Hiring a car is a great alternative to public transport especially when you require a little more freedom and flexibility in your movements when you are travelling to Melbourne. Whether you are visiting for holidays or on business, having a car can save you a lot of time. If you hire a car without reading the fine print however, your cheap car hire could turn out to be a lot more expensive than you bargained for, so the following are some tips for avoiding a surprising bill.
The Internet provides the fastest and easiest way for you to compare the hiring costs for various companies, especially since you have a lot of options for car hire in Melbourne. Many companies offer an online booking process where you can choose the car you want and the days you want it for, and you can pay for the booking using your credit card. Beware of the estimated total that the website generates however, because there are often a lot of little extras that they don’t charge you for until you actually come to get the car. If you can, it’s always better to talk to an actual person when making the booking and be firm about wanting to know the exact price you will be expected to pay.
Understanding Your Rental
There are so many extra costs, conditions and restrictions when it comes to hiring cars that it can be really confusing, which sadly is often the point. That is why it’s important for you to be wary of sales pitches and always ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. Before you make your booking, ask about restrictions and the conditions of your reservation. Is there a large penalty if you have to cancel, or are late picking the car up? Will they hold the car for you if you are stuck in traffic or your flight is late? Is there an additional fee for an international drivers license holder? Remember that it is up to you to ask all the important questions if you don’t want to be surprised later when you get the final bill.
The True Cost
Many company websites will have you believe that all you are paying for is the cost of the rental, insurance, and tax. When you actually show up to collect the car, however, the story might change. This means that the rate you saw advertised may become inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance for both the driver and the car, petrol surcharges, tax on petrol, drop-off and pick-up charges, early return fees, mileage fees, peak season surcharges, etc. It’s in these extras that the true cost of hiring a car lies, so buyer beware! Before you hand over your credit card, ask what the exact cost of the rental will be and refuse to pay anything other than the stated quote.
Hiring a car is a great way to get around Melbourne and see the city, whether you are on holiday or visiting for business purposes. It’s good to remember that some companies give others a bad name, so it’s important to shop around and to listen to advice from other consumers before choosing a company to go with for your car hire needs.