Returning Your Rental: Top Tips and Tricks

While having your own mode of transport gives you freedom and flexibility while travelling, the positives are often overshadowed by the hefty additional charges that can hit your wallet like a speeding truck. Fines and hidden costs can sneak up on those who aren’t prepared, so to ensure that your hire journey goes smoothly, make sure you’ve read up on the dos and don’ts of vehicle renting.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re not left with a nasty surprise.

Keep an Eye on the Clock

As with most signed agreements, lateness is often met with fines, so it’s best to make sure you have the return time clearly scheduled into your travel itinerary. While a lot of suppliers allow for a little leeway (traffic is beyond your control), anything longer than a few minutes is likely to warrant excess charges.

Top Tip: If you do find yourself running half an hour behind, just be sure to contact your providers promptly so they understand the situation.

If you’re the super-prepared type and plan on arriving earlier than the scheduled drop-off time, don’t expect a refund. Most companies should allow for early arrival but the policy will often stipulate that refund is not guaranteed. As with running behind, it’s always best to contact the depot if you find yourself ahead of time.

Fill Her Up

Speaking of timing, it’s important to factor in those last-minute errands that need completing before you begin your journey home. If you’ve rented a car, filling up the tank should be at the top of the list. Most companies will request that you return your vehicle with a full tank of petrol or at least the same amount as it was upon collection. Failing to do so could mean a fine as well as the cost of the refill. So, it’s best to be prepared and make sure you know where your nearest petrol station is en route to the drop-off point.

Travel Tidy

The general rule when it comes to renting most things is to leave it in the same condition as you found it. That means ensuring that your vehicle is clean and tidy and free of any personal belongings is important if you want to avoid additional costs.

Peace of Mind and Prevent Damage

This one is a no brainer: drive safely and be aware of your surroundings to prevent any damage. Of course, we all know how unpredictable driving in a foreign country can be, so it’s wise to cover your back with car hire excess insurance. Companies often try to push their brand of (usually pricey) cover, but there are some great independent providers to choose from too.

If you want to avoid any mishaps, car hire excess insurance is non-negotiable. No matter how careful you think you are, things can always go wrong, so it’s always best to prepare for the unpredictable.

Checking over the Vehicle

Always check over the condition of the vehicle with a member of staff before you set off. That way you can both agree on the requirements for the returned condition and therefore avoid any dispute at the end of your trip. Take lots of photos inside and out as evidence and you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a sticky situation.

If you follow these simple guidelines and ensure you’ve got yourself covered with car hire excess insurance, your rental experience is sure to be smooth and hassle-free.

Author Plate Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car hire excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.