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Clark Howard: Rental car charges

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Updated: 11/06/2013 8:58 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you don't rent cars a lot, a lot of times, people are renting a car for only one time a year like going to visit relatives during Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I have some special tips for you. When you get to the rental car counter, you're going to be asked a dizzying array of choices about different types of pseudo-insurance.

Here's a tip -- before you go on your trip, talk to your own automobile insurer to see if you are covered for temporary use of a rental car. Many credit cards cover what your automobile insurance doesn't. So a lot of those things you're asked about, you can say no thanks.

So as more people get savvy about that, car rental companies have decided the gas tank is the next place to get your wallet. They offer you something where they sell you a tank of gas upfront and then you bring it back empty. I don't recommend that.

But if you do bring the car back after buying 
your own gas, make sure you have it full! This is because more companies
are using electronic metering and charging you per tenth of a gallon that you don't have in the tank. Usually about a buck per tenth, that's pretty expensive gas.

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