Coasting over car rental regulations could cause a bumpy ride for August long weekend

July 27, 2017
BBB says reading the signs could save you car trouble down the road


JULY 27, 2017 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - Are you looking to plan a scenic drive in the mountains or pack your bags for a road trip for the upcoming long weekend? BBB says that with more than 6,000 inquiries and 22 complaints about auto-renting and leasing companies last year, it pays to slow down and pay heed to a business' policies and procedures before they drive off with your investment.

"Rental cars are a great convenience for travelers, but rental car contracts can be complicated," says Mary O'Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "Unexpected costs like mileage caps, insurance and drop-off fees can change the price dramatically. Putting in the time to comparison shop before renting can save you time and money."
So, how do you get the best mileage for your buck when renting a car?
BBB recommends these tips when navigating the roads of car rentals:
  • Understand insurance: Check your car insurance policy before you leave home. In some cases, your policy will cover damage to a rental vehicle so you don't have to purchase insurance through the car rental company.

  • Know what you're looking for: Determine the size and type of car you will need, such as compact, midsize, luxury, or mini-van as well as the costs of each.

  • Ask about special fees: Ask if drop-off charges apply if you return the car to a different location. Keep in mind location rates may vary within the city and at the airport for the same firm, and that daily rates may be higher during certain days of the week. Additional driver fees may apply for extra drivers.

  • Look for package deals: Some airlines or other travel companies may offer discounted rates if you purchase more than one service, such as a flight, rental car or hotel stay.

  • Weigh the value of add-ons: Renting a GPS device, a child car seat or a roof rack can add to your total bill. Consider using a cell phone GPS or bringing your own car seat.

  • Compare gas rates: Some companies offer to sell you a full tank of gas so you don't have to fill up the tank before you return the car. Compare the full-tank charge to the cost of gasoline in the area where you're renting. 

  • Ask about late or early return fees: Some renters have been surprised at being charged a fee for returning a car early or late. Sometimes, the penalty may be deducted from your deposit. If you're traveling over a holiday or have to return the car outside of regular working hours, ask whether the office will be open or if you need to drop keys in a lock box.

  • Use your camera: Take a picture of the car before you leave the rental facility and when you return it. Good pictures can protect you from unfounded charges for vehicle damage.

  • Ask for the final price: Make sure the rental agent explains all the charges before you sign the contract and drive off the lot. 
  • Check a company's record: Check BBB Business Reviews which show whether a company has complaints and how those complaints have been resolved. 

For more tips you can trust, visit 

Media Contact:
Leah Brownridge, Media and Corporate Communications Specialist
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay 
(403) 531-8793


About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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