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5 Hidden Costs When Renting a Car

The base rate when renting a car is is not what you will pay when the final bill comes knocking. In fact, you won’t be paying anything in the vicinity of that number. If the rate you’re renting the car at sounds too good to be true, you can be sure it is. Read on to find out 5 hidden costs that drive up the final cost of renting a car.

Drop charge
The rental agency may charge you an extra fee if the pick up location and the drop off location are different. This fee will depend on the distance between the two locations. If the charge is not specified, the base rate might be higher than if you choose the same location for pick up and drop off.

‘Underage’ fees 
Some companies will charge you an extra fee if you’re under the age of 25. Some might charge you even more if you’re under the age to 21! These age restrictions to rent cars differ from country to country with some companies charging extra to people over 70.

Race against time
The 24-hour clock is not your friend. If you return the car within 24 hours of hiring it, you’ll be charged for one day. Any later and the clock starts ticking. Some companies might have a 29-minute grace period for the return. But post that hourly charges start kicking in. 90 – 120 minutes into the next 24 hours and you’re looking at the possibility of paying for an entire extra day.

Early bird (not so) special
Returning the car earlier than you should sounds like a super idea. But actually it’s not. Not only do you not get a refund for the time you didn’t use the car; some car rental companies might charge you a hefty fee. Sounds pretty illogical right? Confirm this with the car rental company, especially if you’re  booking a car for the entire week. Returning the car early would mean you won’t qualify for a weekly rate and will end up paying more.

Additional driver and amenities
Some rental car agencies will charge you for adding a driver to the contract while some will allow a spouse or domestic partner to take the wheel as well, for no extra charge. Amenities like car, seat, GPS, roof racks etc., will also cost you quite a bit.

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