Renting a Car
Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank reminds you to look at all the fees of renting a car before choosing your rental company
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. –Need to rent a car for your vacation or business travels? Comparing prices online can save you a bundle. But make sure you compare the total cost — not just the advertised rate — because fees and options can increase the base price dramatically.
Ask about fees before you rent a car to avoid surprises when you pay your bill. Here are some common fees and charges you may encounter.
The rental company will add on the required state, city, or county taxes — and their own sales tax rates — to the price of your rental car. You may see other fees, too, like a “vehicle licensing fee” or an “energy recovery fee.”
Early or Late Return Fees
Being early is not always a good thing. Some rental companies may charge a fee if you return the car more than 24 hours before your reservation was supposed to end. If you must return the car early, call the company to talk to an agent.
Running a little late? Many rental car companies have short grace periods that allow you to return the car without a fee if you’re late by less than 30 minutes. However, you still may have to pay a full day’s charge for optional items, like navigation systems and liability coverage options. If you’re running more than a half hour late, call the company to see if it’s cheaper to pay late charges or extend your rental.
If you’re renting a car at the airport, fees can increase the rental rate considerably. These surcharges can apply even when rental car companies shuttle you to their off-site lot.
Most companies require you to return your rental car with a full tank of gas. If you don't, you'll be charged the rental company's price for gas, which is virtually always more expensive than if you refill the tank yourself at a local station. Companies might give you the option of pre-purchasing a full tank of gas when you first take the car, so you can return the car without paying an additional fee to fuel up. There’s usually no refund for unused fuel.
Most rental car companies now offer unlimited miles. But daily mileage caps may apply based on the type of vehicle you rent (for example, some SUVs or high performance vehicles). It helps to know about how far you plan to drive so you can select the company that offers the most favorable mileage terms.
Roadside Assistance Fees
Ask whether roadside assistance is included in the price of your rental car, or if the company will charge you a fee for it. If the company charges for a roadside service plan, find out exactly what it will cover if you need help — for example, if you have a flat tire or lock your keys in the car. If you’re a member of a motor club, you may have free or low-cost roadside assistance through your membership.
Before you head out on a road trip, check whether your rental company allows you to drive out of the state or geographical area in which you rented the car. Ask about the charges to drive out of state.
Need to drop your car off at a location other than where you picked it up? You may have to pay a steep fee for that.
If you’d like to include extra items in your rental car — like a navigation system or a car seat — you’ll have to pay a fee. Reserve these items in advance; availability varies based on the location of the rental.
Want to switch off driving duties? Some companies charge a fee to add another driver — even your spouse — to your contract.
You don’t have to be 25 to rent a car. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are allowed to rent cars — for an additional fee.
About Victory State Bank:
VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.