The concealed catches
Some of the catches routinely concealed in the fine print of the contract are:
Glass and tyres
Frequently excluded from the standard liability, you could be up for an additional charge or have no cover at all for damage to wheels, tyres, windshield and other windows, forcing you to pay for new tyres.
Underbody and overhead damage
You might find yourself totally liable for damage to the underbody or top of the lorry.
Some agreements may charge an extra cost or not cover you for an accident including an animal. The Hertz contract, for example, will not cover you if you struck an animal or have a mishap while preventing hitting an animal at night time in an area they specify as rural.
Damage from flood, fire, storm, cyclone or other natural catastrophes might likewise incur extra costs on top of the standard liability.
Top suggestions for renting a vehicle
Before the hire
– Read the contract terms and conditions before you choose a rental company.
– Check your vehicle carefully in the existence of a sales assistant before acquiring your automobile. Make sure all pre-existing damage, no matter how small, is recorded.
– Photograph the automobile at the beginning and end of hire. Try to time-stamp the photos and, if possible, get the sales assistant in the photos too.
– Request information about exactly what to do in case of a breakdown or mishap.
– Learn whether you need to bring the vehicle back with a full tank and exactly what is the charge per litre if you do not.
Throughout the hire
– As you exit the car hire depot the first thing to check for, apart from a running motor, is the nearby petrol station so you can fill on return without incurring the exorbitant fuel charges.
– If the automobile breaks down throughout the rental or you have a flat and desperately need replacement goodyear tyres, follow the company’s guidelines. Do not have it fixed without approval.
After the hire.
– In our investigation of Avis and Hertz, we found fuel mark-ups approaching 300%. Fill the car as close to the drop-off point as possible and keep your receipt to prevent a refuelling charge.
– While you’re filling up, hose down your car before returning it so that any potential damage shows up.
– To prevent having to pay for another person’s damage, aim to return your vehicle throughout opening hours.
– Get a company agent to check the vehicle in your presence immediately upon return.
– If there is no damage, the ACCC recommends you request a written declaration keeping in mind that the cars and truck was returned intact.
– Work out any conflicts over damages on the spot.
– If you have a problem, contact your local fair trading or consumer affairs office for advice or if it was an internartional hire check the recommendations from our sister organisations and consumer bodies.