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Top 10 Ways To Protect Yourself When Renting Vehicles

There is nothing more annoying than waiting for a taxi or a public transport vehicle when you are in a hurry. Well, in such situations, renting a vehicle would definitely prove to be a smart move. Unfortunately the car rental industry is filled with rules and unethical practices. It is always recommended to go with a reputable brand like Discount Car but if you're feeling adventurous the following should be kept in mind before you visit a rental company:

1. You might not be familiar with the vehicle you will get:

The first and the most important thing to be kept in mind is that the vehicle you get at the rental services might not be familiar to you. It becomes very important to understand the vehicle first as to avoid mishaps. Ask the representative to present the logs of vehicle’s last maintenance activity. If they can’t present the documents, start getting suspicious.

2. Prepaying for the fuel:

Prepaid gasoline would be considered as a smart move by some people, but don't fall for this one. The rental companies will come up with schemes to lure the customers where they ask them to pay only for the fuel they use. Although this might sound very reasonable and apt, this thing is tipped in the rental agency's favor as the cost of having them refuel your car is always higher than doing it yourself. Always be prepared to say no for things like these.

3. Checking whether you can get an upgrade:

Sometimes, things such as renting a small car and then enquiring for upgrades later at the rental desk might get you a good deal. In most cases, the agent at the desk has the authority in setting upgrade rates. But, always make sure that you have given him a clear idea of the amount you are willing to spend. If you’re lucky, you might end up renting a much bigger car at very minimal additional cost.

4. There are more charges for an underage driver:

If you are thinking about registering for someone who drives and is less than 25, you should always remember that the rental companies charge extra for registering any underage drivers whether they actually drive the rented vehicle or not.

5. Extra drivers mean extra payment:

Even if all your drivers are over the considerable age of 25, you will still be charge for each additional driver registered when you rent the car. Always keep a clear idea of how many drivers you’re going to actually need, and then do the registrations at the rental company accordingly to save some money.

6. Have a clear idea on the company policies:

It is not a rare scenario when people either skip listening to the company policies or the rental car representative rushes past them. There are many important points you wouldn’t want to miss, one being that most companies prohibit the use of their cars on unpaved roads. The collision damage wavier or other rental car insurance will most likely be voided when you drive the car off road.

7. You can save a lot of money by bringing your own extras:

Most people would not prefer these, but it’s the little things in life that count, right? If possible, bring your own equipments such as a GPS system or a radio or speakers or anything that you can carry yourself rather than having to rent from the rental company. Whenever you can, stuff your bag with your own travelling extras and make sure the rental company removes theirs from the bill. These can help you save big in long trips.

8. Inspect the car well before departure:

Most people are often in so much hurry that they miss this important part – inspecting the car you have got. Check everything carefully whether it be the inside or the outside. Always look for any anomaly that could be later considered as damage. Do check the working of the electronics components before you depart. Check for any visual scratches or dents on the car. Take photos as they will come in handy if the rental agency tries to hold you responsible for damage later.

Open the trunk and check whether the spare tire is missing and also check whether it is properly inflated or not. Verify that there’s a jack and lug wrench for emergencies as many tools disappear from rental cars. Open the hood and check the fluid levels. After you think you’re done, take the vehicle for a little test ride and check the brakes and whether there is some unusual sounds coming from the car. If there’s damage, mark that down on your paperwork. You wouldn’t want to pay for damages incurred to the car by someone else.

9. Crossing international borders:

Most Canadian car rental agreements do not allow their customers to drive the car across international borders for domestic rentals. Also, the car insurance you have rarely covers international car rentals. Credit card companies may help to some extent here, as most of them provide insurance at international destinations. So it would be much better to buy the insurance from the rental company at the time of renting the car.

10. Being absent during the final inspection of car by the rental companies:

If you have missed the final inspection of the car by an agent after returning it, you might land into trouble. Most of the complaints you will find about the rental companies have something to do with the disputes over the damage claims. Leaving the car and walking off when there is no attendant present might prove to be a hole in your pocket. The fact that the rental companies have your credit card number makes it very difficult to prove yourself right and requires money for services like a court appearance and a lawyer.
If possible, always take pictures and slow videos of the vehicle.

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