7 Essential Car Rental Tips For Travelers

Car Rental Tips – Lowest Rates Vs. A Good Bargain

The global automobile rental business is incredibly competitive, and if you’ve ever looked for a great deal on a rental car, you’ve undoubtedly come across rate discrepancies. During my recent trip to Los Angeles, I realized that hiring a car was practically like playing the lottery.

The majority of big automobile rental companies offer competitive rates, with only a $10 to $20 difference between them. But, as I’ve discovered when I’ve found the best offer on the internet, those price differences vanish rapidly once you read the fine print.

Minor elements, such as drop charges for remote destinations, late return fines, and gasoline inflated rates, as well as other service expenses, are hidden in the contract you didn’t think about when shopping for the “best bargain.”

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that renting a car is the last item on anyone’s mind when planning a trip. It’s a hassle to shop around for the greatest rate, especially if you’re doing your research on internet booking sites.

So, if you’re planning a vacation and considering renting a car, there are a few other factors to consider in addition to obtaining the greatest deal. This article will help you figure out how to get the greatest rate on a car rental online.

Car Rental Tips

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Things To Keep In Mind When Renting A Car

Before you start your research on renting a car, you should ask yourself some questions.

  • Who will be the driver? Is it yourself on a business trip or will you be traveling with the whole family?
  • How much luggage are you bringing with you on your trip? Is the rental car going to be big enough for all the luggage you are traveling with? 

Do you have any infants who will necessitate the purchase of a booster seat? If this is the case, please sure to specify it in your purchase, as many automobile rental companies have limited supply. Please keep in mind that ordering a child’s car seat will incur an additional fee. 

Will you be able to make it without a car for a portion of your journey? If that’s the case, consider what other forms of transportation are available to keep prices down.

I recently stayed at the Kauai Marriott Resort, which had a free airport shuttle to and from the hotel. I didn’t need a rental car because I spent most of my time at the resort lounging by the pool. I was able to save $100 or more by not hiring a car simply by conducting some research. 

Are you planning a trip to a tropical location for your next vacation? Then you must ensure that the rental automobile you are booking has air conditioning. Although air conditioning is usually included in the price of rental automobiles, it is not available in all countries. This could result in an extremely hot journey.

Are you planning a vacation road journey from one city to another? While most rental car companies give unlimited mileage, certain smaller rental car businesses may charge for mileage over a daily restriction. 

I know I said earlier that pricing isn’t a consideration when renting a car, but if you go with an unknown car rental company, the service will be inferior in comparison to a big car rental company. For example, if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere and need your rental car serviced, a major car rental company will provide you with better coverage than a tiny independent rental car company.

Related Article: 7+ Best Hotel Booking Sites (to Find Cheap Hotel Deals)

 


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Preferred Car Renter Programs and Affiliations

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Many major automobile rental companies, like airlines and hotels, provide frequent renter programmes to their loyal customers to help preserve loyalty. Car rental loyalty programmes are similar to most loyalty programmes in that the more you rent, the better the deals. 

If you rent a car from one of the world’s major car rental firms, you’ll find that most of them have preferred rental loyalty schemes. You sign up for the loyalty programme, and you get useful benefits like automatic upgrades if they have a better car in stock than the one you ordered.

Most basic-level loyalty memberships are often free, but higher-level memberships (as in the Hertz #1 Gold Club or Thrifty Blue Chip) allows you to bypass the rental counter. This will save you a lot of time, especially if you’re flying to Kauai and 50% of the passengers on the plane are renting from the same car rental company as you. You will save time and money by skipping a wait that could last an hour or more if you have a loyalty membership. 

If you’re looking for a car rental and the rates are still expensive due to peak season, check your wallet to see if you’re a member of AAA or inquire about a corporate rate. While the savings may not be substantial, they can help you save money in the long term, which you can put towards gas in your rental car. 

If you’re still stuck with a high cost, look into getting discounts through organisations like AARP, AAA, or others. These reductions are rarely substantial, but they are preferable than nothing.

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Car Rental Insurance

When it comes to car rental insurance terms, they can oftentimes be confusing and hard to decipher.

So, here are some of the major abbreviations in the insurance terms that you should be aware of.

