Money Analysed

Maximize Your Car Rental Benefits: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Car rentals can be convenient and helpful, but they can also be a source of frustration and unexpected expenses. To avoid any pitfalls that come with renting a vehicle, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes and how to avoid them.

We’ll also discuss ways to maximize the benefits of renting a car to make your travel experience even more enjoyable.

Avoid Car Rental Mistakes

1. Not Asking for an Upgrade:

The first mistake many make when renting a car is not asking for an upgrade.

Rental car companies often offer upgrades for a nominal fee or even for free. If there is a chance to get a larger or more luxurious car, why not take it?

Don’t forget to ask about this option at the rental counter. 2.

Pre-purchasing Gas:

It can be tempting to pre-pay for a full tank of gas, especially if the rental company offers a discounted rate. However, this option can be a mistake, as it doesn’t always save you money.

If you return the car with any gas left in the tank, you will not receive a refund or credit. Instead, only fill up what you need and avoid any additional fees.

3. Forgetting About Discount Codes:

There are many ways to save on car rental costs, such as leveraging discount codes.

Organizations like AAA or AARP often offer rental car discounts, so make sure to look into any associations or memberships you have and see if they come with any perks. 4.

Paying Extra Fees at Airports:

Many airports charge extra fees for rental car companies to operate there. This can result in higher costs for the renter.

Consider alternatives like Uber or taxis to avoid these fees altogether. 5.

Leaving Your Costco Membership Behind:

Costco offers discounts on rental cars for its members. Be sure to take advantage of these savings by including your Costco membership when booking a rental car.

6. Failing to Note Damage:

Before you drive off the lot, be sure to thoroughly inspect the car and note any damage or excessive wear and tear.

If this is not reported, you may be held accountable for any damage found upon return and end up paying hefty fines. 7.

Not Rebooking at a Lower Rate:

Car rental rates are constantly fluctuating and can change day-to-day. If you find a better rate before your reservation, take advantage of it and cancel or rebook at the lower rate.

8. Paying for Accessories:

Many rental car companies offer GPS or other add-ons for an additional fee.

However, these can also be accessed using your smartphone or other technology, so be sure to consider all options before paying extra. 9.

Waiting Too Long to Book:

Car rental costs can increase as the rental date approaches. To avoid paying more than necessary, book as early as possible for the best rate.

10. Forgetting About Extra Costs That Add Up:

Be aware of any extra fees that may be assessed, such as parking fees or tolls.

These can quickly add to your overall rental cost.

Maximize Car Rental Benefits

1. Joining Loyalty Programs:

Many rental car companies offer loyalty programs that provide rewards or free upgrades after renting a certain number of times.

Take advantage of these programs whenever possible to maximize your rental benefits. 2.

Looking Into Where You’re Going:

Consider the city you’ll be visiting and whether mass transit or walking will be a more cost-effective option than renting a car. Some cities have extensive public transportation options that eliminate the need for a rental car.

3. Checking Mileage Limits:

Be sure to read the rental agreement thoroughly to understand the mileage limits.

If you go over the limit, you may be charged a fee. Consider any potential overage fees before deciding on a vehicle.


In summary, renting a car can be a smooth and enjoyable experience as long as you avoid common mistakes and maximize your benefits. By being aware of added fees, booking ahead, and taking advantage of discount opportunities, you can make the most of your rental car experience.

Remember to ask about upgrades, join loyalty programs, and thoroughly inspect the car before leaving the lot. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful rental car experience.

Renting a car can be a great way to enhance your travel experience, but it can also come with unexpected expenses and headaches. To avoid any pitfalls, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes and ways to maximize benefits.

Our article highlighted ten mistakes to avoid, such as failing to note damage and paying extra for accessories, as well as three ways to increase benefits, like joining loyalty programs and considering alternative transportation options. By following these tips, you can make the most of your rental car experience and enjoy a stress-free and cost-effective trip.

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