Renting a car can be very beneficial when done for all the right reasons. It doesn’t matter if you’re using one because the transmission is out on your daily driver, you are going on vacation or you simply miss driving, the amount of effort and research you put into preparing for the experience can help you save a ton of cash on car rentals.
Look Past the Most Obvious Advertisements
With so much competition, choosing the right rental company is not always a straightforward task. Many companies are competing for your business, so why not make them work a little harder to get it. Do yourself a favor and scour the web for deals. Make time to visit some that interest you and ask them for additional discount opportunities that they may have and not have made known to the public. If you plan on renting for the long-term, you might be surprised to learn about the additional incentives that are available to help sweeten the deal.
Read the Fine Print on Credit Card and Auto Insurance Policies
Renting out vehicles is not the only way these companies make money. One way they generate a lot of revenue is getting customers to purchase their rental coverage. Not everyone has a comprehensive auto policy or credit card that offers rental car coverage. On the other hand, many people do and are not aware of it. Save yourself some time and check your policies to find out if you really need to purchase insurance coverage from the rental company.
Keep in mind that you even have the option to opt out, you might not have sufficient coverage. Before you do, always consider the possibility of someone being negligent and causing damage that you could end up liable for. No one wants to end up on the hook for damage to a vehicle they don’t own.
Perform an Inspection
Many people are in a rush when they rent cars. They skim through the agreements, hand over payment and sign before they have really had an opportunity to look over the vehicle. Don’t assume that the rental clerk is going to be thorough in his or her assessment of the vehicle as you are. There is also the fact that there may be some overlooked damage from a previous renter that you could end up paying for. There are also a handful of things that the car should come with that is especially important if you’re taking the car on a road trip. Click here for a list of things you need to bring with you, but car rentals should include a spare tire and small tool kit and perhaps an emergency kit for unexpected situations, so be sure to check for these.
No matter how pressed for time you are, give the vehicle a thorough look over from bumper to bumper and inside and out before you sign and agree to anything. Don’t forget to test all power features and mirrors. You might also want to take pictures with your phone to keep as evidence. If you do decide to take photos, make sure you turn on the date and location option so the images have a verifiable time/date stamp. It’s not your car, so it’s best to cover yourself at all costs.
Renting a car is so much more than a convenience, it is a huge responsibility that could cost you if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s always a good idea to shop deals.