Rental car fees

Spring break is just around the corner, and many travellers will head to the airport and hop in a rental car.  I know you are in a hurry to reach your sunny destination, but take an extra five minutes at the airport. It will save you a big headache later.

I’ve heard from several consumers who rented a car only to get charged for damages they say they didn’t cause.  It’s a problem that keeps hitting unsuspecting consumers.

When I hop in a rental car, I give it the white glove inspection. Half the time the guard who really just does paperwork at the exit will tell me the ding I found doesn’t matter. I still mark it down on the sheet and make him sign off on it. I don’t want a bill for that ding a few months after I return the car.

It may not be a bad idea to take pictures or video of the car before you take it out, and after you return it. That’s a good first step toward protection.

Also, check with your credit card company before you leave. Some offer protection against damage.

While buying the car company’s insurance may be tempting after watching this story, don’t feel obligated. In most cases, your own insurance company or credit card will cover any damage you may cause on purpose. Just check before you hit the road.

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