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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

May 6, 2013
Avoid Rude Rental Car Surprises

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Ensure that your next rental car experience goes off without a hitch.


Sometimes renting a car is your best transportation option while traveling. But I've learned a few lessons the hard way. For example:

  • A reservation isn't necessarily a guarantee your car will be there.
  • Rates change constantly, so today's price may be much lower or higher than tomorrow's.
  • Book the best deal you can now and check back for lower rates. There's usually no penalty to cancel a reservation and rebook.
  • Always inspect the car for preexisting damage before renting and note it on your contract.
  • When traveling abroad, use only well-known companies.
  • Research travel columnists and message boards for rental tips, possible pitfalls and customer complaints about particular vendors.

Bottom line: Make sure you understand all terms and conditions of your car rental contract.

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