Seven Top Tips for Avoiding Rental Car Scams and Getting the Best Deal
Rental car use is at an all-time high. We don’t want to spend our holidays confined to the restraint of public transport. We want to be able to go where we want and do what we want, and for that we need a car.
Here at Pacific Rent a Car we always follow the rules and that’s why we’re number one through-out North Cyprus. But there are many less than reputable providers out there who are looking to take advantage of the increased demand and are only interested in earning a few Euros.
As a customer, you need to remain vigilant, following these top seven tips to avoid car rental scams, over-charges and other issues that the average customer faces.
1. Book in Advance
The majority of car rental companies perform something that is known as “yield management”. Simply put, when they have a small number of cars available, they will increase the price. They often begin at a set price, which they will never drop. This is the price they charge when they have a full or mostly full fleet of cars. But when that fleet begins to thin out then they start in-creasing the price, simply because they can afford to do so and because they know that rent-a-car customers will typically be happy to pay it.
To get around this practice, you just need to book as early as possible, preferably prior to any major holidays. Look for any major events, holidays and festivals that will likely bring the local fleets down and then book early on.
This “yield management” is a perfectly normal practice and one that isn’t particularly frowned up-on. Here at Pacific Rent-a-Car we endeavor to offer the lowest prices at all times, but we’re one of the few providers that do, so be sure to book in advance and you can get the very best deal.
2. Baby Seats
Most companies will charge extras if they believe they can get away with it, but at the same time, they will pull those fees if they think that it’s going to lose them a sale. Such is the case with rent-a-car companies throughout North Cyprus and indeed the world. They often charge extra for baby seats, knowing that families need them and that if it’s only a few pounds, they won’t think twice about paying.
These baby seats are often the cheapest on the market and they may not meet European safety standards. So, think about bringing your own, and if it’s a good baby seat, then negotiate the price and try to bring it down. They’ll typically charge an extra few pounds a day and won’t want to lose a customer for such a small amount.
3. Buy Extra Insurance
The roads in North Cyprus are not the best. As much as we love this region (we have been op-erating city-wide and Ercan airport car hire for years now) we’ll admit that the roads don’t get the best care.
So, don’t trust the insurance offered for windscreens and tires. Look to purchase extra in order to cover you for scratches, breaks and other damage caused by the poor conditions of the road. Most rent-a-car companies won’t mention the insurance until it’s too late; they won’t tell you about coverage until you’re already stuck paying extortionate damages.
4. Pickup Discounts
Most rent-a-car firms in North Cyprus will charge you the same price whether you are picking the car up or accepting delivery. But the former is much easier for them and saves them time and money. So, if you are picking it up, then push for an extra discount. Let them know that you are saving them time and money and they should be willing to return the favor.
It is a discount we will gladly offer here at Pacific and that’s why we’re number one for Ercan air-port car hire. But we’re the exception, not the rule.
5. Don’t Pay More for Second Driver
Many companies will try to charge you extra for a second driver, but you shouldn’t have to pay a penny more. After all, it doesn’t cost them extra so why should they charge you more?
Take it from us here at Pacific Rent-a-Car: We do not pay a penny more for adding a second driver to a rental car which means we don’t have any charges to pass onto our customers. Other companies are exactly the same.
6. Take Pictures
If you have a camera on your phone, then make sure you snap pictures of all sides of the car at the point of hire. Don’t worry about coming across as rude, it is a perfectly normal practice and one that most reputable car hire firms will understand. Here at Pacific, we recommend it. It allows for extra coverage and extra peace of mind for the customer, and that’s never a bad thing.
7. What to do if you Have an Accident
If you have an accident in a rent-a-car in North Cyprus, then do not move the car. Leave it where it is, take some pictures and phone the police before letting the company know. All accidents need to be reported, otherwise you won’t be able to make a claim on your insurance and you will be liable for any damage caused.
This is a major issue with tourists coming into North Cyprus because the rules may be different in their home country. But that’s why it’s so important to understand the rules and regulations of the country you visit and to make sure you follow them to the letter.