Renting A Car 101

Does your next out of the country visit require you to rent a car? Whether it is a plain and simple car or a luxury car rental, hiring the right transportation is never an easy task. You have to choose the right vehicle, make reservations, get the right insurance arrangements, and when it’s your first time, its double the trouble. Here are some need-to-know tips you can use when it comes to hiring the ideal mode of transportation:

First, look for the rental car company that will suit your trip the best. Major rental companies are your best choice for short trips, plus they usually come with support services such as roadside assistance for when you come upon an accident. When it’s a long trip however, go with the local rental businesses, since they’re rates are usually cheaper. Be warned though, they might not have extra support services that big rental companies have.

There are major rental companies that offer affordable deals or a car rental discount. So don’t forget to search the web to take advantage of their exclusive promos. Also ask for current tie-ups or discount deals with organizations you’re related to such as frequent flier programs, hotels, and the like.

Second, think of what type of vehicle suits your needs the best. If you’re traveling alone, a compact or a midsized car is just what you need. If it’s a big trip however and you’re taking the entire family with all your kids and lots of extra baggage, opt for a large sedan or an SUV. Whichever the case, if you’re looking to save money on gas expenses and rental rates, ask for the smallest and cheapest available model.

Having the wrong car on the road may cause a lot of complications. Be aware of the car’s compatibility with the terrain you’re going to come across with. Also take note of the kind of transmission the car has, manual or automatic, at which case; go with the one that is easier for you. Don’t forget to ask the company if they offer any additions to the car such as a GPS system or car seats for the baby, these may come in handy, long trip or not.

Before confirming your reservation, read the terms and conditions carefully. Ask about the limitations, additional rates, and if there are penalties for certain situations that might occur during your trip. For liability purposes this is VERY important. Always get a reference number to your booking reservation.

Regarding insurance, if you’re covered by personal auto insurance, you don’t have to avail of the car company’s collision or loss damage waiver insurance. You can also charge the rental car to your major credit card to save up on this. Ask your insurance agent or credit card company about this matter.

Inspect the car carefully before you drive it. This would allow you to see any defects or parts not working properly. Report these matters to the car company before you take it for a drive to avoid later complications within the trip.
Familiarize yourself with the car you’ll be driving. Remember the car’s features such as the model, color, and plate so you know where to find it when you lose it on a full parking lot. Know how to work the headlights, wipers and signals, as well as which side the gas tank is on.

When returning your vehicle, remember to gas up so you’ll only be paying for the gas you actually use. There may be late fees or early return fees so be on time when returning the car. Also check the vehicle if there are items you have forgotten to unload to avoid property loss. Be present when the car company is inspecting the vehicle for damages and when they are crediting deposits in your account.

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