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Car Rental Rip Offs & Scams

This scenario is played out over and over all across the country.

You've just opened your credit card statement to see an outrageous charge for a recent car rental.

Wondering where the inflated charges come from?

Car Rental Agents

They are paid low wages but receive great commissions for upselling you optional services.

These commissions can be high, in some agencies they can be fired for not have enough upsells in a month.

After a long flight, collecting your bags then waiting on line you reach the counter and told sign or initial here, here and here.

Before you do that read the contract very carefully.

The hidden fees are usually found in the fine print!

Car Rental Insurance

They don't call it insurance.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) is what you'll here.

Guess what CDW and LDW is not insurance.

It is just a waiver stating rental company won't come after you for damages to the vehicle.

This could add up to as much as $30 a day or more.

What the car rental agent doesn't tell you is that you are covered by most credit card companies & your personal car insurance policy.

Most major credit cards come with no-cost rental car collision and theft protection
You'll want to check with your credit card company to see what coverage.

Using a credit card also allows you to dispute outlandish charges as well.

Also contact your personal car insurance agent.

Make sure you do this in advance to avoid any surprises.

Don't trust the agent.

Even if you've declined the insurance , do not be rushed through the POS (point of sale) screens when signing or initialing!

Read the contract to make sure they didn't add it anyway or see a phantom charge.

Especially read the fine print, that's where they like to hide fees.

In disputes they will counter with Agent saying "you should have read the contract".


Ask for the car you rented and don't be told car selected won't hold baggage or supposedly telling you can get a deal.

Don't assume Satellite radio and a GPS navigation equipment is included.

Adding these features can increase rental cost by about $70 per week.

Here are some other options to avoid.

Prepaid Gas Option

As expensive as gas is nowadays, it makes no sense to prepay for a tank of gas then return the car with 1/4 or 1/2 a tank.

It's like giving the car rental company free money!

Select option where you can return car with full tank.

If you are in Orlando do not fill up at closest stations near airport.

They'll charge $2 or more per gallon than the prevailing rate.

There are a couple of 7-11 stores just a couple of miles away.

Get a receipt as well in case the car rental company tries to tell you, it's not full.

Whatever you do don't bring the car back empty.

The agency charges $8.99 per gallon if they have to fill it.

Prepaid Toll Passes

They have an administrative fee for every day of the rental $2.50-$3 per day.

This fee is incurred even if you don't use toll roads.

Here's what happened to some who chose the prepaid toll pass option.

Visitor Toll Pass is a FREE temporary toll pass for rental car customers traveling roundtrip through the Orlando International Airport. With Visitor Toll Pass™, you always pay the lowest toll rate throughout Florida with no hidden or extra fees.

Airport Surcharges

In Orlando there is a 10% surcharge when picking a car up at airport.

Pick up the car off property if you're staying in the attraction areas.

They'll pick you up and shuttle you to rental office.

Downside is you'll have to pay for a taxi to get to hotel.

Not a bad idea if you're jet lagged, arriving after dark and unfamiliar with area.

Taxes and Fees

You may pay extra for additional drivers, dropping a car off at a different location and returning car off early.

Don't forget to inspect interior and exterior of car before leaving the lot.

If there is a dent or stain on upholstery make sure they note it on contract.

Finally enjoy your Orlando vacation!

Don't forget to check out some of our timeshare specials if your still looking for a place near the attractions.

Orlando Car Rental Code
Orlando Car Rental Code