FAQ. - Car rental center
After you’ve made a reservation on Houston Rental Car Center, you’re going to pick up a vehicle you’ve booked at a rental counter of a car rental vendor.
A car rental agent will ask you to show:
- a credit card in your name (the card must be in the name of the main driver) with enough funds on it to cover the excess and additional equipment (if you’ve booked any),
- a full driving license in your name with minimum 1 year of driving experience (the same applies to additional drivers),
- a confirmation voucher (you receive it on email after your booking is confirmed).
Houston Rental Car Center allows you to rent a car online only using your payment card, as you need to secure a selected car with a deposit (a small part of the entire car rental rate) or to fully pay for your rental to make a booking.
We accept American Express, Diners Club, Discover Card, MasterCard (not debit), Visa (not debit), and Maestro payment cards for online car rental reservations.
Your payment card info will be absolutely confidential as it is protected with industry leading SSL encryption.
Take advantage of guaranteed car rental models on our website! That means you’ll definitely get the car you see on the picture if the deal is marked with “guaranteed car model” sign (only the color of the vehicle may vary, but you can ask a car rental vendor to reserve a particular color).
In all other cases every car rental vendor guarantees you only the car group and class of the vehicle. You get a car of the same technical characteristics and comfort level that the one you’ve chosen at the time of booking.
Houston Rental Car Center website provides only the services of car hire comparison and reservation, and carries out customer support and car rental informing functions. We do not own cars as well as we do not have chauffeur services.
And if you need a driver, contact a car vendor of the car you’ve booked directly and order a chauffeur service. Then you’ll need to pay for this service at the rental counter additionally.
You can make changes in your reservation anytime using your online confirmation voucher, which is sent on your email after the reservation is done.
Open your e-voucher and find a “Manage your booking” section there. Using this section you can:
- change a vehicle
- change dates/location
- change personal details
- add option extras
- view the rental conditions of your current booking
- cancel your reservation.
If you haven’t received your confirmation voucher yet, it most likely means that you haven’t paid a total amount according to your rental, and have just secured your car by paying a small part of the whole car rental rate.
The voucher is sent once the entire car rental balance is paid (the remaining amount is automatically withdrawn 5-7 days before the rental). You also can pay the entire balance on the website in advance if you choose to do so.
If the total is paid, and your voucher is still missing or has been deleted from your mail or lost, ask our support team in a live chat or via [email protected] Rental Car Center.com to resend a voucher to you, please.
There are no obligatory additional payments as Houston Rental Car Center is an all-inclusive car rental service.
At the rental desk you may take some additional equipment if it’s needed (like a child seat or a GPS navigator) and ask for additional service (like additional driver or a chauffeur service). Such extra options are paid for additionally.
If there are any specific local mandatory fees (not extra) you’ll be informed about them during the booking process. Local mandatory charges are to be paid right at a car hire company’s counter.
On Houston Rental Car Center you are offered one of several fuel policy types:
- pick up full, return full
- pick up full, return empty
- pick up and return half-empty
- pick up half full and return empty.
Fuel policy type depends on a car rental vendor and a particular deal you’re choosing.
There’s no obligatory car rental insurance that you need to buy additionally.
If you’re an experienced driver, you may not buy an additional insurance and save your money! Just look through the Excess amounts listed in FAQ.
Pros: it’s the cheapest option; your risks are limited by Excess fee.
Cons: you risk to pay an Excess fee1 in case of an accident.
Usually an insurance costs 1/10 of the cost of Excess fee. If an accident happens less than 1 time from 10 rentals, you can be advantageous not to use insurance.
Buy an insurance, which covers an Excess fee itself, from our website.
It means that in case of an accident the client is still being charged, but all the charges are returned by AXA insurance company, since the client’s Excess fee is insured.
Pros: Excess is 40-60% less than the cost of the full insurance.
Cons: you still need an Excess amount on your card. In case of an insured event (accident / theft etc.) it is charged from the client and is returned later.
This variant is a very good alternative that is a compromise between buying a full insurance and the lack of it. Completely removes the risks related to any accident, but may temporarily block the amount up to the full-size Excess fee1 on your credit card.
Buy a full insurance right at car rental counter.
Pros: you don’t need to have an Excess amount on your credit card, and nothing will be blocked.
Cons: high cost, which can even exceed the cost of the rental.
This option is also suitable if for some reason your credit card is not accepted, and you have the opportunity to pay in cash.
