Prior to renting a car, there are many things that a driver should look into. From insurance to hidden costs, and discounts; not knowing prior can leave you paying more. That’s why we’ve outlined the top 9 facts every driver should know before getting behind the wheel of a rental car.
1. Avoid Prepaying for Gasoline
Oftentimes, the company that is lending you the vehicle will offer you to prepay for gasoline through their company. Prepaying for gasoline may seem like a convenience, but it is costly. Many companies offer this service as a way of making more money. Therefore, you will likely be paying a premium and find cheaper gas prices else ware.
2. Look Outside of Airports
Rental companies closest to airports tend to be the most expensive. This is because travelers are often willing to pay more than venture far from it. If you feel comfortable with the area you are in, it is best to look for companies outside of the general airport area, or you risk paying inflated prices.
3. Know Your Drop Off Location
If you have to drop the car off at a specific location, or at a specific time it is best to know when and where you have to go. Not knowing this vital information can result in unforeseen costs. Rental companies will be able to charge you based on the time spent over, in addition to any gas mileage you used while out
4. Check for Insurance
Prior to purchasing an insurance package through the rental company, it is best to confirm with your current carriers if you are covered. Many credit cards, or personal insurance companies extend liability to rentals. Therefore, it is best to verify with your current carrier to save on unnecessary costs.
5. Read Your Contracts
Before you sign a contract for the rental car, it is advised that you spend some time reading through the documents. That way, you will know exactly what is included in the rental and who is liable in case of an accident. Knowing this information prior to your trip is absolutely necessary. That way, if an emergency situation were to occur you would already know what is covered, and how to handle it.
6. Ask for Discounts
Renting a car can be an expensive ordeal. This is why it is best to shop around and see if you would qualify for any discounts. Don’t be shy to ask a sales representative if they are having any special deals, promotions or coupons to save you on your final bill.
7. Inspect Before Use
Prior to driving your rental off the lot, it is best to do a walk-through inspection of the vehicle. You should take your time to make note of any defects, or scratches to avoid costly allegations when you return the car. When you notice these items, you should bring it to the attention of the sales representative and photograph the car prior to driving it.
8. Don’t Cross Borders
If you intend to drive your rental car for long distances it is advised that you research the rules and regulations of driving in other districts. Rental cars are usually not allowed to be taken over borders, so it is best to know where you are heading.
9. Do Your Research
There are many car rental companies available, which is why it is best to research prior to renting. You should look online or speak to friends and family for advice. If a company has poor reviews, it is a good sign that you should look else ware.