They don’t teach you how to rent a car in school. It can be a daunting task. It can get expensive and time consuming if you aren’t sure how the process works exactly. Doing a little online research and making sure you’re familiar with all the rules and regulations will help you out in the long run. Make sure you have a reservation, the proper identification and paperwork, and return the car in the condition you received it. Those are just the basics, but here are a few tips on how to get you started.
1. Compare prices
Checkout renting websites and see which site has the best rates for the days you need. See what kinds of cars they will have available. If this is your first time, or if you’re a new driver, don’t go for their sports cars. Those cost a lot more and come with a hefty insurance price. Before you go for the cheapest one, look for any additional fees. Like additional driver fees, airport fees, and mileage fees.
2. Know the size
How many people will you be transporting? What are you using the car for? This will help you determine whether or not you need and SUV or a sedan.
3. Book a flight and rental together
If you’re traveling to another destination and are planning on renting a car, try to book them together. Many websites will allow you to do just that. Bundling is always cheaper and more convenient than trying to find all the details of your trip apart. You might even be able to find a hotel room and get even more discounts.
4. Additional features
Do you need a GPS? How about a car seat? Are you planning on taking a pet? All of these cost extra money, and it might be cheaper to just borrow from your friends or bring your own. But these features are offered. Bringing your pet in the car will often cost you cleaning charges. You definitely want to make sure you know about those before you get slammed with a bill. It never hurts to ask the question.
5. Cost of insurance
Sometimes rental is included in your personal insurance plan. But sometimes rental agencies require you purchase additional insurance through them. Be sure you know about this ahead of time. It could cost you up to $9 a day for additional insurance.
6. Payment schedule
Some places will hold your reservation with just a credit card number. Others will make you pay the whole thing up front. Just make sure you have the money ready for either occurrence.
7. Call the agency
If you have any further questions, it never hurts to give the place a call. Some people don’t feel comfortable booking cars online. They prefer the personal touch of speaking to a human being. This is okay. Just give the place a ring and the agents will be more than happy to walk you through the steps of setting up your car rental.