Hidden Costs of Car Rental

While traveling to a new destination, you may prefer to hire a rental car for the convenience of visiting the local area without searching through maps and asking assistance from the locals. Accordingly, you may find the perfect deal that seems cost effective and worth the expense. However, are you aware of the numerous hidden costs that car rentals charge to their customers?

There are dozens of hidden costs that you are charged with when you opt for a car rental. Some of the most common ones are:

Airport Fees

When travelling via airplanes, most people opt for a car rental company that is located at the airport itself, hoping for a more convenient car pickup. However, they are unaware of the fact that companies situated at the airport are actually required to pay an airport fees that they charge to their client’s bill.


taxWith car rentals, you are also charged with local and state taxes, such as road tax, motor vehicle tax, stadium tax and many other similar taxes that are paid by you within your car rental fee.

Underage Driver Penalty

In most locations, drivers under the age of 25 have to pay an additional charge on a daily basis to be allowed to drive a rental car.

Fuel Charges

When returning your rental car, remember to fill the fuel tank to the brim or else the rental company will charge you with a refueling charge that is a combination of fuel costs and penalty fee.

Car Insurance

Most rental car companies charge extra fees as insurance for the car in case of any damages that it may incur while under your possession. This cost is usually known as Collision Damage or Loss Damage Waiver.

Additional Driver Cost

If you are traveling in a group and plan to share the driving seat with others, be prepared to pay extra for every additional driver, as many car companies will charge you extra for it.

Early Car Return

Retuning a car late can lead to a penalty, but returning it before your contract is over can also lead to a fine, as many companies consider it as a contract breach.

Frequent Flyer Charges

bonusYou can earn airline miles and frequent flyer points if you travel frequently with the same airline. However, to earn this reward, you will need to hire rental cars with partnered companies only, and will be charged additionally by the company to receive these points.

One-Time Drop-Off

You may be charged extra if you pick up your car from one location and drop it off at another.

Late Fees

Most cars are rented on a 24-hour clock basis. Once a new day starts, you will be charged for a full day even if you return the car after just a few hours.


Some car rental companies charge their clients based on mileage driven rather than a flat rate fees and you need to be aware of the billing criteria prior to renting your car.

Peak Season

Car rental rates can fluctuate with regard to peak or off seasons, with peak seasons rentals charging additional costs.