Many of us at one time or another have had to rent a car to get from Point A to Point B. This is quite a common transaction in today’s busy world. Weather you’re thinking about renting a car for business or leisure travel, there are a number of things to keep in mind to make your car rental experience as hassle-free as possible. Here are some of the best tips I have found that could help you with your next car rental.
1. Decide on the size of the rental car you will need: There’s no need to rent a larger car then you actually need for you and your occupants comfort. If you’re looking to save money on rates as well as gas, the smaller the car, the better. Be cautious about those free upgrades the rental company is offering. If you need a larger size vehicle those upgrades are fine, but keep in mind the cost of the extra gas you will need to put in that bigger vehicle.
2. Search, search, search for the best deal: Check the major search engines like Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz etc. Also visit the car rental websites like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Alamo etc. Try to avoid having to pay booking fees for your vehicle rental. Sometimes the car rental companies will offer their own exclusive discounts and you will probably be able to avoid booking fees if you go that route.
3. Ask for any National Organization discounts: AARP, AAA, frequent flyer, or credit card programs may have discounts that you can use for your car rental. If you book online, do an Internet search for coupon or promotion codes that you may be able to use.
4. Check daily, weekly & weekend rates: Weekend rates are usually cheaper then weekday rates, if your schedule will allow that option. Weekly rates(a 5 day rental or longer) will usually be the cheapest of any rates.
5. Understand your rental conditions: Be aware of all the terms and conditions in your rental contract or you could be in for some big surprises when you pick up your vehicle. That advertised rate in large print may not be the true cost when all those hidden and extra fees for drop off charges, additional drivers etc. are figured in.
6. Don’t be suckered in by insurance: This is one of the major issues when you rent a car. The rental companies usually try and sell you their own insurance, which can be very costly and you may not even need it. Check with your own insurance provider and see exactly what is covered for a rental car. You may be surprised to know that your own auto policy may be sufficient insurance for your car rental.
7. Book as early as possible: Booking at least a week ahead of time will help insure the best rates. It’s that supply and demand theory, the less cars that are available, the higher the rates will be.
8. Rent from a reputable company: A deal that looks too good to be true, may be just that. Check out customer reviews whenever possible. You’d be surprised what you can learn from other customers opinions.
If you keep some of these tips in mind the next time you’re looking for a rental car, it could help make the ride go a lot smoother. May all your travels be happy and safe.
Source: Independent traveler.com