More and more travelers are choosing to rent a car when on vacation. Car rentals make getting around convenient while ensuring that you don’t have to waste your precious time waiting for a bus or a cab to come around. However, if you’ve never rented a car before, the process can be daunting. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind, from the type of car you want to rent to how long you’ll be renting it for. As you get ready to rent a vehicle on your next trip, keep the following suggestions in mind.
Choose Your Rental Car Carefully
It’s easy to get carried away if the car rental service you’re considering has several luxury cars on offer. After all, you’re on vacation – shouldn’t your car reflect your mood? However, this is not always the right move. For one, luxury cars tend to cost more. For another, they may not even meet your basic needs.
When choosing a rental car, it’s important to assess your requirements honestly. For example, if you have a lot of luggage or are traveling with family, a larger car would be a better investment.
There are several other considerations to keep in mind when choosing your rental car. These include how easy it is to navigate the car, how fuel-efficient it is, and whether it has an automatic or manual transmission. Additionally, you can check to see if the car comes equipped with extra features, such as DVD players, GPS systems, high-end stereos, and more.
As with any other expense, price plays an important role. Make sure to be clear about your budget and only browse cars that fall within your price range. This will help ensure that you aren’t tempted to overspend on your rental vehicle.
It is important to keep in mind that not all rental services have an enormous fleet of vehicles for you to choose from. This is particularly a concern if you are looking for a long-term rental.
One way to get around this issue is to check with rental services far in advance. For example, if you’re going to be in a city like Dubai for a certain amount of time and would rather get around with a car rather than use public transportation, it makes sense to look into certain options. If you are looking to rent a car monthly Dubai area, the providers will be able to offer a wider selection if you make a booking a few months in advance. If you make a booking at the last moment, on the other hand, you’ll likely be faced with a limited selection.
If it’s not possible for you to book early, be prepared to encounter additional limitations. You can, of course, try shopping around for a rental service that can meet all of your criteria. But there’s a good chance you’ll keep running into similar issues. Determine which features are most important to you and prioritize those. Meanwhile, be willing to compromise on the others.
Shop Around For a Rental Service
Many people make the mistake of renting from the first company they see at the airport. However, this is a mistake.
What you may not realize is that car rentals are far more expensive at airports than in other parts of a city. You are paying a premium for the convenience of being able to get your hands on your rental car right at the airport. Additionally, rental companies have to pay extra fees to advertise at airports, which they pass on to you.
If possible, try to get around this issue by booking with a rental company before starting your trip. Once you reach your destination, take a cab or public transport to the hotel or rental where you’ll be staying to deposit your luggage before going to the car rental shop and picking up the car that will be waiting there for you.
One of the most important parts of renting a car is remembering to keep your options open. This will allow you to find the rental service that offers you the best price for the vehicle of your choice.
At the same time, this approach should not be limited to the rental service. You should also shop around for car insurance.
The rental company will likely offer you car insurance as well as a car rental. However, this insurance tends to be significantly higher than you can find elsewhere. One option can be to check your personal vehicle insurance – some insurance policies offer coverage for car rentals as well.
Also, check with your credit card company. Many companies provide complimentary car insurance as a benefit for using the card up to a certain threshold or for using their card to pay for the rental. However, whatever you do, don’t skip out on insurance. If you do get into an accident, it is essential for ensuring that you are financially protected.
Remember to Inspect the Car
Before you take possession of a rental car, conduct a thorough inspection of both the interior and the exterior. Make a record of any damage that you notice, and let a company employee know about it as well. This is a basic protection measure. It ensures that if the damage is noticed after you return the car, the company cannot blame you for it and charge you for repairs.
Fill Up on Gas
Most rental companies require that you return a rental car with a full tank of gas. It is possible to return it with a low or empty tank, but the rental company will then charge you for filling up the tank.
The issue is that the amount they charge you for gas is usually significantly higher than a gas station would charge. Unless it’s completely unfeasible, take the extra 10 minutes or so to fill up the gas tank before returning the car.
There are several other considerations to keep in mind, especially when using your rental car. If possible, keep to paved roads so that you don’t damage the tires, and carry any additional accessories – like car seats and portable chargers – with you, so you don’t have to pay a premium to the rental company for them.
Renting a car when traveling does not have to be a challenging task. Following this simple guide will make the rental process relatively straightforward while also ensuring that you don’t pay any more than you need to.
Photo by Sven D on Unsplash