Car rental is among the most thriving business ventures in Malaysia these days and the most convenient mode of transport for people. However, with the charges of car rentals going up steeply during the last several years, renting a car at such high prices is no longer worth the convenience, and spiraling prices of petrol is given as the major reason for high car rental charges.
However, many people are not aware that more than the petrol prices, many hidden costs really contribute to the high rental costs. Sometimes, these hidden costs can be around half of the total car rentals. Although no rental agency in Malaysia (and I guess everywhere else) would like to disclose, most of these hidden charges are optional.
You can save a lot of money, if the additional services, which contribute to hidden costs, are not availed. The 5 points will explain about the composition of the hidden charges, their effect on the overall car rental rates and how you can talk to the car rental agency and get these hidden charges out of the car rental bill.
1) Airport taxes and surcharges.
Car rental agencies include additional charges in the car rental bill for providing the facility of picking up the rental car at the airport. This additional charge will normally work out to 10% of the total car rental bill.
The reason why they charge more if the user wants the rental car to be brought to the airport is because of taxes and concession charges. Car rental agencies are required to pay concession fees to the airport authorities such as Kuala Lumpur International Air Port (KLIA) whenever they bring a rental car to the airport. The local government also levies business taxes to the car rental agency for doing business at the airport.
Most of the airports and a few rental companies have free shuttle service plying on certain specific routes. You can get this hidden charge eliminated from the car rental bill by availing the free shuttle service up to a specific point from where rented car can be picked up with prior arrangement.
In this manner, the car rental agency reduces the car rental charges and as no additional service is involved, there is no need to pay any extra charges on this account.
2) Collision Damage or Loss Damage Waiver.
This is the additional RM45 – RM120 (depending on type of car booked) you have to pay per day in order to avert liability for any damage to the rental car, except in cases where damage was not caused due to gross negligence. Many insurance companies cover rental cars in their car insurance and credit car insurance policies as per their normal coverage system.
It will be worthwhile to check with the insurance company by those who wish to rent a car whether the insurance company covers rental cars and if they do, before renting a car, you should have the Collision or Loss Damage clause removed from the car rental charges. It will be a waste of money if one has to pay for collision damage over and above the normal insurance.
3) Petrol charges.
All car rental agencies will include gasoline charges in the car rental bill and the person renting a car will get a car with a full tank at the time of renting the car. With this arrangement, a person renting the car will feel elated that he need not stop anywhere on the way to fill up the gas and that he could return the car with an empty tank.
However, in most of the cases, the persons renting a car cannot completely utilize the gas, with the result there will be always some quantity of gas left in the tank. Unfortunately, car rental agencies will not refund any amount for unutilized petrol and on the other hand, they may add penalties to car rental bill.
It is therefore cheaper to get the gas filled up in the rental car only to the extent the fuel is required so that payment can be limited only to the quantity of gas filled up.
4) Drop-off fees.
If a person renting the car drops the rented car at a place different from where it was picked up, car rental agency may charge a ‘drop-off fee.’ Drop-off fees differ from state to state. While a few states do not levy any drop-off fees, some others charge as much as RM1000!
It follows from this is that it is better to return the car at the place from where it was picked up. If it is not possible to return the hired car at the same point, one should locate a drop-off point where the fee is nominal.
5) Early return fee.
It is the fee that car rental firms add to the rental bill as penalties for returning the hired car much earlier than scheduled. They may charge around RM30 – RM50 per day as a penalty, in addition to rental charges on daily rate basis rather than on their weekly rates. In order to avoid paying hundreds of dollars on this account, it is essential to plan the trips properly and return the car on the scheduled date specified in the policy.
Most of the hidden charges are in the nature of penalties levied by the car rental companies for violating the terms of the rental policy. It is therefore very important to carefully read and understand the terms of the rental policy before signing the contract.
You have to confirm with the car rental agency that all aspects are properly covered in the contract so that one need not pay penalties unnecessarily and the car rental rates are kept to bare minimum.
Car Rental In Malaysia
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