Extra charges are a common problem with rental cars.
A lot of complaints concerning car rentals relate to extra charges. Many consumers have been surprised to find extra charges on their credit card after returning a rental car. These kinds of charges are usually for repairs that the car rental company considers to have been caused by the consumer. It is worth checking your credit card statements regularly after you return the car.
Tips for avoiding extra charges
1. Inspect the car carefully when you pick it up
In order to avoid extra charges, it is important to inspect the car with a representative of the car rental company before you drive it out of the lot. It is a good idea to make a note of even the smallest of scratches in the condition form and to ask for a copy of the form for yourself. When you return the car, make sure that the car rental company records the car as having been returned undamaged.
Never return a car outside the opening hours of the car rental company or at least never drop off a rental car in an unsupervised, unfenced location. A good precaution is to take photographs of the car in connection with both pick-up and drop-off.
2. Look out for no-entry signs
Extra charges are often the result of administrative costs that car rental companies incur as a result of fines and traffic tickets given to their customers. Many large cities in Italy in particular have pedestrianised zones in the city centre and historically important areas. Tourists can easily miss the ZTL, or Zone Traffico Limitato, signs that are written in Italian.
As traffic in these areas is controlled by means of automated cameras, many tourists only find out about their indiscretions when a car rental company charges their credit cards for administrative fees incurred from having to forward the driver’s contact details to traffic control authorities. If a car rental company charges several administrative fees for fines received during the same day, for example, it is worth asking for leniency.