of the potential costs one can incur. Renting a car does provide something of a challenge for multiple reasons, especially for those who’ve never done so in a foreign country.

    The first challenge would be the additional fees that aren’t always explained or advertised. When your total depends on variables that can change or increase over time, it is nearly impossible to budget appropriately. And when you consider the fines one can also incur for doing things inappropriately, one really needs to understand the car hire process fully to avoid any unknown penalties.

    The second challenge is actually driving in another country. Without prior knowledge of driving laws and practices in your destination country, it could be easy to incur fines for traffic violations and could also make it easier wreck if you’re not careful.

    If you’re going to consider renting a car abroad remember to look at all of the possibilities before doing so. You’ll need to know all of the possible fees and where you plan to travel so that you can budget appropriately or compare against other transportation options.

    Reply to this comment

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