So you're going on vacation. Make sure you arrive at your destination, and get around it, with as little hassle and expense as possible. Most vacations require you to rent a car to get around if you're flying to your vacation destination. So, here are the top 10 Best Car Rental Tips:
1. Choose the Car
The size of vehicle depends on the size of your group. A family may need an SUV or minivan to fit all their luggage, car seats, and passengers, whereas a small group, whether sweethearts on a romantic getaway or a group of friends, may only need an economy car, which saves you money on the rental and on gas.
2. Shop Around
One of the best car rental tips is to shop around before you buy. Use travel sites or go to the car rental company's site to check prices on the size of vehicle you're looking to rent. Some may be offering promotions or coupons. For example, some companies offer 50% off the price of a rental if you rent on the weekend for three days.
3. Search Online for Deals
Search online for a "coupon code" with the company's name and see if there are any coupons you can use when you book the car online.
4. Check for Deals with Organizations
Before you book a rental, check to see if your credit company, AAA (if you're a member), or your employer offers any discounts on car rentals. The best car rental tips are sometimes right under your nose.
5. Know the Restrictions
A great car rental tip is to make sure you know what the restrictions are before signing a contract. These could include who can drive the car, where you can drive, and how far you can drive. Some companies have "unlimited mileage," but you may be restricted on leaving the state or country you're renting from, and with GPS in most rental cars, they'll know where you've driven. Some companies will even charge you for going 80 mph or higher for more than a couple minutes, and will charge for every instance.
5. Avoid Rentals at Airports
If possible, avoid renting a car directly through an airport location. There are many additional fees when you pick up your rental from the airport. Many hotels offer shuttles from the airport to the hotel, so if possible ride the shuttle to your hotel and then book your rental car through a downtown location.
6. Insurance or No Insurance?
In some locations, car rental insurance is not optional, but if it is optional, see if you need it before you pay. Many car insurance companies will cover rental cars as well, which negates needing to buy insurance from the rental company. If you pay for your rental with a major credit card, it may also have insurance. Make sure you talk to your car insurance company and credit card company to see what they cover, so you know whether you need to purchase additional insurance.
7. Inspect the Car before You Drive Away
Inspect your rental car before you leave the car rental company in order to make sure there is no damage inside or out, which you might be charged for when it's returned.
8. Fill It Up!
When you return the car, make sure the gas tank is full or you'll be charged a premium for the rental company to fill up the tank.
9. Return the Car on Time
Get your timeline in place. You might be charged extra if you return the rental car early or late.
10. Don't Leave Items Behind
Before you leave the car at the rental company, thoroughly check the inside and trunk to be sure you have not left any personal items, such as cell phones, phone chargers, wallets, purses, or umbrellas.
For a safe, fun trip, don't forget these top 10 best rental car tips!