10 mistakes to avoid when hiring a car

10 mistakes to avoid when hiring a car

Hiring a car is a good idea if someone needs a vehicle only for a few days. Regardless of how far the individual wants to travel, a rental car can eliminate stress, reduce time, and add convenience. Many companies in the country provide cars for hire, making it easy to find one. That said, individuals should take their time with the car hiring process and use it carefully to avoid unnecessary hassle later.

Submitting expired documents
When customers contact a car rental company, the company asks them for their documentation (license and identity proof). The firm will turn down one’s request if either has lapsed or expired. So, individuals should ensure their documents are updated. While one may think such an oversight is impossible, it is one of the top mistakes people make when hiring a car.

Another mistake to avoid when hiring a car is forgetting to carry crucial documents, regardless of whether they are current or not. Naturally, if one does not submit the required paperwork to the car hire company, they may have to walk home disappointed. So, before getting their hopes of riding their dream vehicle high, one should ensure everything is up-to-date and present with them at the provider’s office.

Not checking the account first
Before paying, one should ensure the payment platform is reliable and secure. One should also verify the account before proceeding with the transaction. Individuals should never send money to a personal account without checking its authenticity, especially when paying in full. It is advisable to pay only the deposit first and then the remainder when returning the car.

Sharing excessive personal details
Many car companies ask customers several personal questions in exchange for a “guarantee.” One should be cautious and keep their sensitive information private. Individuals must refrain from sharing precise details of their itinerary, travel, and hotel stays, as this can pose a security threat.

Not documenting the car’s condition
Usually, companies document the car’s condition when they hand it over and when the customer gives it back. They do so to check whether the car was damaged while being used. If the car returns with scratches, broken amenities, or other issues, the customer may have to pay for the damages. Sometimes, the rental company may charge the customer for a particular damage, even if it was already present before hiring the car. That’s why customers should also maintain a before and after record of the car’s condition. When clicking pictures, one should use an app that records the time and date.

Ignoring the extras
Families with a little child may need a special car seat for their safety. So, one must inform the car hire company and get it included in the agreement. Individuals must inform the company early if they need add-on features because the company may need more time to provide them.

Overlooking the mileage limits
Most car rental companies have mileage limits, which one can find on the agreement. These limits are usually generous, but if someone goes on an unexpected journey or takes a substantial detour, they may exceed the limits and have to pay more.

Getting enticed by cheap rates
Car rental rates are typically standard in most regions. So, before finalizing any company, one should get a quotation from multiple providers to understand the prevailing market rate. If any deal seems excessively favorable, one should proceed with caution. One should speak to the company, request a comprehensive breakdown of all the expenses, and pit them against the prices charged by other local companies in the area. Customers should also ensure they have no hidden charges or add-ons that might catch them off-guard later.

Pairing one’s smartphone with the Bluetooth system
Many connect their phone to the car’s Bluetooth system to enjoy their favorite music while on the road. This can be a costly mistake as it gives the vehicle access to one’s contacts, phone numbers, and other crucial data. To avoid a serious security risk, customers should abstain from using the Bluetooth feature. Even if they do, they should completely erase all the data from the car’s system.

Returning the car with an empty tank
One should never return the car with an empty fuel tank. Although it may seem like a smart strategy, the rental company may charge extra for this. That’s why individuals should set aside time and head to the nearest gas station before returning the vehicle. At the same time, one must avoid filling too much gas because the company will not provide any refund or discount. If unsure, it is best to set expectations with the provider regarding this issue at the time of hiring.

Not returning the car on time
Car rental companies may charge for three days instead of two if someone rents the car on a Saturday night and returns it on Monday morning. Most car hire companies use a 24-hour cycle. So, if one keeps the car for 26 hours, they pay for the entire two days. Individuals may think a two-hour delay is insignificant, but most car companies are very stringent with their timelines. It is best to get a grace window in advance or agree to an hourly top-up in case one misses the deadline by an hour or two.