1 If the car has suffered insignificant damage, you don’t have to pay a full Excess fee, but only the amount for the caused damage, limited by the size of Excess fee.
In short, if you hire a car, and it gets damaged or stolen, the ‘Excess’ (sometimes called the ‘Deductible’) is the amount of money you have to pay to the rental company upon returning the vehicle.
Each car hire company has their own Excess conditions. Please, check them in Insurance coverage paragraph when choosing from the list of available vehicles.
Your Excess payment will not be returned to you fully or partially in these cases:
- the rented car was damaged - covered by Collision damage waiver (CDW)
- the car was stolen - covered by Theft waiver (TW)
- Third party was damaged or injured - covered by the Third party liability protection (TP)
To decrease the amount of Excess not returned to you in case of an accident, you can:
- Buy the Damage excess reduction at the car rental counter
- Buy the Excess insurance on our website while doing your reservation
- Buy a traveler’s insurance from some insurance company which covers the excess payment.
There are other main types of waivers/insurance which cause to Excess payment:
- Collision damage waiver (CDW)
- Damage excess reduction
- Theft waiver (TW)
- Third party liability protection (TP)
- You may be held responsible for damage or loss of tyres, windscreens, glass and undercarriage.
Please, check your vehicle with the car rental agent before pick up to make sure the car does not have any damage.
Usually the held sum will be available back to you within a few days after you drop off your vehicle successfully, but sometimes it can take up to 14 days. The exact period of time needed to return/unblock your funds depends on many variables, not the last is the bank which issued your credit card. In any case you can contact our support team to clarify the situation if needed.
To reduce the excess payment for any car damages you can order an Insurance on our site and save up to 50% on Full Car Rental Insurance, or you can order it from a car rental agent upon arrival to the car rental counter.
If you order an Insurance on our site the main benefit will be to save money on Full Car Rental Insurance but you still will need your credit card to hold the Excess amount, because in case of damage the Excess amount will be charged from your card, and our Insurance company will return this amount back to you.
If you buy Full Car Rental Insurance from a car rental agent on arrival you will pay some time twice more, but you will not need to hold any amount on your credit card. So it’s personally your choice which variant is better for you.
In case you do NOT want your money to be held from your credit card (or you do not have enough money on your credit card at the moment), then you should buy Full Car Rental Insurance from the car rental agent directly. But as a result it turns to be the most expensive variant.
And if you have enough funds on your credit card to be held from for the period of your rental, and you can do well without this amount of money for 1-3 weeks, then it’s more advantageous for you to buy Insurance right from our website.
CDW or Collision Damage Waiver, which is usually included into car rental rates on Houston Rental Car Center, covers the damage which can be done to a hire vehicle during your rental.
You must pay attention to the fact that not all types of damage are covered by CDW. Note that damage to a windscreen or tyres, undercarriage or replacement locks, replacement keys and towing charges are not covered by Collision Damage Waiver.
To check what is covered by insurance included in your rental price, see your confirmation voucher, please.
Theft Protection limits your liability in case of rental car’s theft or in case if any damage is done to the vehicle by attempted theft.
TP does not cover the damage done to a vehicle during its exploitation while travelling.
Prices for car rental are based on pick up and drop off dates and time you’ve specified during the booking procedure.
If you pick up your vehicle later than stated in your voucher or drop it off earlier, no funds will be refunded.
If you have any mechanical difficulties with a car or in case of a road accident, you must immediately call your car rental vendor directly. The car hire company will organize a fast repair or replace a vehicle in case of breakdown or mechanical problems.
In case of an accident you must receive a police report and a report about the accident from a car rental company to use your insurance and to make an insurance claim.
Booking cancellation on Houston Rental Car Center is easy – just use your e-voucher to reach a “Manage Booking” section. There you have an option of immediate online cancellation of your booking.
If you cancel your booking in more than 24 hours before pick up – your booking will be fully refunded. For more details about cancellation policy according to your deal, contact our call-center, please.
If you see a charge from your card by a car rental company after your vehicle is dropped off, then this is some of the local fees such as:
- refueling charge,
- parking ticket or fine,
- additional extras used along with the vehicle,
- or a damage to the car discovered by the company after you dropped the vehicle.
Every car rental vendor list these charges in appropriate documentation which is sent to the client.
If you have any questions accordingly after-drop-off charges, contact our call-center, please.