Avoiding Hidden Charges in Self Drive Schemes

You look at the bill and wonder, “Did I rent this vehicle or purchased it?” Well, that’s what’s happening with most consumers who rent a car for self drive. Unlike airfares, where taxes and fees are mentioned upfront, car rental companies can bury the extra costs in the fine print. Therefore, you may end up paying more what you had been quoted earlier. So, make sure that you know what hidden charges can be levied by the company and how you can avoid them!

When people choose rental cars for self drive, they know that their rent would include taxes or fuel charges as well. But sometimes, that’s not all that you have to pay for. There are other, less-visible and add-on fee charges that can drastically increase the overall amount you will have to shed. Some of these charges include authorization hold, insurance charges for damages, toll booth fees, extra driver and early return fee.

But don’t worry! Avoiding hidden charges when you rent a car is quite easy, especially if you clear the terms beforehand. For instance, make sure that you opt for a company that has a singular charge for its cars. A company that claims ‘No Hidden Charges’ on its range of services will not burn a hole in your pocket.

Secondly, when you are choosing between a fleet of cars, prefer a vehicle that fits in your budget. Smaller cars are available for as low as Rs.100 per hour or Rs. 1600 per day. A drive is usually available for Rs. 600 or more. While this is your basic rental price, it would also include VAT Free. So, ensure that you visit the company’s website and calculate VAT fee @12.5 percent accordingly before selecting a vehicle.

When renting a car for self drive purposes, prefer a company that includes fuel prices in its tariff. Any reliable car rental company can provide its car with unlimited kilometer and fuel capacity for a day and up to 25 km for an hour.

Choosing a car and knowing about the inclusion or exclusion of fuel prices ensures that the rent is in the budget. But usually, the rates go overboard because of hidden charges. So, make sure that you are upfront inquiring about the same. VAT is mostly excluded from basic fees. Apart from that, rental companies can charge more for self drive. It is recommended that you ask a company representative about any other apparent charges, such as early return fee or vehicle licensing fees. Make sure that you also enquire about car insurance to avoid paying thousands of rupees in damages. Ask about cancellation fees as well and never opt for a company that charges heavily for cancellations.

Choose a rental plan that suits your need. For instance, if you plan on going around the city for a few hours, prefer an hourly plan. It is fuss free and ensures that you can enjoy a car driving experience at minimal rates. But if you plan on driving for longer, mostly over four hours, opt for daily prices instead of hourly ones. While hourly prices may seem a lot, they are actually pocket-friendly if you want a car for longer duration. Ask the company, whether the daily rates include unlimited kilometer. If the answer is affirmative, then this is the one you should opt!

Never ever rent a car without enquiring about security deposits. But any reliable rental company will refund it fully once the vehicle is returned. But there are some companies that may deduct a particular percentage of the amount before return. Enquiring about the same will help you ascertain whether there are any hidden charges involved in refunds. This will also enable you to calculate an overall estimate of rental charges for self drive.

Try these simple tips the next time you have to rent a car. These tips will ensure a hassle free self drive experience without going overboard with your expenses.