When travelling overseas, using a hired car or campervan is often the easiest way to get around without hassle. Of course, you’ll likely want to reduce expenses in this area so you have more to spend on sightseeing, dining and souvenirs while touring. To do this, it’s important to be aware of the many different additional charges that you may have to cover on both pick up and drop off. The good news is there are some ways to avoid these extra fees and prevent your rental costs from ballooning out of control.
1. Stay Away from Airport Branches
Although the airport is usually the easiest way to rent a private car, what most people don’t realise is that these locations generally have higher rates to cover the added rental costs and airport taxes. Instead, it will pay to catch a taxi to another location and pick up your motorhome or sedan from there. While you’ll have to pay extra for the taxi, the daily rate you get from switching branches will save you money.
2. Fill Up the Tank if Necessary
Another unexpected charge comes from the renter failing to fill up their tank before drop off. Returning a vehicle with an empty tank can result in additional fees so it is best to stop off at a nearby petrol station beforehand. Note that this will only save you money in certain circumstances. Sometimes, the agency will allow you to purchase a full tank of fuel on pick-up so you can then return the vehicle with as little petrol as you want. Just make sure to compare the different alternatives so you find an option that saves you as much money as possible.
3. Return the Vehicle on Time
You must also be careful when it comes to choosing a time for the vehicle drop off. Make sure you read the contract and stick to the proposed arrangements as there are a number of potential hidden charges associated with this:
• 24-hour clock. If you pick up the vehicle at midday, you must return it before midday to avoid being charged an extra day.
• Early return fees. In some cases, you may be charged extra for dropping off the vehicle earlier than initially arranged!
Always ask about the ‘grace period’ of any contract. This is the amount of leeway you have when it comes to altering the pre-arranged drop off time. For example, you can ask an expert in campervan hire in Sydney about their contract details so you then avoid potential hidden fees once you return the vehicle after your trip. This extra step will save you a lot of financial inconvenience at the end of your holiday.
4. Research Insurance Options
Another possible extra expense is the insurance that your rental agency wants you to take out. In some cases, this will be necessary so you get the protection that you need while on the road. However, you may already have the right amount of coverage without being aware of it. For example:
• Your credit card might provide insurance if used to cover costs
• Your standard auto cover might protect you in your rental vehicle
Always compare the terms and conditions of your existing insurance policy with the additional collision damage waiver that rental firms typically try to sell clients. This may help reduce your expenses and free up capital that you need to enjoy yourself on your future road trip.
5. Remove Unneeded Extras
Our last tip involves looking at the additional features offered in your rental car or campervan and eliminating everything you don’t need. There will often be additional charges for extras such as:
• GPS navigation
• Roof racks
• Child seats
By getting rid of everything you won’t need during your road trip, you can then lower the total rental costs of your private car or motorhome. Be smart and only take what you need so you can then have a more affordable holiday.
These five tips will help increase the value of your future vehicle rental costs. Not only will you cut down on your holiday expenses but you will also have the features, protection and time that you need to properly enjoy yourself while on the road.