If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays or even just taking a random getaway, you may be researching prices on rental cars. Surely, you will have seen that rental car prices are through the roof right now. Rental car inventory is very low. Companies sold off their fleets during the pandemic along with high demand due to increased travel. Because of these circumstances, we have seen car rental scams on the rise. If you’re booking a car online, you’ve got to be very careful or risk becoming a victim.
Tips For Avoiding Car Rental Scams
- Research the company you’re planning to rent from. In the midst of your search for a car, you may see a ridiculously good price listed amongst the plethora of higher priced rentals. This should be your first red flag. You may find a legitimate deal, but you’ve got to do your due diligence to ensure you’re not being scammed. Take the time to research the company that has listed the great deal. Using a search engine to query the company name along with keywords, such as “scam” or “review”, should give you some insight.
- Call the company directly. If you find a great deal online, research the company and if you’re confident their legit, contact them directly. Visit the company’s official website and use the contact information listed therein as opposed to using a contact number found on a search engine. You can then book a car over the phone with a customer service representative.
- Always pay with a credit card. Any “company” that asks you to pay with a gift card or pre-paid debit card is almost guaranteed to be a scam. You should only pay with a credit card as these charges can be disputed. If you provide a gift card to an illegitimate party, you’re out of luck.
We hope that you get out on the road sooner than later. Please take the time to make sure you’re not taken advantage of. With car rental scams on the rise, you must take a little extra time to protect yourself.