How to avoid being ripped off at the car rental desk

car rental contractBefore Picking Up The Rental Car

To avoid a lot of problems you should print out all the booking details as you make the booking. This will include what you’ve already paid for and, what you’re covered for. When you book a fully inclusive car rental deal with Aspect you should be covered for ALL legally required insurances.

At The Car Rental Desk

Once you’re at the car rental desk, 99 times out of 100 everything will go as planned and, as you expected. On the rare times it doesn’t there are a few things you need to know.

  • Some taxes by law need to be paid locally. They cannot be included in the pre-paid rate.  This should have been made clear at booking, so make sure you read EVERYTHING.
  • You will generally be offered add-on insurances. These are optional and can be refused. Just remember that things like the undercarriage, tires and windscreens are often NOT covered. So don’t go off road, even in a 4×4.
  • If there is an excess on the insurance, you will need to pay this at the time of pick-up. usually this is done by taking a ‘swipe’ of your credit card.
  • If extras like child seats, SatNav’s and extra drivers etc, were available free at booking but you did NOT book them, you will have to pay for them at the desk. there is no way round this.
  • In the rare event that a desk clerk insists you pay for something you think is covered before allowing you to take the car. REMAIN CALM, difficult to do I know but you will get better results if you remain calm.
  • Show them your print out, point out where it says you’ve already paid. If they still refuse, ask for their name (often they wear a name badge) and the name of the manager or supervisor. Ask for a contact number for head office.
  • Do not delay in informing the rental company of what’s gone on and lodging a formal complaint.
  • As soon as possible post on their social media page (the car rental company) and ask for a resolution. If you can’t do it get someone else to on your behalf.
  • Most companies will try and sort things out for you if you take this approach.

To recap;

Some taxes must be paid locally, so double check when booking. You will generally speaking, always be offered add-on insurances. No matter how ‘pushy’ the staff, these are optional. If you haven’t booked things like child seats when you booked the car, you will need to pay for them locally.

Always remain calm, no matter how murderous you may feel.

Use social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to management, as well as the more conventional email, phone call or letter.

ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!