What to ask when renting a car

Need to rent a car for a holiday or business trip? Here's what you should ask your car rental company.

If you're  preparing to travel for the  holidays or a long weekend, you might need a rental car.

Understanding when any additional fees may apply to your rental and, more importantly, your liability within the waiver option you have selected will result in peace of mind while travelling.  Here are a few things to check when booking and collecting your rental:

What package do I want?


When booking your vehicle, make sure you have checked what’s included and excluded from your quotation.  For instance, the rate may include a limited amount of km’s per day, waivers, tourism levy, airport surcharge and VAT. 

According to their website, Europcar offers a choice of 150 or 200 kilometres per day on their website. Items that will be charged for over and above your quoted rate include fuel, excess km’s driven – should the included km’s be exceeded and the limited liability amount in the event of an accident, theft or damage.

What is the company’s fuel policy?

Some car rental companies expect you to fill up the fuel tank before returning the vehicle, but certain car rental companies advise against this.  Customers will be charged legislated rates for the fuel they use when the vehicle is topped up. No additional administration fee applies.

When will extra costs occur upon returning the vehicle?

If you return the vehicle to a different branch, further than 150km’s from the collection branch, you may be charged a one-way fee.  Also, check what the grace period is if you know you are going to be late returning the vehicle. Car rental is charged in 24 hour increments so 25 hours would generally equate to two days.

What are waivers?

Waivers are available to customers so be sure to know understand which waiver is best suited to your  needs.  Waivers are not an insurance policy but rather a legal agreement between the rental company and the renter.  It generally limits the claim against a renter in the event of loss of or damage to the vehicle.

There are typically two waiver options available to a renter; a standard waiver and a super waiver.  With a standard waiver, the customer is responsible for a limited liability amount in the event of damage or loss.  As the cost for a daily standard waiver is lower, the limited liability amount payable for any damage or loss is higher.

The super waiver means that the customer will also be responsible for a limited liability amount for any damage or loss, but as the cost for a daily super waiver is higher, the limited liability amount payable for any damage or loss is lower.

Bearing in mind, waivers are not honoured in cases of negligence and may result in the customer being liable for the full amount of damage.

What is the tourism levy?


Members of the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) are obliged to impose a one per cent tourism levy to promote tourism in South Africa.

For more information about renting a car, visit Europcar's website here.

Can you think of any other important questions to ask car rental companies? Tell us in the box below.


 

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