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Car Rental Tips

Hopefully these tips will help you out the next time you are renting a car when on a business or pleasure trip!

    • Choosing Your Vehicle – Think long and hard about what type of vehicle you need. Don’t cheap out and get the small economy vehicle if you are traveling with your spouse, two kids and a lot of luggage. You’ll just end up feeling cramped, uncomfortable and frustrated at trying to fit all the luggage in the trunk. Also, if you are traveling abroad, it is important to know that many countries tend to rent out standard transmission vehicles. So, if you cannot drive a stick shift – make sure you specifically request an automatic vehicle.
    • Booking Your Vehicle – Rental rates varying drastically so it is important to do your research before embarking on your trip. If you’re renting for less than a week, the best rates are with the big name rental agencies. However, for longer rentals, check the local rental agencies because you can often get a much better rate. No matter who you book with, always ask for their discount rates for AAA members, seniors etc. Perform an online coupon code search as well.  You may save hundreds of dollars by entering online coupon codes.
    • Read The Fine Print – It is important to understand just what you are responsible for with your rental. Be sure to understand the conditions like – what are the penalties if you don’t show, is there a fee for additional drivers, what is the minimum age requirement for drivers, are their drop off charges if you take the vehicle back to a different location?
    • Understand Hidden Costs – Sometimes will be flabbergasted by the additional charges tacked onto your bill.  Before reserving, have a good understanding as to what you will be paying in taxes, airport surcharges, insurance, gasoline fill up, and drop off charges.  Many online rental agreements will show you everything you will be paying so be sure to read very carefully so that there aren’t any surprises.
    • Car Pick Up – If you know you’ll spend the first night in the hotel and won’t need the car, you may want to take the hotel’s free shuttle van from the airport to the hotel. The next day, you can pick up your rental vehicle.  That way, you’ll save on one day’s rental fee and parking fee if your hotel charges parking. When you pick up your car, inspect it carefully for any damages. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with the vehicle before you start driving it.
    • Car Drop Off – Always fill up your vehicle before returning it. Car rental agencies will charge you much more for the gas than it actually cost, so you might as well keep that money in your wallet.  Make sure you return the car on time so you don’t occur any late charges.  Stay with the attendant when they do the drop off vehicle inspection so that you can discuss any concerns.  Also, remember to take one last look inside the vehicle to make sure you haven’t left any personal belongings.

Renting a car does give you freedom and flexibility and by adhering to these tips, you can have a trouble free and cost effective way to get around town!

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