Don’t Lose Those Rental Car Keys!
I’ve mentioned the cost of replacing car keys here before, but on a recent trip we rented a small Renault car which came with a strong warning on the key fob (see picture), in addition to the usual one about not putting unleaded in a diesel engine! That £300 AVERAGE made me take a second look, especially when it’s for a rental car – not even my own!
The trouble is that keys are becoming more sophisticated with clever starting and security mechanisms, so they’re more costly to produce. In the case of a rental vehicle, it’s compounded by a harsh business reality: time is money!
It’s worth remembering that if you lose your car keys, the rental company will need to order new ones immediately – either for you or their next customer, and they can’t afford to wait. Even if someone finds the keys you lost and returns them to the company, it’ll be too late to save you hundreds of pounds in replacement costs!
1. Check that your travel or rental car insurance covers lost keys for a rental car without too high an excess
2. Carry a WhosMyOwner key fob on a small caribiner to attach to any temporary keys, like rental car keys. That way, someone finding keys you’ve left behind can notify you by SMS or email within minutes, and you’ve averted a costly problem.
3. Always check your rental contract and know HOW exposed you are to the potential cost of lost keys. My own research shows that it ranges from £200 to well over £700 for even a small compact car. Don’t get caught out!