Renting a car

Each Friday, we feature a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s reader tip comes from an anonymous reader, who shares another tip for anyone renting a car:

“Just wanted to add to a tip you had put up on rental cars and tires! We rented a car at Zurich airport and checked the car and gave the tires a quick look over. Never paying attention to the rims. When returning the car the attendant went straight for one tire and said the rim was damaged. Sure enough it had a scratch from a previous renter that they seemed to not fix and use to try to catch people again. In our case we had full insurance so we weren’t too worried.”

You should always look out for rental car agency tricks…especially when you’re renting a car overseas. Always document everything, including the status of the car’s rims, to make sure you’re not taken advantage of. Thanks for the tip!

Have you had a bad rental car experience?

Have you been taken advantage of by a rental car company? Or do you have a good tip to help avoid being taken advantage of? Please share in the comments below!

More tips for people renting a car


Have your own tip? Email it to!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,636!

Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Enter your email address and check “Daily Travel Tip” to receive Johnny’s best tips in your inbox each day!

If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check “Daily Travel Tip” on the same page. You’ll receive an email with a link to update your preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.

Johnny Jet

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

10 Comments On "Don't Forget to Check the Rims of Your Rental Car"
  1. Rod|

    I always video the entire car before I leave. This gives great evidence along with geo tags on the video for location, date, and time.

  2. Rich|

    I always take video and pics, both when picking up the vehicle and returning. It is time/date stamped and cannot be argued with. I always make sure that the agent sees me doing this as I feel it will dissuade them from filing any false claims on my rental

  3. James M Richardson|

    I took a drive from Brussels to Bayeux last year. What should have been a 5-6 hour trip, wound up being a 12 hour scenic trip through countless Normandy towns and villages. Upon arrival I realized that I had failed to check the GPS settings. The “avoid toll roads” option had been chosen by a previous renter. It taught me to check the GPS settings while verifying the condition.

  4. guch|

    Several years ago I rented a car in Rapid City in July from Hertz. The returns are outside with no attendant. You walk inside to process the return. After the end of thunderstorm season in September I get a letter saying there was hailstone damage. The storm came after my flight left Rapid City. I decide to fight the claim because the insurance co wants to settle and have me pay the deductible. Photo shows nothing but they say the hood has damage. After the repairs, I ask for the repair bill. The bill says the driver’s side door and roof needed fixing but not the hood. Purco which handles claims for Hertz then says “oh, never mind, you don’t owe anything” when I point out the discrepancy. I don’t use rapid returns and now photograph before and after if it is a car that is just left outside without an attendant.

  5. Wit|

    I rent a lot, ~80-100 days/year worldwide. Happens all the time in EU. I rented a VW Passat in Germany from a large US chain and a side electric mirror was slightly broken. The car was nice and that cosmetics damage did not bother me. I asked the attendant to take pictures and note that (my mobile phone was not charged). When returning the car, they tried to blame the $1500 damage on me. When returning, that attendant with a camera was not there. In short, I did not pay for that and they blacklisted me in their system which included some other rental firms, which was painful to find out.
    I am now with Avis and they seem to be OK although I had accidents (not my fault) and others with my rental cars. I take pictures each time and I purchase the annual Allianz travel insurance so I do not have to deal with the deductibles and others. The Allianz insurance came handy recently, when the 18 wheeler took off some paint from my rental.
    If you are not a fault, state so, but still give them your insurance Allianz (my secondary insurance).

  6. James Wernicke|

    I rented a car from Sicily by Car. The car quit on the Autostrada. We had it towed to the rental company and they determined it was from “impure” diesel fuel. It wasn’t like I put gasoline in the car, they just called it impure. They said they needed to replace the fuel injectors and charged me $2707.65. They also informed me that even their best insurance does not cover this. They offered no proof that it was the fuel that I put in and they would not address this issue with the fueling station even though I sent the receipt.

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      OMG. So did you pay it? Insurance cover it?

  7. Ish|

    I rented a car with Enterprise at the train station in Edinburgh, Scotland and I only rented it for one day. I stayed on the major highways and when I returned the car, they said “oh, you’ve got a cut in your tire.” I didn’t pay for tire replacement (I had credit card insurance) but made me more wary of car rental places abroad. Of course, I’ll never rent from Enterprise again. They were totally dishonest.

  8. Lisa Rasmussen|

    So did the reader include the car rental company and location where he rented from? It would be helpful to share that with all readers so they know to avoid that particular company, otherwise this advice is only halfway helpful and worth the read.

  9. Vicki|

    I always take photos of the car when I pick it up and when I bring it back. Takes a few minutes, but well worth it.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *