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What Should I Do If I Get Offered a Rental Car Upgrade?

Rental car upgrade

When you are ready to pick up the car you booked at the rental counter, there may be a chance the staff will tell you that your supplier has run out of vehicles in the category you had chosen where you may be offered a bigger car as an alternative for free. VroomVroomVroom has put together a checklist of the important points you need to remember when offered a car rental upgrade.

5 things to keep in mind when offered an upgrade

  • Don't fall for it easily: If you receive an upgrade offer on a higher-category vehicle for no additional cost, ask for the overall price of your car hire, since the amount you'll be quoted at the counter is only for the upgrade. Make sure you fully understand how the upgrade price works before agreeing. Confirm with your rental supplier whether it's a daily extra or a single price for your whole trip to be sure. It's also worth noting to review your contract before signing.
  • Mileage: If you booked an economy car and the upgrade you received is a sports car, you'll probably end up paying more in fuel costs. Be cautious of how mileage differs when given an upgrade and ensure it will not affect your budget.
  • Insurance: Know that an upgrade can sometimes result in a higher insurance premium. While this is not a bad thing, considering you are driving a better car, keep in mind that this can cost you a lot of money.
  • Driving difficulty: Assess your familiarity and driving ability. If you are used to driving a small car, but are offered an SUV, the extra space may be tempting, but navigating narrow and tiny streets in a bigger vehicle may cause you some problems.
  • Location awareness: To ensure that you end up with the car you want or an ideal upgrade, always consider the location you are hiring from and the types of vehicles offered by the rental supplier in that specific location.

Read more about picking up a rental car in Australia.


On getting a free car rental upgrade

Whether you're looking to rent a car or already renting from a popular location, chances are you will get an upgrade as m ost travellers will not usually book the higher class vehicles. Keep in mind that if your rental supplier doesn't have the compact or economy car that you originally chose, the supplier will be more likely to offer you a free upgrade just to keep you satisfied.