News Going on a Road Trip? Read about the 11 most common car rental mistakes and how to avoid them

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Going on a Road Trip? Read about the 11 most common car rental mistakes and how to avoid them

Planning to rent a car and go on an epic road trip? Skyscanner Australia can help you navigate common car rental mistakes, so your next road trip is hassle-free.

What are the most common car rental mistakes?

  1. Not making sure your license is valid
  2. Not checking license restrictions
  3. Not bringing a credit card
  4. Not being 25 and over
  5. Paying too much for insurance
  6. Forgetting to fill your petrol tank
  7. Not doing a price comparison
  8. Paying over the odds for GPS
  9. Driving into another country
  10. Not inspecting your rental car
  11. Not reading up on international rental laws.

1. Not making sure your license is valid and in date

Seriously guys, this is a biggie, and an easy mistake to make. Not checking your license before you leave is one of the most common car rental mistakes. Definitely check those dates before you book that car.

2. Not checking international license restrictions

An Aussie license may be accepted in a lot of countries, but this can come with specific conditions and restrictions. For instance, lots of countries require you to have an International Driving Permit, such as the USA and Canada, and you will need to present this with your license when you pick up your rental car.

In countries where English isn’t the national language, you may need to get your license translated. Check with the local driving authority before you arrive, as these are both really common car rental mistakes.

3. Not bringing your credit card

It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, in many countries (like the UK) you cannot rent a car without a credit card. Make sure you pack yours. 

4. Not being 25 and over

Hardly fair, but it’s easy to forget that lots of car companies will not rent to drivers under the age of 25, so keep having those birthdays. In the meantime, if you’re underage, there are some car companies that will rent to you, but double check what the conditions are, as you may be subject to extra fees. 

5. Accidentally buying extra insurance polices

Skyscanner Australia always recommends that you have insurance when you rent a car, as no one wants to be stuck paying an arm and a leg for damage to a car, especially when you’re on holiday. But did you know you’re often already covered? Check with your credit card company, your bank, or your home auto-insurance providers to see if you have policies in place that already protect you when booking a rental car. 

6. Forgetting to refill the petrol tank

Perhaps one car rental mistake that crops up the most, especially if you’re in a rush to get the car back in time, is getting charged for not refilling the tank. However, the fees associated with not doing this are *really* not worth it. Make sure you stop by a petrol station and refill the tank before you drop off your car.

7. Not doing a price comparison

Granted, price comparisons are kinda our *thing* but seriously, just having a quick browse with our car rental search tools can save you a ton of money. You can also set the search parameters to your exact preferences, such as by transmission, car class, and pick-up points. 

8. Paying over the odds for GPS

We all love GPS, but shelling out an expensive daily rate for a GPS device is another common car rental mistake, as you can often save a lot of money by purchasing a local SIM for your smartphone, and using that instead. You can also buy your own GPS device (they’re super cheap now) and bring it with you!

9. Driving into another country

This is hardly a problem for Aussies, but it can be if you’re jaunting around Europe in a car. Don’t cross a border in your rental car unless it’s specifically allowed under the terms and conditions of your rental contract. This is important, because if you cross into another country without this being written up as permissible, your car rental insurance may not be valid, and that is one car rental mistake that can be hugely expensive.

10. Not inspecting your car

When you get the car, the car rental agent will mark all the scratches, bumps and bruises on the car before you drive off. However, it’s in your interest to inspect the car with them, and carefully, so you don’t end up being liable for damage you didn’t inflict. Any small mark you see that they aren’t listing down, point it out!

11. Not reading up on international car rental rules

Every country has different road rules and rental restrictions, so we advise that you read up on an individual country’s driving age requirements, speed limits, and standard driving practices, so you don’t end up doing something silly, like driving on the wrong side of the road!

For more advice on driving abroad, go to the Smart Traveller website. However, if you’ve done your research and you’re readyto go, you can compare and book cheap rental cars with Skyscanner Australia.

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