Planning to rent a car during your summer travels?
Many consumers are annoyed when they are hit with extra fees from the car rental company.
Those fees are on top of the price of the car: Fees for collision, loss of use, airport charges.
The rental car shuttles come and go. And renting a car is no small expense.
But when it comes to paying for that car, do you really have to pay all those extra fees?
"I think I'm covered on my credit card."
"I just figure my car insurance will cover it."
"I think there's an extra fee that you can pay for their insurance to make sure everything is covered."
Knowing what's covered on your rental car can save you money on vacation but don't assume just because you use a credit card or have car insurance, that the insurance is taken care of.
First, you need to call your insurance agent and ask some questions.
"You want the liability to extend, the uninsured motorist, comprehensive, collision. And with most companies, everything you have extends to a car that is used on what they call a temporary substitute basis," said State Farm agent Walt Waggener.
But you're deductible also extends to the rental car. If you have a 500-dollar deductible on your personal car, that will also be the case with a rental.
Another question for your agent, if there's an accident, will your insurance pay for the car while it's in the shop?
"Ask them when they tell you the coverage does extend to a rental car if that includes loss of use. If it doesn't, ask them if there is something you can purchase in addition and at what costs to take care of that. You'll usually find that that's the best deal," said Waggener.
You also want to call your credit card company, many cards offer coverage that allows you to pass on the extra fees, but there's an obvious catch.
"One of the critical things when you have a credit card, in most of those contracts is that it says, you must use that credit card to rent the car in order for their coverage to extend."
Another way to save on your rental car, don't get it from the airport. You can often save money by getting it at a hotel or a downtown location.
Rental fees can be considerably cheaper if you're willing to pick up your car away from the airport.
And finally, don't ignore any chips, dents or scratches on your car. Take pictures or video of the car before you drive away.
A little homework before you travel can save you time, money and hassles while you're supposed to be having fun.
Now here's another trick you may want to try that could get you a bigger car at a lower price.
First, you rent the smaller compact car. Those are very popular these days and the rental car companies are often out of them during busy travel times like the summer months.
Many times the rental company will offer a larger or nicer car instead but at the compact price.
This could save you money, but it's risky; you may be stuck with a little car.