For this week’s Flyer Fact Friday, we’ve decided to share the three most frequent mistakes we see passengers make when renting a car:
1. Prepaying for Gasoline
If you are interested in simplifying your travel experience or are concerned about missing a flight, prepaid gas may seem like an appealing option.
However, unless you are convinced you will return with an empty tank, or you have an extremely early fight, prepaying for gas is not worth adding to your bill. Filling your own tank is always cheaper than having them refuel it for you.
2. Purchasing Insurance
a. Your auto insurance might cover you
First of all, auto insurance policies can vary considerably. It is worth checking with your own insurer directly to see what they will cover. If you have comprehensive coverage for your personal car, your policy will also provide you with comprehensive coverage for your rental car.
Keep in mind that an accident in a rental car will typically raise your rates if you have to make a claim on your own insurance policy. So it is important than you drive with caution and pay attention to different roadway laws if you’re traveling over state borders.
b. Your credit card usually covers the rest
Your credit card usually covers anything that your car insurance does not cover. In some cases, the credit card coverage works just as well as your auto insurance—if not better. In other cases, it acts as a secondary insurance.
You will need to pay for your rental car using the credit card if you want to use it for insurance purposes. Be sure you understand the rewards your credit card offers before you go this route.
3. Leaving Final Inspection to Chance
Did you know that there is not an official checkout when it comes to returning a rental car? Instead of speaking with a rental attendant, you simply park the car, grab your stuff and leave the key in the ignition.
While this process may seem simple and stress-free, it can actually hurt you in the long-run. The most serious issues passengers face is are legal disputes over damage claims. This typically becomes a battle of your word against theirs, and because of the contract you signed, it makes it very hard for you to come out on top.
To avoid accusations of car damage, take photos of the rental car, or a video showing every possible angle. You can read the full list from Independent Traveler here.
As always, check back to the blog for more updates on the airport as well as more FFF’s!
– The Terminal