Finding the right rental car when you travel can be a daunting task. After all, you don’t want just to rent any car; you want it to be the right one. But choosing the wrong car can mean wasting a lot of time and hurting your wallet, or even worse, ending up in an accident. Whether you’re going on a quick weekend getaway or an extended road trip, renting a car can be a great way to explore a new area. Rental car companies provide a wide variety of vehicles, including SUVs and minivans, so you can find a car to fit your needs.
If you’ve ever rented a car, you know that it can be confusing, stressful, and annoying. If you’re a first-time rental car customer, there’s much to know and much to remember.
To help you along, here are some rental car tips for beginners.
You May Not Need Car Rental Insurance
Car rental insurance is not worth the cost. Many people would never need to file a claim to receive compensation. This is mostly due to the agencies charging exorbitant fees for insurance they won’t ever use. The rental car industry also encourages you to buy their insurance with deceptive marketing practices, such as not counting decline penalties toward the 24-hour cancellation period. If you’re renting a car, pay close attention to the rental agreement’s small print and read the fine print on any insurance pamphlets before signing up for anything.
Get The Right Card
Renting a car can be scary, especially if you’re inexperienced. But these tips will make renting easier. Get the right card. It might seem like common sense, but it’s surprising how many people forget this simple rule. First, you need to know what kind of card you qualify for. Most credit cards and certain retail stores, like Costco and BJ’s, offer rental car insurance, so you’ll have coverage as long as you meet the qualifications. But if you don’t, there are plenty of credit cards that will. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for instance, awards 70,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership. Then you can use that reward money to buy a round-trip United flight.
Fill The Tank Up Yourself
When renting a car for the first time, many people get the rental company to fill it up for them. They typically provide a small gas can and instructions to fill up the tank themselves, which saves them time. However, there are a few good reasons to fill up the rental car yourself:
- If you pay by the mile, you will usually be charged more for gasoline than if you pay by the gallon (which wastes money).
- If you fill up before the tank indicator dings, you avoid overfilling the tank when you return it.
- It is good practice to ensure you have enough gasoline for a safe trip before returning it.
Don’t Walk-Up, Book A Rental Car.
Renting a car seems easy, right? You find a car you like, you reserve it, and you show up to pick up your car. But planning ahead, knowing which rental company is best, and understanding which insurance options will pay off can help you avoid the headaches of renting.
Don’t let car rental troubles ruin your vacation. If renting a car for the first time, don’t walk up to the counter. Instead, plan ahead and book one online. Here are 5 tips for getting a good deal on your rental car.
- Book in advance.
One of the benefits of booking a rental car in advance is that you tend to save the most money. The sooner you book, the better the deal.
- Compare rates
Before booking your rental car, compare rates from several major car rental companies, such as Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis. You can compare rates online or through a travel agent.
- Call around
Before you rent a car, be sure to call around and get several different quotes.
- Be flexible
If the first rental company that you call or browse online doesn’t have the car that you want, call another one.
- Do your research
Finally, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your rental contract before you sign it.