Here’s How My 2-Day, $23-a-Day Rental Car Ended Up Costing Nearly $250

I attempt to make good monetary selections for probably the most half.

However once in a while, I make purchases which might be simply fallacious… so fallacious for my pockets.

The most recent case? Overpaying for a rental automotive.

On a latest journey, I rented a automotive from Enterprise at Philadelphia Worldwide Airport. My auto insurance coverage firm — USAA — provides its members discounted charges with sure rental-car firms, and Enterprise is one in all them.

I selected an financial system automotive with a each day price of $22.57. I rented the automotive for 2 days. My complete got here to $243.63.

Yep, that’s over 10 occasions the each day price. (And that’s not factoring in spending about $26 in fuel to refuel earlier than returning the automotive.)

Right here’s the breakdown of my invoice and the errors I’ll attempt to keep away from the subsequent time I hire a automotive.

Don’t Ignore the Charges and Taxes

cars stuck in traffic on a highway road
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

The speed for the automotive was $22.57 a day, so I ended up paying $45.14 for the automotive itself.

I paid $76.33 in charges. This included a $20.33 concession-fee restoration to reimburse Enterprise for charges it pays to the airport, a $16 buyer facility cost to fund a brand new car-rental facility on the airport, a $four public-transportation help price to go towards mass transportation funding and a $36 one-way price as a result of I wanted to return the automotive to a special Enterprise location.

I paid $20.22 in taxes. This included a $three.23 vehicle-rental tax, a $four.07 Philadelphia vehicle-rental tax, $9.69 in Pennsylvania gross sales tax and $three.23 in Philadelphia gross sales tax.

And right here’s the kicker: I paid $101.94 to go for insurance coverage and injury protection for the rental automotive. There are a number of sheets of paperwork that element what I paid for, however basically the fees had been $47.98 for a injury waiver, $12 for private accident insurance coverage and personal-effects protection, $11.98 for roadside-assistance safety and $29.98 for supplemental legal responsibility safety.

Mistake #1: Choosing Full Insurance coverage Protection

The most important cash mistake I made when renting this automotive was paying for the complete insurance coverage protection — which made up about 42% of my invoice.

The rationale I used to be touring to Philadelphia was to go to my dad, who had simply gotten right into a critical automotive accident earlier within the week. When the lady on the rental counter requested if I wished to buy the whole insurance coverage safety, I agreed — simply in case lightning struck twice and I additionally bought into a significant collision.

However the factor is… I might have prevented this non-obligatory cost altogether. It seems, my auto insurance coverage coverage covers rental vehicles. In fact, I spotted this after the actual fact after I was, er, wanting up data for this text.

Be taught from my embarrassing (and dear) mistake and carry out your due diligence earlier than buying additional insurance coverage to your rental automotive. Don’t test simply your auto insurance coverage coverage. Some credit-card agreements additionally embody protection for rental autos. Should you’re a AAA member, test what that coverage consists of.

Including to my disgrace, the rental settlement I signed even stated the insurance coverage provided might already be coated by one other supply. But it surely was buried within the 4 pages of phrases and circumstances that I didn’t even look over.

It actually pays to learn by every thing you signal.

Mistake #2: Renting on the Airport

cars and an airport control tower
skyNext/Getty Pictures

I’ve at all times been informed renting a automotive on the airport is costlier than renting elsewhere.

The $20.33 concession-fee restoration and the $16 customer-facility cost had been added to my invoice simply because I rented from the Philadelphia airport. I might have doubtlessly saved cash if I had discovered low-cost transportation to get to a different rental facility.

Typically the each day charges at airports are additionally increased in comparison with non-airport places.

Mistake #three: Selecting a One-Means Drop-Off

It was exhausting for me to keep away from this cost as a result of I used to be flying out of an airport almost 100 miles from the place I initially rented the automotive.

Nonetheless, the subsequent time I must hire a automotive, I’ll attempt to plan issues out so I can decide up and drop off the car on the similar location.

The $36 I paid to alter the drop-off location was greater than the each day price of the rental.

Mistake #four: Speeding By means of the Course of

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.

Penny Hoarders on the lookout for the most effective offers know the advantages of procuring round. I reserved my rental automotive after I had landed on the airport and picked up my baggage. I didn’t analysis costs upfront or do a lot comparability procuring to see what different rental firms would have charged me.

I might need discovered a cheaper rental if I had taken my time. On the very least, slowing down and studying by your complete rental settlement on the rental counter might have saved me over $100 in pointless insurance coverage safety.

In my protection, I used to be apprehensive about my dad’s car-accident accidents, and planning the journey was very last-minute. Making monetary selections while you’re drained and careworn is just not the best way to go.

Mistake #5: Not Paying Off the Cost on My Credit score Card

When my subsequent credit-card invoice rolls round, it’ll embody about $four.60 in curiosity as a result of I didn’t repay the rental-car cost instantly.

Whereas that isn’t an entire lot of cash, credit-card curiosity can shortly accumulate earlier than you notice it. I’m nonetheless paying off debt from fees I made in 2013, and the curiosity is killing me.

Should you’re utilizing a bank card for a automotive rental, the most effective transfer is to repay the cost as quickly as doable — except you’re nonetheless inside your card’s zero% curiosity introductory interval.

Excuse me whereas I’m going off and comply with my very own recommendation.

Nicole Dow is a employees author at The Penny Hoarder. Writing about her monetary errors was exhausting, however she hopes to encourage others to make higher decisions.

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