Five Tips for Not Being Scammed when Renting a Car

September 11, 2019

In most of the cases when people are traveling abroad, they rent a car. How do you know which car dealer is the best and which one is trying to cheat you with their small print? Here are five tips that you can take into account to ensure a nice vacation without being scammed by a car dealer. 

Small print

Tenants are often attacked by small print in the conditions, such as additional costs for young, old or extra drivers, navigation, car seats. A credit card in the name of the tenant is often required. Tip: Check the conditions in advance. Extra driver costs 5 to 10 euros per day. Drivers younger than 25 or older than 70 or 75 years often pay more. Take your own navigation and car seat. Be on time with handing in, an hour late can cost a day extra rent.

Hassle with insurance

Basic insurance for civil liability is often included, but with a substantial deductible of up to 1000 euros. Tenants are regularly put under pressure on the spot to take out expensive insurance, even if they thought it was already included. Thats why you always have to read the insurance conditions before booking and lower the excess or buy it off. Show on the basis of the voucher on site that such insurance is not necessary. If the landlord does not want to give the car, try to get help by telephone from your booking site or intermediary. If there is no alternative, sign under protest, pay with a credit card, make your complaint clear and try to get your money back through the credit card company.

So-called damage

When returning the car or later, tenants sometimes receive a bill for cleaning costs or damage that they have not caused, such as tiny scratches that went unnoticed during a check. Always take photos of the car when handing the car in. Have all present damages noted on the form. After checking back, have an employee sign that the car has no (new) damage.

Fuel tricks

Some landlords have a 'full-empty policy', in which you pay for a full tank and you can return it empty. The main thing is that you pay a much higher price than at the pump and sometimes a surcharge, while you get little or nothing in return for unused fuel. Choose a landlord with a fair fuel policy: take it full, return it full. Take photos of the fuel meter when collecting and returning, store fuel coupons, record mileage and refuel as close to the airport as possible.

Ghost depreciation

Upon returning home, tenants are confronted with enigmatic credit card charges. Ask for proof of the costs when returning the car after the check. Regularly check credit card debits at home. Immediately object with a copy to the intermediary.


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