Hiring a car from most car rental companies can be a bit of a hidden cost mine field and you could end up paying an arm and a leg if you’re not aware of the pitfalls!
Have a look at these 10 things you need to be aware of when hiring a car:
- Hire Car Insurance Excess Reduction
If you read our previous blog post, The Great Insurance Excess Reduction Swindle, you will know that car hire insurance excess reduction is where the big car hire companies make most of their money! This additional daily cost is not usually included in their quote and can come to almost as much as the daily car hire rate itself!
Rest assured, all of our Five Star Car Rentals hires include full cover insurance with only a $750 excess! Our excess is already so low that we don’t need to offer an ‘Excess Reduction Waiver’ like most other rental companies do, saving you money!
- Penalties for Drivers Under 25
Age is not an advantage for young rental car drivers at most car hire companies. Whether or not you actually do all of the driving or even drive every day, if you are under 25 you can expect to pay a hefty penalty fee on top of the daily rate just for you to be put on the registration!
We, however, welcome drivers over 21 at no additional cost to you (an additional excess may apply in the case of an accident). If you are under 21, we can even refer you to a great company who will be able to help you.
- Charges for Extra Drivers
Irrespective of driver age, you are also likely to encounter having to pay an expensive fee for each additional driver registered when you rent the car. Think carefully about how many drivers you actually need, and designate one or two to keep from incurring unnecessary fees.
HINT: Five Star Car Rentals offer free additional drivers!
- Stay on Paved Roads
It’s easy to miss some of the fine print in your car rental agreement. One point that you’ll definitely want to take note of is that most companies prohibit the use of their cars on unpaved roads! This applies to 4×4’s too! Even the rental car insurance will most likely be voided when you drive the car on a gravel, or otherwise unpaved, road. So stick to the beaten track, unless you want to pay for your off-road adventures!
(This one applies to us too, guys!)
- You’ll Pay a lot More for Petrol at the Rental Company
An essential stop on your way back to return your rental car is the local service station. Most rental car companies provide you with a full tank of petrol and stipulate that likewise, you must return the car with a full tank. If you don’t, you’ll be charged for the petrol you didn’t put in the car at significantly higher rental car rates!
NOTE: We charge $1.85 per litre to refuel for any lazy or time-poor drivers, so be sure to plan ahead and fill up ;)!
- Avoid the Extra Airport Fee
If you’re travelling by air and you rent a car from the local counter at the airport terminal, you’ll get a surcharge for an airport fee! Rental car companies are legally obligated to collect and pay these surcharges to the airport, so there’s no way of avoiding it if you rent at the airport.
TIP: Five Star Car Rentals are the nearest car rental company to the airport! We have no airport surcharges and even offer free airport collection and drop off during working hours!
- Save Money by Bringing Your Own Extras
If you are going to need car seats for your kids or a GPS system to help you get around in a new city, maybe think about bringing your own! You could even make use of your mobile phone’s navigation. A few dollars extra per day may not seem like much, but it can add up!
- Remember to Pay Your Toll Road Fees
Most car rental companies charge additional admin fees if they have to process any forgotten about toll road fees, so be sure to pay any within 3 days online or by phone!
P.S: All of our rental cars are already registered for these toll roads, so you don’t need to do anything when you go through a tolling point – the electronic tag will automatically register your trip. When you drop off your car, please inform our office staff and pay for any tolls you have incurred during your hire period.
- Make Sure There’s Enough Space for All Your Luggage
You may have carefully weighed and measured your luggage to meet the airline’s baggage limits, but will all of your bags fit into the boot of your chosen hire car? This is especially something to consider when hiring a small hatchback or large people mover. Small cars are a great low-cost budget option but won’t take a family load of luggage! People movers may be able to seat 8 people, but will only accommodate a couple of medium-size bags in the back!
NB: The last thing you want after a long flight is to be left stranded with no larger alternatives available for hire at the last minute, or to have to rent 2 cars all because your bags don’t fit!
- Note all Damage on Receipt and Return of the Rental Car
Make sure that the rental car is clean and in a well-lit area when you inspected it for any damage so that nothing gets overlooked. Take your time to check it thoroughly inside and out and ensure that any pre-existing damage is recorded and photographed. Hold on to your paperwork for a while just in case anything comes up down the road.
Our family at Five Star Car Rentals guarantee to you that we have absolutely no hidden costs – the price we quote you is the total price that you will pay for your rental car! We pride ourselves on our transparent and honest pricing and service. We would love to help you if you are looking for car hire in Brisbane. Request a quote from us with confidence now!