If you’ve got a low rental price from a reputable car hire company, chances are you have booked your rental through Avis Car Hire. But, is the price that you initially saw advertised, the final amount that you will pay at the end of your rental?

With Avis Car Hire and many of the leading rental companies,there are no hidden fees, but it’s always advisable to read between the lines regardless of which car hire company you choose to book your rental through. Let’s face it; it’s really disappointing when you think you’ve got yourself a great deal only to find out when you return the car that there are all sorts of ‘added extras’ that you weren’t aware of! extra-low car rental fee you saw online is nothing more than a way to lure you in.

What can turn a cheap car rental deal into a whopper of a fee are all those pesky sales taxes, insurance fees, licensing fees and of course, airport surcharges. And then there are all the fees that seem a little unfair too, such as underage driver fees, a surcharge for not refuelling the car and so on.

Tips for avoiding extra charges on car hire

You might think that all of these hidden car rental fees are unavoidable, but they’re not. By being aware of what extra costs to expect and knowing how to avoid (or at least minimise) them, you can keep your Avis car hire bill affordable. Below are a few tips to consider:

  • Minimise taxes and airport surcharges

Unfortunately, taxes are unavoidable in general, but you don’t have to pay all of the taxes imposed on you. It is interesting to see that airport taxes are notably higher than city office taxes. If there’s a car hire branch near to the airport and it won’t cost you a fortune to get there, instead,opt to pick up the vehicle at a city branch instead of the airport. This way, you get to avoid the airport taxes.

  • Avoid drop off/collection charges

If you return the car to a different spot than the original collection office, you may have to pay an additional “drop off” charge. The amount will depend on the location. If the nearest car hire branch is hours away, the charges can quickly rack up. If you want to keep costs low, collect and return the vehicle at the same location.

  • Avoid extra mileage fees

While most car rental companies will offer unlimited mileage, there’s usually terms and conditions attached. Mileage will often be unlimited, but to a point. If you go over a certain amount of distance over your entire rental period, you may be charged additional fees.

  • Be aware of time charges

Time charges are two-fold. If you return the car late, you might be charged a penalty. And if you return the car early, you could be risking a penalty on your great rate. Most people don’t know that they really need to watch the clock if they want to avoid charges for having the car a little longer than intended.

Cars are rented on a 24-hour (daily) basis. If you return the car an hour after the expected time, you will be charged for an extra day’s rental. If you want to avoid this, do your best to get the car back on time. Some rental companies offer a 30-minute grace period. If you decide to return the car a few days early, you may no longer qualify for a weekly rate or the special rate that you were offered.

  • Avoid refuelling charges

Refuelling is a cost that you cannot avoid, but you can minimise the charge. A car rental vehicle must have a full tank when it’s returned. You can return it empty, but then the rental company will refuel the vehicle and charge you for the service. Always refuel a rental car before returning it to avoid the refuelling charge.

  • Avoid underage and extra driver charges

Unfortunately, if you are under the age of 25 years, most car rental companies will consider you a risky driver. Anyone 25 and younger will usually have to pay a higher rental rate. If you are travelling alone, you might need to pay this fee, but if you are touring with an older travel mate, you can cut back on this cost by getting him/her to hire the car instead. If you intend to share the driving, regardless of age, be prepared to pay more if you want to add an extra driver to the rental.

  • The cost of extras

Extras such as a navigation system are always nice to have, and you might choose convenience over cost when it comes to a car seat for your baby or young child, but keep in mind that these things are all ‘added’ costs. You could be racking up your daily rental rate by requesting extras. Rather avoid these and BYO if you want to keep your car rental costs down.

  • Avoiding collision damage and loss waivers.

Getting involved in an accident or having the rental car go missing is going to be costly if you don’t have insurance in place. Most car rental companies such as Avis Car Hire in South Africa include limited coverage of passenger and third-party liability in the rental deal, but then there are all sorts of additional waiver options for collision damage, theft loss etc.

You can avoid these charges completely if your regular car insurance covers you while you are driving a rental car, but you need to check this with your insurer before you rent the vehicle. There are even a few credit card companies that offer insurance if you pay for your car rental with your credit card.

Book Avis Car Hire Online & Save

So, now that you know how to avoid all the hidden fees of a car rental, you’ll be ready to book your Avis car hire deal and save on all the extras. Use the above tips to keep the added charges to a minimum. You can search, compare, and securely pay for car hire by using our interactive search feature.