Renting a car can be fun! You get to drive a car you’ve never driven before; it’s usually a newer model, and you’re going somewhere new. But it can be far more stressful if you don’t know renting car tips. Picking it up usually involves waiting and being given a million warnings by the rental company; it’s often expensive, and then you’ve got to drive a car you’ve never used before in an unfamiliar (and often busy) place.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the whole process go just that little bit easier. Our tips below will help you save money, ease your stress, and allow you to enjoy your journey.
Let’s get into what to know about renting a car!
6 Best Renting a Car Tips to Help Your Journey Go Smoothly
1. Use Comparison Sites
Sometimes, you’re going to be traveling somewhere and there will be only one choice of rental car company. Most of the time, though, you’ve got several choices at an airport and even more just a short journey away. Use comparison sites like OneTravel and Hotwire to compare the prices of rental car companies. If you’re going somewhere and also need to book your flight and hotel, you can use these sites to bundle these services so you can get a better deal.
2. Check Your Car Insurance
Depending on the car insurance company you’re renting from, they may try to sell you some expensive insurance for the vehicle, beyond what’s really necessary. If you have a car at home, look at your car insurance policy and see if it covers you for driving other people’s vehicles. If so, you can firmly say no to additional insurance costs.
3. Consider Avoiding Airport Surcharges
When you’re comparing prices, also look at car rental companies just a short way away from the airport. Often, there’s an additional charge or prices are more expensive if you rent directly from the airport. So, one of our best renting a car tips is to look around. You can usually save a little bit of money by using public transport to get to one a little further away. For some, this saving is worth it, for others it’s not, but if you do your research, you’ll know when you’re getting the right deal for you.
4. Make Sure the Rental Company is Legitimate
This may sound obvious, but if you’re traveling to another country, you’ll often find that you don’t recognize smaller rental companies. These small companies may be offering a good price, but you should also be wary of scams. Make sure you do your due diligence and Google any potential company to make sure that they exist and have reviews.
5. Expect a Hold Charge
If you haven’t rented a car before, you might not be prepared for the rental company to put a hold on your card. They may also charge you extra, which will later be refunded to you. This is the excess charge and it’s in addition to what you pay for the vehicle upfront. If you’re not prepared for this, it can be a bit of a shock and may eat into your vacation budget if you’re not prepared. In most countries, this will be $100 to $200, but some can be significantly more. So, make sure you find out what the hold charge is before you book the car.
6. Inspect the Car
Don’t be shy about inspecting the car with the rental company and pointing out any scratches or dings the car already has. The rental company should do this with you, and most are good about it, but make sure you bring up anything you can see. If you don’t and it’s not on their report, they may blame you for the scuff across the wheel when you know for sure it was there when you picked it up.
Enjoy Your Travels
Renting a car is always a hit-or-miss experience. But if you implement all the renting a car tips on this list, you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary stress and unnecessary expense. We’ve got more great tips for you to help you travel well on a budget, including How to Be Boujee When Traveling on a Budget and 10 Travel Tips for Making Travel and Flying Easier.
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