As car rentals have become more and more popular, with many people opting to rent vehicles over purchasing them, or using them over public transport when traveling abroad. The car rental business has begun to grow at an exponential level, however, so have the false promises that these car rental companies provide. We have compiled a list of things to look out for in this post to avoid common car rental scams across the world.
The video above by CBC.ca clearly depicts how car rental companies prey on unexpecting customers.
It’s not an uncommon story, you find a great deal for a rental car online, only to show up at the location and be hit with dozens of additional fees that you had no idea about, and don’t understand the meaning behind.
This is the reality many face today, when it comes to renting a car. Companies tend to take advantage of all the legal procedures that go into renting a car, and use all the jargon to confuse those renting a car. This can incur fees like a daily fee simply for using your own insurance, or promises of ‘Unlimited Mileage’, subject to multiple conditions that are seemingly impossible to meet to get the mileage you wanted to get out of the car.
1. Get a written statement of the terms and conditions before renting the car
This is very important, as what you read online can misguide you. The rental companies may use a lot of complicated terminology when it comes to insurance, or credit-card use, which can confuse a lot of people, and make them simply skim over these important details. So if there’s anything you don’t understand, or want to clarify, or simply seems too good to be true (which is very likely in most cases), have the company message or email you exactly what you want to know, so that it’s all in writing and you can contest any false charges or claims that the company makes after you return the car.
2. Do not fall for their optional insurance
This is perhaps the biggest car rental scam scam of all. If you have your own insurance, the company will often try and tell you that it isn’t valid, or tell you a lot of scary things about how you’ll have to pay lots of money for minor damage and that your insurance will make this difficult to claim. This will push you to buy their additional insurance, which is a complete rip-off.
These companies will try and convince you that you will most definitely crash the car, and end up on the side of the road with all your tires punctured, and no one to help you. They will keep pushing you until you are convinced to purchase their additional insurance, but do not believe their exaggerations. You will be just fine if you have your own insurance, and rest assured, paying more money will not get you any further insured than you already will be.
3. Read Google Reviews: Spot car rental scams beforehand
Don’t go by the stars alone. Read customer reviews in full, you’ll be able to detect the fakes ones (if any) as well as the genuine ones. If some customers have brought up similar issues, you’d know what to do to avoid those issues. This is very important, as it gives you a real insight into what it’s like to rent from the specific company first-hand, based on the experiences of others.
4. If you find an offer that’s too good to be true, it’s probably not
Consider the cost and risk involved on the part of the car rental provider and ask yourself: would they be profiting by renting the car to you as per market standards? These “incredible deals” you might see actually have insanely high hidden costs which you will soon find out about after you rent the car. Chances are they will try and place fake damage claims, one of the most common car rental scams, on you after you rent the vehicle, which brings me to my next point.
5. Always take photos of the car at the start of rental
Once again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people. Companies will know of minor paint issues or scuffs on the wheels of the car that may not be seen on the car at first glance, and after you rent the car, they will try and pin these pre-existing damages on you. This is why you should always take pictures of the car before and after you have used it, to ensure that there is no way they can scam you in this way, and that you can prove to them that you didn’t cause any of the damage that was there before you rented the vehicle.
In conclusion, renting a car is definitely one of the easiest ways to travel if you’re not looking to invest in a vehicle. It’s faster and more convenient than public transport, and it gives you everything you need from a car without the expense of actually owning it, but it definitely isn’t all smooth sailing. Renting a car doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience every time, if you simply follow the steps above to ensure that you cannot be tricked by these companies into paying more, you can have a great time renting a car online in Dubai.