Renting a car is stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not the car hire company is going to give you the best service and rates. With dozens of different companies offering car hire throughout the country, it’s important to find out which ones are the most reputable. Fortunately, the internet can help you research consumer reviews, professional ratings, and any complaints filed against companies to help you avoid using a bad car hire service.
The first and most obvious sign of an unprofessional car rental service is the presence of hidden fees and extra charges. Any reputable company should disclose all potential charges and costs upfront, including extra charges that may be incurred during your rental period. If they aren’t willing to be upfront about their fees, how can you trust them to give you the best service?
Lack of Information
If a company doesn’t have a website, a professional physical location, readily-available contact information, and other basic business essentials, they’re probably bad news. Reputable companies make a point to provide contact and other information for customers from day one. They will also have a strong, professional website and make it easy to reach out with questions or concerns. If a company seems dodgy or hyper-focused on getting you to pay for a rental and move along, you might want to reconsider them.
No Rental Agreement
Any legitimate car hire service is going to have a rental agreement for all transactions. This will outline the permitted use of the vehicle, the terms and conditions of rental, and other details. It protects both the consumer and the car hire service and is an integral part of daily operations. Any company that just hands you keys without giving you an agreement to sign is questionable, at best.
Some companies set up shop near local airports deliberately, thinking they will be able to charge more for their rentals due to convenience for incoming travellers. While this might make good business sense, there’s no reason to rip people off. If you are looking for car hire from the airport or nearby, make sure that the rates aren’t overly-inflated compared to the rental agencies in town. Keep in mind that not all airport rentals are bad, but this is a prime spot for taking advantage of consumers.
Usually, it’s fairly easy to tell which companies are the ones to avoid when you are shopping for a car hire. They’re the ones that make you ask questions or that just don’t have a lot of information. Some even prey on those who may be desperate because they can’t use traditional car hire services for one reason or another.
Stick with names that you know and car hire services that have an upstanding reputation in the industry. Read customer reviews to see what the actual experience is like, too. Ultimately, as long as you’re paying attention, it’s easy to avoid the worst car hire companies and get the rental that you deserve.