Car Rentals - The Do's and Don't of Renting a Car

Published on Mar 31, 2014
Car Rentals - The Do's and Don't of Renting a Car Image

When traveling, often times it is necessary to rent a car, especially if you are flying in to your destination. There are a lot of aspects to renting a car and it is important to be informed before signing a rental agreement. Here are a few things that you need to know before you rent a car.

Reservations

It is important to make a reservation as far in advance as possible. As soon as you start planning your trip and know that you are going to need a car, make a reservation. The reason for this is because the closer to the date the more likely there is to be fewer cars available. This can lead to having to pay a higher price for the rental than you would have if you had booked it earlier.

When considering the vehicle, make sure that you know how many people are going to be in the car at any time and how much room you will need for luggage, etc. You will also want to consider the number of days that you will be using the car and how many miles you expect to travel in it. Make sure that you bring your confirmation number with you when you arrive.

Cancellation Policies

It is important to read over the cancellation policy carefully, especially if you are booking the reservation for the car early because plans sometimes change. Make sure to look and see what kind of fees you will be charged should you have to cancel the rental agreement. There are some car rental companies that will charge you a fee if you use a credit card to guarantee the reservation.

Follow Guidelines of Rental Agreement

It is important to follow all of the guidelines of your rental agreement including the number of days that the car is rented for, the location for the pick up and drop off, and the time the car needs to be returned. If your plans should change, make sure to contact the car rental company immediately.

Ask if you will be charged extra if you return the car late or if you will be charged less if you return the car early.

Insurance

When renting a car, you should first check with your car insurance company to see if you will be covered while driving a rental car. Rental car insurance through a car rental company is typically very expensive. It is a better idea to purchase extra coverage through your own car insurance company. There are credit card companies that offer this type of insurance as well.

When renting a car you need to make sure to look over the body for any type of damage. Have the attendant record any type of damage before you leave the lot to ensure that you are not charged for it when you return the car.

Driving Record

There are rental car companies that will check your driving record before renting a car to you. It is important that you know exactly what is on your record before attempting to rent a car. If there is another driver with you that has a cleaner driving history, it may be a good idea to rent the car in his/her name as it could be cheaper.

Do Not Use Fuel Purchase Option

One of the things that you do not want to do when renting a car is choose the fuel purchase option. The reason for this is that you will not receive a refund on the gas that is not used. It is better and cheaper to fill up the tank before you return it and keep the receipt.


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