Renting a car is not an easy task to do. Especially when you are in another country or city. It gives you butterflies in the stomach about driving a car that is not yours. Sometimes you fear that you might bump or scrape it in a foreign land. It will cause a lot of argument and money to get things right. You can also get into trouble if you haven’t read the small print on the rental agreement.
If you are renting the car for the first time for a road trip, then you will be having feelings of confusion and concern. If you have been on a road trip before in a rented car, then it will not be a big deal for you. Hence, you might be paying more or less than it should be. Renting a car can be stressful.
Tips for Renting A Car
Avoid Airport Surcharges
One of the top rental car tips is to avoid renting a car from the airport if it is possible. The airport usually charges a premium for the pick-up services. They charge a premium for the convenience of your car pick up and drop off right after your flight and before departure. Sometimes, this convenience can be free of cost and sometimes they charge a lot.
The car rental offices inside the city offer lower rates than an airport. The airport might be charging you $50 for pick-up. Instead, if you take a cab to the city, it might cost you around $25. There are many options available outside the airport, that are worth your budget and you can enjoy the road trip.
Fill the Tank Up Yourself
It is one of the important tips while renting a car. It might seem convenient to have a rental agency fill the gas tank when you drop off the car. But don’t do that because you will be paying extra for the convenience later that day. If you are having the full gas tank by yourself, then you will be able to have extra time in your day before returning it.
There comes an option to prepay for fuel. The prepay rate is low then the area and the rental car company is making sure that you will not bring back at zero tanks. Most of the time, rental car companies win on prepaid fuel.
Get the Right Card
If you are renting a car, then choosing a credit card would be the best way to rent a car. Credit cards provide primary rental insurance. Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the favorite travel credit cards of many people. It is the reason that it gives the best perks of primary rental insurance.
If you are renting a car on Chase Sapphire Reserve, then you will be getting coverage of $75,000 that works great for us.
May Not Need Insurance
Rental car companies try to upsell their insurance plans to you. It happens when you are booking a car for rent. It continues to happen even when you arrive at their office to pick up your booked car. Sometimes, you politely decline their offer and don’t press any further. Some of the rental car companies scare the stuff out of you until you give in and buy their insurance plan.
For Americans, the auto insurance policy covers the personal liability of a rental car and collision damage. All you have to do is to make a call to your insurance provider and ask him to check the coverage of insurance. Many of the credit cards provide secondary Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). It helps your primary insurance.
Do Your Homework
Before going on a road trip and renting a car, firstly do your homework properly. Look for the rental car services in your nearest place. Go to their websites and look for the services they are providing, the options available according to your budget, and the reviews that people have given to them. This homework will save a lot of time and costs for renting a car.
Sometimes the rental car services or companies are having low prices than others but when you checkout, the prices rise. There are some booking sites or car rental comparison sites. There you can compare the prices for your road trip and choose the best for yourself.
Take Reviews with A Grain of Salt
Before renting a car, you should learn that how to read the reviews efficiently. Research your rental companies and review the exact branch that is near your place. Just as you research hotels so that you should be having the best services, you should take many reviews with a grain of salt.
Most of the reviews get pissed off easily and they can give a negative review to reduce the rating of rental car companies. The bad or negative reviews are given because they did not fill up their fuel when they returned the car, the rented GPS has an upcharge, or getting charged for tolls.
These reviews should be disregarded when picking up a car from rental car companies. You should be concerned about the cleanliness, quality of cars, and customer services provided by that company.
Stick to One Driver
If you are renting a car with a driver of the rental car company, you will be charged additional fees. In case, you are curious about changing the driver, then you must know that there will be additional driver fees. Rather than paying extra for different drivers, stick to one driver behind the wheel.
Don’t Walk Up Book
Just like buying a ticket for the flight, if you book a car with less than 24 hours advance notice, then there are high chances of prices going up like a skyrocket. If you are walking straight out of the airport and going to a car rental booth for renting a car, there will be high prices than your expectations. In case, you need a car on rent on short notice, take some smaller independent provider with you so that they can negotiate a rate for you.
If you are willing to rent a car and you are under 25, then you will have to pay a young driver fee. So, planning any road trip in the United States, you should be 25 or 25+ to get the better rates on car renting. There are some services where you make an account for free and it waives the young driver fee.
Don’t Get a GPS
When you rent a car from a rental car company, they love it because they charge an extra $10-$15 per day. You can avoid this extra charge by using your cellphone and data for navigation. You can also download the offline maps of the whole area, state, or country you are visiting.
The offline maps work exactly like the online maps and take you to your desired location. Do not get a GPS from rental car companies and pay extra to them.
Instead of giving extra dollars to the rental car companies, save your money and rent a car within your budget. Before going to any place, do your homework properly so that these rental car companies do not charge you more than they should be.