Car Rental Myths That Can Cost You a Bundle – Don’t Believe These Common Myths!
Many people find renting a car to be an intimidating experience. Because they don’t do it every day – only when they are on vacation, planning a business trip, or replacing a car that is in the shop for repairs – they are unsure about what to expect or how much to pay.
That’s why there tends to be a lot of rumor, gossip, and outright mis-truths about the car rental industry. Here are six car rental myths that you may have heard about that are simply untrue:
Myth: You Need Their Liability Coverage
Anyone who has ever rented a car is familiar with this car rental trick: The counter agent asks if you would like to purchase collision liability insurance for the car you are renting. This insurance allegedly provides you with 100% coverage for anything that happens to the car while you are driving it.
If you decline, the agent will give you a lengthy form and tell you to go out to the lot to walk around the car you are renting and circle any dent or ding that you find. This purpose of this is to intimidate you into surrendering and getting their overpriced insurance, pure and simple.
But what they don’t tell you is that you probably already have the exact same coverage with your existing auto insurance. If something happens to the rental car, your insurance will often pay for it. So when you buy their insurance, you are paying double for insurance you probably already have.
Myth: You Can Be Placed on a ‘Car Rental Industry Blacklist’
You may have heard about somebody who got into a disagreement with a car rental company – possibly about damage to a vehicle rented – only to find that they next time they went to rent a car, they were told they were on a “blacklist” – even if it was with an entirely different car company.
This is an urban legend. Car rental companies are in competition with one another. They don’t cooperate with each other to maintain some sort of secret list of bad customers. A run-in with one rental company may prevent you from using that business again (maybe), but it won’t prevent you from renting from any car company.
A bad driving record, multiple tickets, a DUI conviction, or a criminal history, however, may affect your ability to rent a car from any rental car company.
Myth: Nobody Ever Washes a Rental Car
This is a saying that refers to the way people treat things that have no perceived value to them, such as rental cars. It includes the idea that drivers are more likely to be careless with a rental car than they would be with their own vehicles.
This is not true. People tend to drive the same regardless of the vehicle they are driving. And if their rental car gets dirty and they need it for an important occasion such as a party or fete, they will absolutely pay to have it washed even if it doesn’t actually belong to them.
Myth: You May Be Charged for Damage You Didn’t Do
Some people believe that rental car companies are run by crafty businessmen who dream up new and intriguing ways to squeeze more money out of their customers: Such as charging for “invisible hail damage” or unexplained engine noises or transmission problems that they aren’t actually responsible for.
The truth is that rental car companies are in the business of keeping their customers happy. And even though their counter agents may not have always gotten this message, the owners of these businesses want you to return to their company over and over again, not wring every nickel they can out of you the first time you ever choose their company.
Myth: Airport Kiosks Close at Night
Some travelers won’t book late night flights because they are afraid the car rental kiosks at their destination airport will be closed when they arrive and they may have to spend the night in the terminal waiting for them to reopen.
These usually are people who haven’t rented a car in a while. Today, most interactions with the car rental company can be done through an app on your smartphone. And while some car rental kiosks may not be manned after a certain hour, there usually is either a touch screen or some other high tech way for you to get your car.
Myth: Counter Agents Hate You
Okay, we’ve all had bad customer service experiences, especially when traveling. So it’s not surprising that many travelers believe airline employees and car rental agents hate humanity in general.
The truth is that these folks are ordinary people just like anybody else. They have good days and bad. If you are friendly, polite, and patient, you usually can have a pleasant customer service experience regardless of the mood of the counter agent.
About The Author – This guest article is a work of Brian Davids on behalf of Diplomat Exotic Rentals, Las Vegas.