Renting a car isn’t always the most stress-free travel option. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about how any sort of tiny scratch or pothole could make or break how much money you’ll be getting back when the vehicle’s returned. Also, if you’ve never been to the destination you’re renting from or never even rented a car, how are you supposed to know if the rental is legit or if it’s a scam? Honestly, car rentals can be intimidating – but with a couple helpful car rental tips and some pointers in the right direction, you’ll be confidently driving that rental like it’s your own, no matter where you are.
First off, a little bit of research goes a long way. Doing some basic searches about rates in particular areas you are interested in can really help give you a more detailed idea about how much you should be paying. Obviously, renting an SUV is going to be more expensive than maybe a smaller more fuel-efficient car, so that’s something else to keep in mind. I prefer rentalcars.com for the best rentals that allow you to find the perfect vehicle, save, and compare prices. Booking with rentalcars.com ensures cleanly car options and flexible bookings.
Plan & Study
The next factor to consider is planning ahead. If you know the dates and details of your trip ahead of time, it is absolutely worth it to book your rental reservation in advance. One, because the security of knowing there will be exactly what you need helps relieve that pesky travel anxiety. Two, because you might get better prices by booking farther in advance when there are more rental options to choose from.
In my experience, I have found that it is incredibly useful to study up before you reserve anything. I once missed a flight because I didn’t notice that the airline was different than my norm, so I missed that flight and lost my money. Taking a little extra time can actually help save you time and maybe even a headache or two. It is important to check on the minute details that can add up fast:
- Fuel charges
- Mileage rates and caps
- Late Fees
- Car Cleaning
Navigate Car Rental Insurance
This may be one of the most essential car rental tips we can offer. Renting a car might look a bit different than actually owning a car in terms of insurance. It’s crucial that you know what and where you are covered, as well as the ins and outs of the policy deductibles. Also, if the company offers extra insurance – do yourself a favor a buy that sh*t. It can alleviate some of the deductibles or even remove them. This will give you a bit more peace of mind if you’re the type of driver that’s not afraid to push the pedal to the metal, or if you’d simply like to reduce your insurance excess.
However, with this being said, it’s not the best idea to buy this extra insurance from the actual car rental company. It’s normally super expensive – turns out taking advantage of the fears of weary travelers works. Many people end up paying way more than they need to. Instead, it’s definitely worth looking into car hire excess insurance. These plans are usually a yearlong and can help save you a lot of money. These plans apply to every one of your car rentals and will more than likely reimburse you for damages or theft in case anything ever was to take a turn, literally and metaphorically.
Final Car Rental Tips
A few final car rental tips that I want to share with you today include some of the nitty gritty details that are not always fun to think about or consider. But when you’re on a trip or vacation, they are so necessary to think about beforehand.
- Remember to include all of the forms and documents that are necessary to actually pick up the car. Generally speaking, if you are traveling abroad, you’ll want to have with you:
- A valid driver’s license
- A passport or ID
- A credit card with the name of the driver on it
- Don’t hesitate to be overly cautious at pick-up. It may seem rather awkward, but taking photos, videos, and making sure to get a copy of the final reservation paperwork can come in very handy.
- Finally, do yourself a favor and be prompt. It is important to be realistic about the time it will take you to fuel up before dropping off, unpack, clean, etc.