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Returning Your Hire Car

 

You’re nearing the end of a fun-filled vacation and there’s only one hurdle left between you and your flight home: returning your rental car. Here are some things you should be aware of when returning your car, as well as potential issues to look out for:

Fuel Policy:

Fuel policies can vary greatly among car rental companies, and can have a huge impact on how much extra money you owe when you return your rental car. Many car rental companies offer a deal where they give you a full tank of gas which you pre-pay for, and then return the car empty. While this may sound attractive at the time, it often adds onto your final bill because the pre-paid gas is more expensive than what you would pay at a filling station. This policy also financially punishes you if you weren’t planning to use an entire tank of gas. If possible, decline this offer unless you decide it’s worth it to you.

Returning Your Car Early May Cost You Money (but So Can Returning it Late)

It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes returning your rental car early, like if your trip gets cut short unexpectedly, can cost you extra money. When returned early you may forfeit any discount deal you had for renting the car for an entire week or other specific time period, and instead be charged a higher daily rate. On the other hand, if you run into delays make sure to call the rental car company right away, because late fees can quickly stack up.

Don’t Forget Your Stuff!

After a few days in a rental car, it may start to feel as comfortable as your own vehicle. While it’s only natural to stash some of your belongings in the car, make sure to double-check for your personal items before returning the car. Some of the personal belongings frequently left behind in rental cars include sunglasses, CDs and books.

Have a Representative Check and Sign Off on the Car

Before you pay your bill and take off for the airport, make sure that you have a rental car company representative walk around the car with you, checking for any new damage and signing off that the car is in the same shape in which you rented it. This extra step may add a few minutes onto the car return process, but the extra time is certainly better than having surprise charges for damages you didn’t actually cause show up on your credit card bill.

 

 

 

 

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