The holiday period is coming and many Dutch people travel abroad and rent a car there. But how do you resist car rental companies trying to cheat you with small print? The 5 pitfalls in car rental abroad and what you can do there according to the Consumers’ Association.
1. Small print
Tenants are often surprised by small print in the conditions, such as additional costs for young, old or extra drivers, navigation, car seats. Often a credit card is required in the name of the tenant. Tip: Check the conditions beforehand. Extra driver costs 5 to 10 euros per day. Drivers younger than 25 or older than 70 or 75 years often pay more. Take your own navigation and car seat. Be on time with handing in, an hour late can cost an extra day.
2. Hassle with insurance
Basic insurance policies for legal liability are often included, but with substantial deductibles up to 1000 euros. Tenants are regularly put on the spot under heavy pressure to take out expensive insurance, even if they thought it was already included. Tip: Before booking, read the insurance conditions and reduce the deductible or purchase it. Show on the basis of the voucher on the spot that such insurance is not necessary. If the landlord does not want to give the car, try to get help from your booking site or intermediary by telephone. If there is no other option, sign under protest, pay with credit card, make your complaint clear and try to get your money back via credit card company.
3. So-called damage
When returning the car or later, tenants sometimes get a bill for cleaning costs or damage that they did not cause, such as tiny scratches that remained undetected during an inspection. Tip: Take photos – or better still a video – from all angles when picking up. Have all existing damage noted on the form. After checking, have a staff member sign that the car has no (new) damage.
4. Fuel tricks
Some landlords use a ‘full-empty policy’, in which case you pay for a full tank and you can return it empty. In sticker is that you pay a much higher price than at the pump and sometimes a surcharge, while you get little or nothing for unused fuel. Tip: Choose a landlord with a fair fuel policy: full, take full delivery. Take photos of the fuel gauge when picking up and returning, store fuel coupons, record mileages and tank as close as possible to the airport.
5. Ghost write-offs
At home, tenants are confronted with enigmatic credit card debts. Tip: When you return the car, ask for proof of the costs after checking. Regularly check credit card debts at home. Immediately object with a copy to the intermediary. Landlord Sunny Cars offers – insofar as is known to the Consumers Association – car rental on popular destinations without a credit card and therefore without a deposit.