Finding the right rental car company for your transportation needs while traveling can be a stressful venture. There are a lot of potential pitfalls that unsuspecting travellers may fall into when renting a car. In order to find the best rental car at the best price, there are a few things that need to be considered. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a good rental car company, which will hopefully make your rental experience a stress-free and cost- effective one:
How Do I Find Rental Car Companies?
The best way to find and compare rental car companies is to search online. There are lots of great options available, and doing a little research through comparing and contrasting different rental companies is a great way to find the best deal for you. In fact, there are websites that specialise in searching multiple rental car companies and providing quick and easy price comparisons for specific dates. Instead of going to each rental car company’s site one by one, these allow you to search them all at once. This significantly cuts down on the time and effort involved in finding the right rental car for you. Finding these sites is rather easy, and there are a few of them to choose from. Some of these sites will also let you book your car directly from them as well.
The most significant money saver when it comes to renting vehicles is doing so well in advance of your trip. Not only will you get the best deal by booking early, but you will also save time because you will avoid having to wait in line at the airport, bus or train station to get your rental. Not booking in advance is a risky venture because you simply do not know if the rental company will have any vehicles available, or if they have the specific type of transportation you require. This is especially true if you need a van or other type of specialty vehicle. Since these are usually harder to come by, it is best to book in advance in order to avoid those potential problems.
Another benefit of booking your rental car ahead of your trip is that if your flight, bus or train is delayed or cancelled you can usually rebook or cancel your rental without being charged an extra fee. This is also helpful if you notice that there is a significant price drop in rentals that day, or if you find a better deal with another company. For example, if you are bored on your flight and decide to check up on your rental car status only to find that there are significantly lower prices that day, you can cancel your original reservation free of charge and rebook at the discount rate.
Lastly, planning ahead lets you adjust with the pick-up and drop-off times for your rental. Sometimes the rates will either go up or down depending on the day and time of day you plan to pick-up and drop-off your vehicle. This is not always the case, but people have noticed significant changes in rates when adding an extra day or even a couple of hours to their rental.
Obviously, it is important to find a rental vehicle that can fit everybody it needs to, but there are other considerations tied to the size of the vehicle, as well. For example, if you are traveling alone, try to stay away from larger vehicles because they tend to use up more gas. Most rental car companies will require you to fill up the gas tank before returning it, so finding the most fuel-efficient vehicle can definitely save you money.
When traveling with a group of people, make sure you find a vehicle that provides enough room for everybody and their luggage. Finding a rental company that specialises in vans can sometimes be your best option. For example, travellers who need a people carrier, hire with Express Rent-a-Car simply because they have more of these types of vehicles available.
Mileage and Fuel Considerations
Depending on the type of driving you are planning on doing during your trip, it is advisable to be on the lookout for unlimited mileage options. This is certainly beneficial for travellers who aren’t really sure how far they are planning on driving. Going over on the mileage limits set by the rental company can result in overage charges that can be quite hefty.
There are also some things to keep in mind with regard to the specific fuel policy of the rental company. Usually you are responsible for filling up the vehicle with gas before you return it, but this is not always the case. There are different policies depending on the rental company you choose and it is advisable to investigate what exactly their policy is in order to avoid confusion.
Always perform your own complete inspection of your rental car before driving. Make sure to take note of any dings or dents that may be present on the car and if they are noted in the rental company’s inspection. Make sure that any imperfection is noted on their report, and if it is not noted, make sure they are aware of it. It is also advisable to take a few pictures of the car both before and after your trip. Unfortunately, people will often be blindsided by damage fees the rental company claims they are responsible for when in fact the damage was already present or it happened after they dropped it off. Having pictures of the vehicle both before and after your trip will exonerate you from being responsible for these costly fees.
These are just a few things to be on the lookout for and there are many others, but following these tips will get you well on your way to finding the best rental car for your travel needs. It is important to be a little wary of rental car contracts, as there may be hidden fees you are unaware of. A little research will help you avoid these potential pitfalls and let your rental car experience go as smoothly as possible.