Are you going to rent a car sometime this summer? Financially-strapped car rental companies are getting more and more creative with their fees in order to boost profits. Here are a few tricky rental fees, and how to avoid them! We got this from MSNBC.
- First, rental companies charge extra if your car is returned late, but did you know you’ll get charged if you return it early, too? Because if your car comes back three days early, it could mean three days of lost profit for the company. The fix: return your car at the exact time stated in your contract.
- Here’s another trick car rental companies use to increase their profits. They charge drivers under age 25 about $25 more a day. Why? Because they claim younger drivers are more likely to damage the car. So, make sure you check your contracts to avoid surprise sticker shock.
- Another tricky rental car cost: The “extra driver” fee. Most car companies charge an extra $12 a day if there will be more than one driver – even with married couples. Sometimes they’ll waive the fee if both drivers are members of AAA or the AARP. So be sure to ask.
- Also, if you’re travelling with a child, bring a car seat! Otherwise, you can expect to pay $10 a day to rent one – which could end up costing more than if you bought one for the trip.
- Next, pay attention to car rental categories. Car companies make extra money by upgrading you to a bigger car. So, if they try to upgrade you – ask if they’re out of the car size you ordered. If the answer’s yes, explain that if they don’t have the car you reserved, that you be given the upgrade for free.
- One last rental car trick: Refueling fees! Car companies charge a hefty refueling surcharge because they want the gas tank needle to read “completely full” for the next customer. So hit a gas station before you return your car, and if you’re taking it to the airport, the stations that are more than five miles away will be the cheapest.