After a long haul flight all you are looking forward to is to scurry into your limo hire that is waiting for you as you exist the airport to start your summer vacation. However, even though you may not be aware of this right now your car hire is possibly much more expensive than you first figured out especially when you take into consideration taxes, tack on fees and fuel expenses which can bump up the rates by a good 40% to 50% of the quoted price. The reason you do not know about these fees is because they are buried deep within the fine print of the hiring contract you signed with the rental company. Even if you intentionally try to find these small hidden charges on a company’s website it can still be difficult to avoid. Below we take a look at a few things you should watch out for.
You need to be aware of all the features that you assume to be free. Things like satellite radio in a limo hire can cost as much as $5 a day, GPS navigation can cost $50 a week, also if there is a company provided toll payment system installed that too will cost extra at times you’ll be slapped with a second surcharge which is labelled as being “processing charges” for processing the toll charges. The best way to avoid paying all these charges is to ask about every possible charge you’ll be expected to pay at the checkout counter. Also, take into consideration things like late fees, which can be applied if you are up to being 30 minutes late, roadside assistance, mileage limits etc.
You can always use your own toll paying device but it should work on the highways that you’ll be driving on. That said in order to be really safe call up the provider’s office and give them your rental car’s or limo’s license plate number.
Hard selling insurance
Many limo hire companies will press you pretty hard to get loss damage waiver to limit liability but this can be expensive costing between $60 to $250 a week, but is this really necessary? Many people may be covered on their own via their own auto insurance policy which includes collision as well as comprehensive coverage. There are some credit cards that also provide good protection. Just call up your insurer and find out if the policy will cover business travel and rentals, also if it will pay the full value of any loss, towing, loss of use and administrative fees. If you are not covered it would make sense to get rental add on coverage.
You should also be aware of another nifty trick that hire companies pile on people i.e. asking for a huge deposit if you happen to decline insurance or they will threaten not to rent the vehicle to you. But that may be illegal where you live. If you are threatened this way move on to another company.
Where did that dent come from?
Many times when you’re turning in a limousine which you may have hired without a driver, you may be charged for things like dents and dings that are not your fault. That said remember, that you signed a form earlier during pickup that said that the car was not damaged in any way, so it’s going to be near impossible to make an “it wasn’t me” plea.
The best way to avoid this is to make a video or take photos of the car using your digital camera or cell phone and then take photos again when you return it. Make sure it’s close up on all the blemishes, scratches and dings. Pay special attention to the undercarriage, windshield and bumpers.
There have been a few recent surveys that revealed many car rental companies serving around 13 airports around the world were charging up to $9.29 per gallon which is twice the pump rate in many places in order to fill tanks of vehicles, which renters had promised would return full. There are some hire companies that even charge you a service fee for filling the tank.
The best way to avoid this from happening is to find a gas station closest to the rental agency and fill on the way in. Plus think twice about a fuel option offered by the rental company, you shouldn’t have to pay a service fees for something like this.
As I am living in Sydney I can suggest a Limo hire company which is - Deblanco limo hire company
Mark is a consumers’ right activist and an attorney. He helps both the end user and businesses defend against unlawful and unfair practices. He also runs his own limo hire company based in Sydney.