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Rental Car hint

Albany NY
posts: 2
reviews: 90
Rental Car hint

The last few times I've rented a car, I have taken a pix of the car and a closeup of the license plate with my smartphone before I drive off the lot. Serves two purposes.

1. I email the photos to my spouse so he has them for reference in an emergency.

2. When I check in to my hotel, I have a handy reference of the plate number for the hotel registration form. No more running back out to the parking lot to jot down the number. Just open the phone and check the photo.

29 replies to this topic
Shenzhen, China
posts: 1
reviews: 7
1. Re: Rental Car hint

When I checked out my car at Advantage Rent A Car at the LAX airport, the agent assured me that, if I pre-paid for a tank of fuel, that I would be credited for the amount of fuel in the tank when I returned the car. Well, that's simply not true, and inquires to the agency have gone unanswered.

Also, the agent wrote the wrong parking space on my contract, so I wasted an hour loading my gear into the wrong car and then re-loading it into the correct car.

Since this is the second time I've had major hassles with this agency, they'll never see me again.

Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,927
reviews: 84
2. Re: Rental Car hint

global2albanyNY, those are some good tips. Thanks for posting them.

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 955
reviews: 35
3. Re: Rental Car hint

Yes, some good tips. Although, every rental that I can recall also had the license plate number written on the key chain, so I've never needed a photo of the plate in order to provide the plate number to the hotel.

I also take photos of the car upon pickup and drop off as proof of the condition it was in, just in case they try to charge me for a scratch or dent that I didn't make.

I also use photos in my phone to record where I park my car if I'm in a large parking garage. Just a quick photo of the car sitting next a post number can be helpful, and easier than writing it down on a slip of paper that is easily lost.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
posts: 19,401
reviews: 58
4. Re: Rental Car hint

Very handy tips indeed, great post.

Houston, Texas
posts: 493
reviews: 169
5. Re: Rental Car hint

Good tip, but as DCH mentioned, the plate number is on the key chain.

The fuel option is a rip off. Absolutely NO Rental Companies will reimburse you for unused fuel. That's how they make money. Even if the gauge is close to empty, there is still a couple of gallons in the tank, that you're giving them for free. 3 left over gallons could be a extra 10 bucks you would have in your pocket.

Edited: 3:25 pm, June 07, 2013
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
posts: 19,401
reviews: 58
6. Re: Rental Car hint

One thing I have found after much discussions with many business associates, is that they've often found its easier to pre-book with the major companies in your home country, prior to departure. Some of the benefits included: the opportunity to read T&C carefully, insurance is often included or at a reduced rate, the charge total is in your home currency.

The above necessarily doesnt apply to all rental companies, but certainly worth a shot, especially as Id gather most frquent flying business persons would have a loyalty program to one company or another.

Thessaloniki, Greece
posts: 2
7. Re: Rental Car hint

Also, take photos of possible scratches before taking the car, not just write it on the agreement with the office agent. Also, when you return the car take pictures again and do ΝΟΤ leave without a written confirmation of the condition the car was in when you returned it, in order to avoid possible additional charges on your credit card, because "scratches and bumps where found after careful inspection".

posts: 12,524
reviews: 47
8. Re: Rental Car hint

I also take pictures of the registration plate and the car as I tend to forget minor details like number plate, make, model and color. Makes it hard to find in a car park. Especially hard if its parked on the street and theres no reference point on nearby poles. Pictures help :-D

I like this thread. Some great ideas. More please?

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 11,025
reviews: 40
9. Re: Rental Car hint

Great ideas, not just for business travellers but also for renters for leisure purposes.

We have been recommending taking photos of vehicles pre and post rental for some time now on the Road Trips forum for all the reasons suggested. We have used said photos before now to back up a dispute about car rental condition and won.

We also recommend taking photos when you leave your own car in a parking lot at an airport before flying off somewhere, or for that matter, anywhere where you might leave your own car unattended for a period of time.


Houston, Texas
posts: 493
reviews: 169
10. Re: Rental Car hint

Here's another tip. Stay away from cars with EZ-Pass.

I used it ONCE in NY. $1.45 toll, and Hertz billed me for $12.00.

I was in CA last week, and missed a toll. The toll violation cost me $1.60 from the Express lane in CA, and the Hertz bill was $30.00.

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