Do you need wheels on your next journey? When you’re traveling, renting a car will give you freedom and mobility, and in some parts of the world, it’s the only way you can get around. But a rental car can also make your travel more complicated— like trying to find the best deal or finding out exactly what insurance options you need. Read on for our practical tips on saving money, respecting your rental contract and avoiding issues with renting your car.
Choosing a Vehicle
Think carefully about what type of vehicle you’re going to need. You may want a big sedan or SUV if you’re traveling with kids or with a lot of gear. If you’re just looking to save money on lease and gas, you’re going to want to book the smallest model available.
Yet scale is not the variable alone. Looking for an environmentally friendly thing? Many car rental businesses are now offering hybrid vehicles. Can’t go through a stick shift? Make sure to reserve an automatically transmitted car. Additionally, make sure the company you lease from provides any accessories you may need or want, such as a ski rack, car seat or GPS device.
Booking Your Car
All over the planet, you can find major multinational car rental companies – think of Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Local, Sixt and Thrifty. But depending on where you’re going, local businesses can offer lower rates; read reviews before booking to make sure that their businesses are up to the majors ‘ standards.
Shop around all the time. Consult the major booking engines and aggregator sites for an idea of what rates are available, but also visit the websites of the car rental companies— they also give exclusive discounts.
Ask for discounts for any major national associations, frequent flyer programs or credit card programs you can belong to in order to lower your price. We will often sell car rental deals. (It can be very convenient for those sold by AAA.) If you are employed by a business that regularly leases vehicles, they may have a negotiated rate. Make sure you check it out.
Once you book online, check the car rental company’s website for coupons or discount codes to put into the booking engine. Just type the company name followed by “coupon code” into the search field and you will often find special promotion codes that can save you 5 to 20 percent off your rental cost anywhere.
If you haven’t already rented, consider joining the loyalty program of your car rental company when booking. They vary by business, but most of them are free and entitle you to certain advantages when picking up your car; the details will be on file in advance, allowing you to get into the vehicle and go instead of waiting in a long line or filling out paperwork. You may also qualify for special discounts and free upgrades.
Saving on rental cars is the newest way to hook up with a car-sharing service. If you’re living in the area of a major city or a regular renter, you can save money by joining a car share like Zipcar. The towing Tampa offers 24-hour quality roadside assistance and towing service.
Understand the Terms and Conditions
When you book online, read the terms and conditions carefully before confirming your reservation. Tell the agent about conditions if you’re booking over the internet. Make sure you understand the terms of your booking. There’s a no-show penalty? If you’re stuck in traffic on the way to the pickup station, how long will the car be held? Is there a fee for additional drivers and is it appropriate to list their names in the contract? Is it enough for your 20-year-old daughter to drive the car? (For purposes of liability, this is important.) Ask about any travel restrictions across national or state boundaries if applicable. Make sure that the organization has branches in all states or countries on your itinerary for your own safety in the event of a breakdown. For any roadside assistance contact towtruck Lexington.
Always get a number of confirmations. For airport rentals, be sure to give your flight number and scheduled arrival time to the customer service representative. If the flight is delayed, this will usually protect your reservation.
Beware of the True Cost of Car Rentals Buyer
The price you see advertised in large print may get so inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance, fuel bills and drop-off charges that you end up paying more than double what you expected. Read more about these additional fees in hidden fees for car rental.
The promotional price may also be available only during the off-season or for the size of a car that you would find unacceptable.
The major booking engines have become more transparent about rental car rates in recent years, and they usually show you the total cost of your rental early in the booking process, including estimated taxes and fees.
Like the airlines, the major car rental companies have embraced “yield management,” meaning that their machines can easily re-adjust rates according to adjustments in the available car supply, so the lease rate you are quoted is only accurate at that time. The rate is likely to change if you reserve immediately.
At Pickup Time
If you’re going to take your first night drive from an airport to a hotel, why not take a hotel shuttle? Doing this can save you the rental price for a day. You may not have to get the car at the airport even if you have to drive your flight lands the same day. You can often avoid heavy airport surcharges by picking it up in the city center.
If you have personal auto insurance or lease a major credit card, you are likely to be covered at least for collision damage— so you shouldn’t have to buy the accident or loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW) coverage from the car rental company. Tell the policy or credit card provider if in doubt. Learn more about how tow truck pasadena tx can help you.
Inspect the car carefully for body damage before driving away from the pick-up station. Make sure the lights and turn signals work properly and test the odometer of the mileage. Document defects immediately. The towing conroe offers quality roadside assistance for flat tires or towing Service.
Get acquainted with the work of the car before you leave the lot. Check the side of your gas tank and learn how to use headlights, windshield wipers, and a signal turning. It might sound obvious, but you also want to memorize your car’s design, template, and color–so you won’t lose it when you first park in a crowded lot!
Returning Your Car
Be careful of petrol plans prepayment. When you return the car, always top out the tank so that you only charge for the amount of gas that you used. Try to avoid the gas stations right near the airport where you drop off your car–prices are usually the highest. Fill up a few miles away, instead. The towing service beaumont will surely help you in case you are run out of gas while on the road.
It might look counter intuitive, but it might actually cost you money to return your car early. You may have to pay an early return fee, but worse still, your rate structure may change and make you responsible for the difference. (If you pay a weekly rate but only come back every six days, you might end up paying a more expensive daily rate.) Of course, returning the car late might also cost you— many car rental companies will give you a grace period of only 30 minutes before they start racking up the late fees. Before you leave the vehicle, make sure you don’t have any personal items left. Don’t worry about searching the trunk! Cellular phones, sunglasses, and umbrellas are the most common items lost. Make sure the check-in attendant checks the body of the car in your presence and agrees to any injury. Review your rental agreement carefully for all expenses and ensure that the agent pays your account for any cost while you are waiting.