Have you ever returned a rental car and thought you were paid in full only to get hit with additional fees a few days (or weeks) later?
It is no fun to deal with this type of thing after the fact, but you can protect yourself.
The best forms of defense? Pictures (after all, a picture is worth 1,000 words) and paperwork.
Whenever I rent a car, I do the following:
1. Take pictures of the car, both when I pick it up and when I return it. I photograph:
- All 4 sides of the car: front, back, driver’s side, passenger side
- Any visible damage (scrapes, dents, etc.)
- The odometer reading
- The gas tank level
2. Keep copies of all paperwork so I can compare the charges with my credit card statement, especially:
- The rental car contract with a detailed listing of the fees
- The final inspection from the rental car agency employee
If you have photographic proof and paperwork, you can dispute any additional charges for mileage and/or damage should the need arise.
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