Going days without a car can be a stressful experience, particularly for people who move around a lot. And if for any reason – whether for a vacation trip or your vehicle has broken down – you need a stop-gap car, rental services are always a great option. If you’re new to the car rental space, don’t worry. We’ve put together a helpful guide to help you get started.
Do Your Homework
Don’t jump at every opportunity to rent a car. There could be hidden costs and liabilities that you may not notice in the beginning. Research on car rentals in the area and read the reviews on each of them. Compare prices, know what the daily rates are, and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Use review sites like Yelp or google rental car outlets in the area. Sift through the options until you find the one that meets your needs. One of the easiest ways to gauge the kind of company you are dealing with is to call them. Interaction with the rental company can give you a feel of the caliber of service to expect.
Find Out if You Need Insurance
Typically, car rental companies would try to get you to purchase insurance for your car rental period. However, this is always not a good idea. Sometimes your insurer or credit card company may have these costs already covered.
If you’re in doubt, call your insurer or credit card company before you commit to another insurance plan. Also, make sure you look at every document carefully before you sign. If you’re not sure what the contract spells out, ask questions.
Carefully Inspect the Car Before Driving Away
Don’t inspect a rental car cursorily. If you do, you might end up paying a heavy price. There are some faults that the rental company may not even notice. But upon careful inspection, you can point them out. That would ensure you don’t end up on the freeway only to realize that the parts of the car do not work. If you return a rental vehicle with faults that were not clear to both parties, you’ll be asked to cover the cost of repairs.
Younger Drivers Should Prepare to Pay More
Most rental companies will charge more if a driver is 25 years or below. This extra charge is because rental companies believe that young drivers come with higher liability. Their inexperience makes them prone to mistakes on the road. No matter how spotless your driving record is, be ready to pay more for a rental car if you’re 25 or below. You’ll also have to pay more for each additional driver you add to the vehicle.
Get Back in Time
Most rental companies will penalize you if you do not return the car on time. Based on the agreement you reached with them, you may need to fill the tank before returning the car. Make sure that the vehicle is in good shape before returning it and have the vehicle inspected and signed off by the rental company before you take your leave.
The Bottom line
A rental car should give you a comfortable and luxurious experience no matter where you travel to. However, there are a lot of pitfalls in hiring a car from a rental company. You may end up paying exorbitant rates for poor services. Follow the tips and ideas in this post to ensure you get value for money.