If you're renting a car for the first time, there are some things you need to know in order to avoid costly surprises. In this blog post, we will give you tips on how to save money and get the best deal on your rental car. We'll also tell you what to look out for when you're picking up your vehicle, and provide advice on driving in unfamiliar territory. So whether you're taking a road trip across the U.S. or planning an adventure overseas, read on for everything you need to know about renting a car!
How To Get The Best Deal On Your Car Rental
When it comes to renting a car, there are a few things you can do to ensure you're getting the best possible deal. First, always shop around and compare rates from different companies. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it's one that many people often overlook. In addition to simply checking different companies - consider different pickup and return locations in your area too. For instance, while airport locations will have the largest selections and usually guarantee a certain type of vehicle, neighborhood locations may be cheaper since they don't have to pay the heavy taxes that are levied on airport car rental companies.
Second, try to be flexible with your dates and times. If you're able to pick up your rental car during the week instead of on the weekend, you'll likely get a better rate. And if you're able to return your vehicle a day or two early, that could also lead to some savings.
Third, take advantage of discounts and promotions. Many car rental companies offer discounts for AAA members, seniors, students, military personnel, and more. And if you're renting a car for business purposes, be sure to ask about corporate discounts as well.
Finally, don't forget to read the fine print! When you're comparing rates, make sure you're aware of all the fees and charges that may apply. This includes things like fuel charges, drop-off fees, early return penalties, and more. By being aware of all the potential costs upfront, you can avoid any nasty surprises when it's time to pay your bill.
Additional Car Rental Costs To Be Aware Of
In addition to the daily rental rate, there are a few other costs you need to be aware of when renting a car. First, most companies will charge an additional fee for drivers under the age of 25. This is because young drivers are considered to be higher-risk and more likely to get into an accident.
Second, you'll also have to pay for gas. Most rental cars come with a full tank of gas, but you're only expected to return the vehicle with as much fuel as it had when you picked it up. So if you don't use all the gas in the tank, you won't be refunded for any leftover fuel.
Third, you may also be charged an insurance fee. This is usually optional, but if you don't have your own auto insurance, it's something you'll need to purchase in order to be fully covered in the event of an accident.
Finally, keep in mind that many car rental companies charge extra for things like GPS units, child safety seats, and additional drivers. So if you need any of these items, be sure to factor those costs into your budget as well.
The Benefits Of Using A Credit Card For Car Rentals
One of the best ways to avoid any surprises when renting a car is to use a credit card. This is because most credit cards offer some form of rental car insurance, which can help cover the cost of damages in the event of an accident. In addition, many cards also offer roadside assistance benefits, which can come in handy if you have a flat tire or run out of gas. And finally, using a credit card can also help you dispute any unauthorized charges that may appear on your bill. So if you're renting a car for the first time, be sure to use a credit card and take advantage of all the protections it offers!
Make Sure To Do A Pre and Post-Rental Walk Around!
One final tip - be sure to do a pre and post-rental walk-around of the vehicle with the agent. Many car rental locations no longer have an agent that will walk you to your vehicle so you should take plenty of videos and photos of the vehicle, especially if there are any issues. If there are major scratches, dents, or other damage - make sure to document that and ensure that you report it to the company before leaving the garage.
This is important because it will help you avoid being charged for any existing damage on the car. And if you do happen to notice any new damage during your rental, be sure to point it out to the agent right away so that it can be noted on your contract. By taking these simple precautions, you can help ensure that your first experience renting a car is a positive one!
Tips For Renting A Car In A Foreign Country
If you're renting a car in a foreign country, there are a few additional things to keep in mind. First, be sure to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations. This includes things like speed limits, right-of-way rules, and any restrictions on turning or passing.
Second, remember that most rental cars will have manual transmissions. So if you're not used to driving a stick shift, be sure to practice before hitting the road.
And finally, always carry your rental agreement and driver's license with you when you're behind the wheel. Many countries require foreigners to carry these documents at all times, so it's best to play it safe and keep them within easy reach.
While most of these tips are valid whether you rent from one of the American big-name car rental companies or LeisureRent from Australia - it is always important to ask if there are any nuances to local road rules that you should be aware of. This will help reduce the risk of you doing something stupid since sadly ... ignorance is not a legal defense.