Rental cars are a great way of getting around when you’re far from home if you have issues with your car. They save you the inconvenience of public transport and give you the freedom and flexibility you cannot get from a taxi. However, picking the right rental car and company can be very challenging. This is especially the case for individuals who are not very familiar with the policies surrounding rental automobiles. If you are experiencing such challenges, then you’ve come to the right place. This review will explore seven crucial things that you must consider every time you are thinking of renting a car.
Insurance coverage is very crucial when renting a car. It gives you the peace of mind you need during your trip. Most car rental shops can sell this coverage to you. However, it’s not always ideal to purchase the policy from them since they are usually very expensive. You are better off shopping for rental car insurance elsewhere where you’ll get a better deal and save more money. When going through the papers, ensure the insurance policy is not included in the price. Many rental stores do this, and most clients won’t notice until it’s too late. Remember to check your current auto insurance before purchasing the coverage. That’s because some policies extend to rented automobiles which means you don’t need an additional policy. Also, if you are paying with your credit card, call your provider and ask if the card comes with a rental car insurance policy.
2. Use A Credit Card
Renting a car with a credit card comes with several perks. As we’ve already mentioned, some card issuers provide coverage that could help you save the additional charges of an insurance policy. Typically, cards will give you a loss damage waiver and collision damage waiver. However, it’s good to talk to your issuer and get the details on what exactly is covered. This will save you from unexpected fees. Some credit card companies also partner with rental shops to give their clients better deals. You’ll receive significant discounts and may also qualify for rewards like cash back, miles, points, etc.
3. Location Of The Rental Company
Several factors influence the price of renting a car. Location of the shop is one of those factors. The best example here is airport car rentals which are notorious for having significantly higher prices than other shops. This is partly blamed on the laws that require auto renters to collect surcharges. Therefore, whilst renting a car right from the airport is super convenient, the price tag is rarely worth it. If you do your calculation, you may realize that taking a cab to a renting company located outside the airport is cheaper.
4. Where Are You Going
Have your journey mapped out before renting a vehicle. This makes it easier to pick the right car for the trip. It’s also useful for budgeting purposes. While thinking about your destination, consider the types of roads you’ll be driving in. Most car rental companies have strict policies against off-roading. Some salespeople will tell you this while others won’t. Just avoid off-roading on rental cars as much as possible to be on the safe side. What would happen if you offroad a rental car? For starters, it might void your insurance policy. That essentially means that any charges incurred due to your off-road adventures will be paid for from your pocket. You should know that off-roading doesn’t just mean driving on muddy roads. Any unpaved path, even one with level grass, is considered as an off-road. Driving by the beach can also fall in the same category. Discuss this policy with the rental shop before signing the papers.
5. Number Of Drivers
Be very careful about the number of drivers included in the reservation. Rental car companies will charge an extra daily fee for every driver added to the list regardless of whether they will actually drive the car or not. It’s recommended to keep the number of drivers as low as possible unless you are willing to meet the extra charges. That said, a few policies will charge considerably lower fees if you sign up multiple drivers. However, most of these policies are limited to spouses, domestic partners, and corporations. The fact that the renter is not taking the trip with you doesn’t mean you should let other people drive the car. You will get in serious trouble if you let someone who’s not in the agreement operate the vehicle. As you ponder about the drivers to put down on the reservation, know that youth drivers are usually charged an extra fee. The reason behind this is that younger drivers have less experience. Also, statistics show that youth drivers have more insurance claims. Renters add the extra fee to cover the increased risk. Most companies put this fee on drivers aged 25 years and younger.
6. Filling The Tank When Returning The Car
Don’t make the mistake of returning a rental car without filling the tank. This sounds insignificant until you learn of the prices and penalties a shop will charge you for returning a car without a full tank. Car rental shops charge a daily fee for extras like a DVD player, child safety seat, GPS, etc. The charges can start at $4, which may appear small, but it gets really expensive as the days add up. Bring your own accessories, and you will save a significant amount of cash. It’s also important to read the fine print and check the car for extras that may be included without your knowledge. For instance, the shop may leave a satnav in there and charge you for it when you don’t even need it.
Renting a car as a newbie is stressful. It’s also easy to pay more than is necessary. You might receive multiple unexpected fees that could leave you regretting your decisions. Use the above guide to avoid this mess. You should also shop around and ensure you are getting the best deal in town.