10 Most Common Car Rental Myths

10 Most Common Car Rental Myths

When it comes to car rentals, there are many things that you might have heard out of which many are true while others are just myths. Below are 10 common myths surrounding car rentals that we would like to debunk.

1. You’ll pay the same price if you show up on your travelling date without a reservation Booking your rental car early is always advisable. This not only helps you save money but also guarantees that you have a car ready when you arrive. During peak seasons, prices will always be high especially if you are a walk-in car renter and chances of getting a car are always slim.

2. Only rent from major companies like Europcar, Avis or Hertz You are not to blame if you still think that this is a great idea but what you might not know is that many brokers normally combine these companies with some local car rental service providers. By so doing, the brokers land themselves great deals than what you would get direct while still giving you the same service. Many brokers also market independent local car rental companies that don’t have big brand names but the services you get from these small companies match what you would get from the multinationals.

Did you know: This is the reason why Travelauto.com only lists few reliable companies in their Marketplace online. As a car rental comparison portal, you can compare prices and book cheap car rentals.

3. You will always be charged for damage This is a very common myth. Customers always make calls with a story of how a friend of their friend’s friend was charged for damages after renting a car. This myth is also propagated by car rental reviews from many customers and it is easy to conclude that all damages will be charged. As a matter of fact, damages charged to clients are very rare and the percentage for this is very negligible.

4. You’ll be charged full day once you pick your rental car for 1 hour at 23:00 This is totally untrue. Rental clock doesn’t start ticking at midnight but rather when you pick up your rental car. The time is then calculated in blocks of 24 hours, meaning that if the rental is returned 3 days later before or at 23:00 that is counted as a 3-day rental and not 4. You do not have to wait until past midnight to make your booking, there is no need for that.

5. Car rental companies have their offices open 24/7 Since airports are open 24/7, why should rental companies close their offices? This is a common presumption among many people who think they can pick up or drop off their rental cars any time without incurring additional charges. It is good to check the car rental company’s office hours and charges levied for picking or dropping off rental cars after office hours. You discounted flight might help you save $30 USD but cost you more at the end if you are collecting the car outside office hours.

6. There is no difference in rental companies Many customers make the mistake of assuming that they will rent a car today under the same terms they were subjected to in 2008 when they rented a car in Dubai. Every rental company has its own T&Cs and although some might look similar, it is good to note the significant differences which might end up surprising you if you fail to read the T&Cs. Rental companies keep on changing as time goes by.

7. It’s okay to show up the following day if you have missed your flight Car rental companies will give you an allowance of about 4 hours based on the time you’ve indicated during your reservation. If you have given your flight details to the company and a delay occurs, the common thing is that they will follow up to know what is happening. However, if the flight doesn’t show up and you arrive on a different flight, don’t presume that the rental car will still be waiting for you since it might be hired to someone else or returned back to the company fleet. Any changes should be communicated accordingly as any “unclaimed” car will easily attract top dollar especially when someone turns up in need and they did not have a reservation.

8. Credit cards are not any different from debit cards All car rental companies offering services through our site normally ask for a credit card which cannot be substituted for a debit card. Credit cards help in pre-authorizing or blocking excess amounts during the car hire process and once the car is returned, the blocked amount is released back. The amount doesn’t reflect as a transaction and there is no transaction fee or interest rate thus making the card the best for blocking and unblocking such transactions. On the contrary, debit cards do not offer the blocking facility but instead money is taken out and must be refunded thus attracting foreign transaction or usual transaction fees together with exchange rate differences. A debit card can also be stressful to use since the refunds normally take up to 10 working days.

9. I’ll definitely get the car model I booked Although you will be given a car of the same size as the one you booked, there is no guarantee that it will be the exact model. The number of doors and seating capacity will be the same but everything else might be different since rental industry uses SIPP codes to allocate the rental cars. This might not mean anything to you as a customer but indicates the car type and size you book. You never are given a promise as far as color, model or make of rental vehicle is concerned. However, you cannot be given something smaller than what you booked.

10. Companies use foreign language for rental agreements Companies we feature normally have their contracts in English and you do not require any form of translation. Their representatives are also fluent in English and therefore easy to communicate with.

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    3 years ago Reply

    1. Kathy

      Sharp thkgnini! Thanks for the answer.

      3 years ago Reply

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      3 years ago Reply