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5 Car Rental Scams That Everyone Should Avoid

Car Rental Scams


By Jordan Sykes

Rental companies are convenient ways to rent a vehicle for your transportation needs and help you save your money. The rental companies will offer many deals and services, but you should always suspect their intentions. Scams are still a problem for people who wish to find a decently priced vehicle for rent, and there are notable scams that you should always look out for to prevent yourself from being swindled.



Additional Fees for Upgrades

Some rental places may trick you into getting an upgrade for an increased price. They may try goading you into choosing a more expensive option if they say the vehicle you reserved is no longer available. Always remember that if a car you reserved for renting becomes unavailable, the company has to give you a free upgrade to replace it, especially if you’ve already paid.



Rental Insurance Scams

Numerous rental companies offer rental insurance for their vehicles, but the price of this insurance may be high, and the coverage may not be the best. Check your insurance policy to see if rental coverage is an offer. You will save money and most likely have better coverage with only your insurance covering any damage.



Damage to the Rental

A common scam from car rental companies is making it seem as if the rental is damaged, and they will charge you a fee for not taking proper care of their vehicle. To prevent them from making accusations, take pictures of the car before you leave the lot, and when you return, you will have photos to compare and show that any damage that the vehicle has was already there or, at the very least, not your fault.



Charging Late Fees

Every rental vehicle must return to the company at a specific time and date. You will receive a late fee if these vehicles are not returned on time. Car rental companies may exploit this into a scam by charging you on a technicality. If you bring the car back 10 seconds late, they may charge you, even though most companies will have a grace period for returning a car up to 15 minutes. Try to return the vehicle at least an hour before the deadline to avoid getting scammed by the car rental company.



Unspoken Rules or Policies

When the employee sits you down to fill out paperwork, they’ll review different details regarding the car’s maintenance, additional fees, or any other information about your rental. This review makes room for scams where the employee may speed through the information or give vague descriptions to leave you unaware of information that may prevent you from paying more money. Make sure you ask plenty of questions before you rent; knowing about all potential fees is essential you should check before renting a car.


It’s not always easy renting a car; plenty of scams will require you to stay vigilant. But as long as you know what to look out for and avoid, you won’t have to worry about someone conning you out of your money.

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Autos Magazine: 5 Car Rental Scams That Everyone Should Avoid
5 Car Rental Scams That Everyone Should Avoid
A rental car is an effective way to save money. But despite the benefits of renting, there are some scams out there, here's how you can avoid them.
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