Admit it — one of the biggest things you and I lie about is “I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions” box!  No judgement, we all do it. For the most part nothing really goes wrong.

The trouble is, if you really didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, you may find that you end up with a few surprises in your bill or contract. Take note that, in most cases, these charges are NOT hidden charges and are completely legal. If it was included in the terms and conditions which you agreed to, then there’s really no way out of it. So before you even get into a bit of a pickle, here are a 3 of the common “fine prints” that people sign and end up getting in trouble for.

1. Cancellation Policies

Most people would just assume that you can cancel at any time at no consequence. Of course, this is hardly ever true. Whether it’s a hotel booking or car hire, they block off the service to anyone and everyone else on those specific dates for you. This is why companies typically have cancellation fees. With hotels, cancellation fees varies depending on how long prior to arrival you’ve cancelled. It can be anywhere from 20% to 75% of booking value. For car hire, it can be anything from $50 to $70, or around 50% of total rental cost — whichever is higher. Take note that these fees can be charged around 7 to 14 days from your cancellation date.

2. Insurance
You know the excess on your insurance policy , often this comes with some strings attached. You might want to read the fine print that comes with it. Typically, there are a few things that aren’t covered by that insurance: single vehicle damage; damages or loss of the pantec or box section; car damage due to hail storm, flood, typhoon, or bushfire; a vehicular accident/damage/loss caused to your car hire or a third-party person/property due to you failing to properly secure your equipment; or loss or damage to your car hire or a third-party person/property due to your unloading or loading to or from the vehicle. What’s more is that there are probably things like administration fees that can cost a few hundred dollars for whenever you do damage or lose the vehicle.

3. Refunds
Take note that for both hotels and car hire, there are rarely ever any refunds for cutting your stay short or for early returns. You should also take note that if you booked from a third-party site, you probably won’t be able to get a refund from the direct hotel or car hire company. It’s standard policy that the comparison/third-party site handles such disputes. What usually happens, however, is that they end up bouncing your concerns back and forth that most people just eventually cut their losses and give up. In cases like this, you might be better to ask for a credit for the next time – they are more likely to agree to this as they will see you as a repeat customer, this way neither of you lose out.

4. Tolls & Traffic Infringements
If you rented a car and started to drive around without sorting your toll passes, you will be charged for administration fees. It’s definitely not going to cost as much as insurance admin fees, but $10 to $15 per toll passed is still money you would rather spend elsewhere. To be safe, make sure you have your e-passes ready before you even start driving around. Remember that any traffic violations that you commit are on you, as well. This is even if the car isn’t yours. Remember that even this has an administration fee of $70 to $100 as well. Yikes!

The moral here is that you should always read the Terms & Conditions. Your talk with customer service may not be long enough for him/her to explain all the nitty gritty details. It’s always better for you to find out for yourself even before you even book. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting into. Good luck! Of course going direct to a car hire company or hotel instead of an online broker may give you more time and more accurate information.

Alpha Car Hire prides itself in no hidden charges and 100% honesty every single time. From security bonds, to excess options, to cancellation policies; everything you would want to know is in the Alpha Terms and Conditions. Don’t want any nasty surprises on your car rental bill? Talk to our specialists today!