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Avoid extra fees at the counter with Carla tips!️

You arrive at the counter to pick up your rental car that you booked online. The car arrives, and you have some papers to fill out before taking off with it. When filling out the papers, you realize the price quoted has DOUBLED.

Has this ever happened to you and are you curious about how to avoid this in the future? Stay tuned - here are some facts and tips about extra fees at the counter such as:

  • Underage Fee
  • One-Way Fee
  • Additional Insurance Fee
  • Additional Equipment Fees
  • Additional Driver Fee
  • Cross-border Fee
  • Out-Of-Hours Fee
  • Deposit (requirement)

Underage Fee

When drivers below the age of 25 rent a car, the car rental companies usually charge a daily fee called the underage fee. This is one of the most common extra charges applied at the counter, as it often is not included in the rates online. Before completing a reservation anywhere online, we advise you to check whether the underage fee is included in order to avoid any surprises at the counter.

How to avoid the under age fee with Carla (for USA):

We have great news for you! You should not have to pay extra at the counter, just because you are under 25! Through the Carla app, you can book cars with our ‘Surprise Suppliers’ that will guarantee no daily underage fee. All you have to do is to enter your age and make a search in the app at your rental location. The cars waiving the underage fee will be highlighted - you may also check the ‘Included’ section to see whether the underage fee is included. For further information, you may simply visit our blog by clicking HERE or contact us at any time.

One-way Fee

If you prefer to drop off your car to a different location than you picked it up at, you may have to face a one-way fee at the counter. The one-way fee is not calculated as a daily fee, but can be quite expensive when added on top of the price of your rental. When making a reservation, you should always check whether the one-way fee is included.

How to avoid the One-way Fee:

To avoid the expensive one-way charge at the counter, you can find a reservation that already includes it. Carla lists offers that include the one-way fee, making the deals cheaper than paying the fee separately at the counter. Before completing a reservation, you can check the ‘Included’ section and find your ‘One-way Fee’ included deal.

Additional Insurance Fee

When making a reservation online or at the counter, it is very common that you will notice a ‘Full Coverage Insurance’ option available. This optional service may not always seem optional at the counters due to the sales policies of the car rental companies. It is not unusual for the car rental companies to encourage customers to purchase additional insurance at the counter, and it is certainly not unusual for the rates to be sky-high.

How to avoid high insurance rates at the counter:

Carla partners with multiple insurance providers to help you find the best possible insurance rates. We care about our customers being insured during their rentals, and we therefore offer our Full Protection option to purchase when making your reservation. You can simply add the Full Protection option to your reservation through Carla and save approximately 40% on the payment. It has zero excess and easy claim procedures, should anything happen during the rental.

Additional Equipment Fees

Requesting additional equipment for your rental such as GPS, child seats, winter tires etc. may have an extra cost for your trip. The prices differ depending on the car rental company, the location as well as the type of equipment you need. Additional equipment for your trip will never be included in Carla’s rates, and it will therefore be charged separately at the counter.

How to avoid additional equipment fees:

Avoiding Equipment Fees is almost impossible if you really need them, however it is convenient to search for the cheapest prices before booking instead of getting an unpleasant surprise charge at the counter. As mentioned, the prices differ and we therefore recommend you to check the rate of the additional equipment you need by contacting the car rental company directly before booking. This way you can be almost certain to save as much as possible for your trip.

Additional Driver Fee

Most car rental companies charge an extra fee when adding a driver to the rental contract. Often it may not be included in your online reservation, and you will therefore be charged separately at the counter by the car rental company. As the majority of the fees differ depending on the car rental company and the location, so does the Additional Driver Fee. It may even have an extra fee on top for additional drivers who are underage. For more information regarding Additional Driver Fees, we recommend contacting the car rental company directly before booking.

How to avoid the Additional Driver Fee:

Search for offers that already include the fee! When booking through Carla, you may look out for exceptional offers that already include the price of adding an additional driver. If you proceed with such an offer, you can be sure to avoid paying a higher price at the counter. Please note that the additional driver included in the offers may have an extra fee for underage drivers, and we recommend that you contact the car rental company directly before booking.

Cross-border Fee

When travelling to other countries during your rental period, you may cross borders along the way. Most car rental companies will charge a Cross-border Fee in such situations. Some car rental companies have exceptions with specific countries you can cross the border to without paying extra, but these are rare cases that you must ask the car rental company about. Please note that a One-Way Fee will also be added, if you cross the border at drop off the car at another location. Your one-way trip should be indicated at the time of booking, where you may check whether it is included in the rate. See below the ‘One-Way Fee’ section for more information.

How to Avoid the Cross-Border Fee:

Many renters enjoy visiting other countries during their trips, but this can be quite expensive. The Cross-Border Fee may differ depending on the car rental company, and it is not directly avoidable like many other fees. However, some car rental companies will not charge an additional fee for crossing borders and we therefore recommend that you contact the car rental companies directly regarding this.

Out-Of-Hours Fee

The opening hours of the car rental companies change and many vary depending on the location as well as the holidays of the country that the car is rented in. When picking up or dropping off the car outside opening hours, the car rental companies may charge an Out-Of-Hours Fee as a means of using their services outside of opening hours. This is generally a small fee and may not even be charged at all, as some car rental companies make exceptions. Mostly, car rental companies at downtown locations (outside of the airport) charge this fee, since they often do not have a 24-hour counter service available.

How to avoid the Out-Of-Hours Fee:

If you are renting at a downtown location, we advise you to call the car rental companies to hear whether they can make an exception and waive the Out-Of-Hours Fee. Alternatively, try searching for the car rental company’s opening hours and book within that time period for your pickup and drop-off.


All car rental companies require a certain amount of deposit to be charged from the renter’s Credit / Debit Card. This deposit is not a fee and is usually between 200 - 500 USD, depending on the car rental company, location, car class and renter’s age. Please make sure to have enough funds on your Credit / Debit Card for a deposit to be placed at the time of pickup - to learn more about the specific amount that is going to be held on the card, we advise you to contact the car rental company directly. We would like to remind all renters that the deposit will be refunded once the car has been returned in the same condition as it was picked up. The refund will be processed by the car rental company, and all inquiries regarding the deposit must be communicated with them.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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