  • CDW – Collision Damage Waiver.
  • LDW – Loss Damage Waiver.
  • PDW – Physical Damage Waiver.
  • PAI – Personal Accident Insurance.
  • PEC – Personal Effects Coverage.
  • ALI – Additional Liability Insurance.

Now, something that car rental companies will try to push at this counter is car rental insurance. 

But, many major credit cards in the market today offer the same coverage that is included in your credit card reward programs. 

If you choose to forgo the car rental insurance at the counter, call your credit card company beforehand to insurance that you are covered in renting a car.

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Important Things To Do Before Leaving A Car Rental Location

Important Things To Do Before Leaving An Airport Or Car Rental Office

If you’ve just arrived at your destination after a long journey and waited in line for an hour to collect your luggage at the airport, it’s understandable that many of us would simply pick up the keys at the car rental company and drive straight to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

However, there are a few things that you must do every time you leave a car rental lot. Before you go behind the wheel, keep the following items in mind. When you get your rental car keys, the first thing you should do is inspect the entire vehicle for small dents and scratches.

During the inspection, make sure you have a car rental attendant with you to note any damage. If there isn’t an attendant accessible, create a list of any issues, take a picture of the vehicle, and report it to the front desk as soon as possible.

If you don’t, you could be held liable for damage you didn’t cause. 

The second item on your checklist should be to open the trunk to ensure that the rental vehicle has a spare tyre, as well as a jack and a set of tools in case of a flat tire. There nothing more frustrating than to be stuck in a foreign city while trying to change a flat tire with no tools or tire.

The third thing you should inquire about when receiving your rental car keys is an extra pair of keys. This is especially useful if you lose your keys in the Pacific Ocean and are unable to exit the beach. This is a true story.
Before leaving the automobile rental lot, the fourth thing you should do is familiarise yourself with the rental car’s characteristics.

Make sure you understand how to operate the car radio, thermostat, and other items that could cause you to become frustrated while driving.

The sixth point is to be prepared for your destination. For this reason, I prefer to use Google Maps because I can download all of the directions I need to my phone and not have to mess around while driving. While this is not something to be concerned about within the car rental lot, it is critical to never leave a loaded vehicle with bags in an unsecured place.

Tourists who leave all of their possessions in their rental car while going out to eat or see a major destination are preyed upon by thieves.

Related Article: 5+ Best Travel-Friendly Fitness Gear – Stay In Shape While Traveling

In Case Of A Car Accident

In most countries when it comes to exchanging important information in case of an accident, usually require the following:

  1. Full names of both parties
  2. Mailing address
  3. Telephone number
  4. Insurance details
  5. Driver’s license numbers

Also, if there is a witness to the accident, try getting the full names and contact information from the witnesses. 

Also, make sure you write down the make, model, color, and license plate of the vehicle involved. 

Make sure that you write down where the accident occurred, and if the police are involved, make sure you receive a copy of the accident report.

Once you have this, call your rental car company ASAP.

If you have purchased car rental insurance from the car rental dealership, they will begin making the claim for you. 

If you are using a different form of insurance, other than the car rental company, contact them immediately to start the claim.

Also, if you have a camera with you, take as many pictures as possible of the accident for future reference.

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Returning Your Rental Car

Important Things To Do Before Leaving An Airport Or Car Rental Office

Your vacation is done, and it’s time to return your rental car. Before you do, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Check to make sure you’re returning to the correct automobile rental company. If you’re going to the airport, make sure you’ve got directions.

Call the rental car company to let them know you’re running late. They may be able to waive an hour or two, but it’s best to let them know ahead of time if you wish to keep the rental car for an extra day.

Before returning your rented car to the auto rental lot, fill it full! It is possible to rent a car and have the dealer fill it up for you, but it is preferable to do it yourself. Make a note of the time you returned the vehicle in an envelope with the car keys if you are returning your car rental to a location that may be closed on the day you return it.

Oh, and before you leave, make sure the vehicle is locked.

Related Article: 10+ Major Traveling Scams to Avoid – How To Travel Safe

Car Rental Booking Sited I Use

While we all have our favorite vacation booking sites to book our next journeys, here is a list of online booking sites I use for renting a car.

Summary

When we all go on a holiday, we want to spend our time relaxing and not thinking about anything major.

If you follow these tips for renting your next rental car on the journey of your choice, you won’t be in for any surprises.

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Car Rental Tips

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