Maximising Your Car Rental Experience: Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Ride

car rental

Car rentals are the easiest way of commuting to places that you want to explore or sightsee in a vacation spot or new city. You can opt for the model of your choice and drive around for hours together with your friends and family. However, you also have to be careful with how much is spent on hiring a rental car.

The easiest way to hire a rental car is through an online car rental service. It takes just a couple of minutes to complete a booking through them. Here is a look at some tips and tricks to follow for an enjoyable car rental experience that is devoid of unnecessary expenses:

  1. The best way to get the lowest or best prices is by comparing rates between various car rentals at the vacation spot. Look into travel portals when you get a chance to see a large list of car rental agencies along with their pricing details. Look into each agency, check their prices, see available discounts, and also inquire about their facilities so that you can book what is most suitable for your needs.
  1. When searching for car rental deals, check out ones just a day or two prior to reaching the destination. This is the time when you can catch special or discounted deals that bring prices lower than expected. You can also opt for a refundable reservation, wherein you book a rental car, and pay upfront, but can get a refund if you choose another agency that offers lower rates.
  1. By bringing some items on your own, you can avoid having to use them from the car rental and paying for them. Car rental companies will give you the option of renting a GPS from them, but bring your own to avoid these charges. The same goes for the kid’s car seat so that you avoid more charges. In case you are getting a toll pass, add the rental car to your account prior to the trip and then remove it afterwards.
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  1. During the trip, you will certainly want to listen to music, so load such content onto your smartphone. You can load exactly what you like and listen to as much as you want. Don’t rent a satellite radio from the car agency, as it is only going to add to your expenses, and some rental agencies charge too much for it.
  1. When travelling with your family, you are bound to bring a lot of luggage. Check with the car rental company on the number of suitcases that will fit into the chosen model, including a cooler. It is also best to opt for a hybrid car when you are travelling with your family on a road trip. It will help save on gas. Look for a rental car with features like individual entertainment consoles, a big captain’s chair, or a panoramic sunroof, as it makes for a more enjoyable trip.
  1. You can also try cutting down on the number of days you use a rent-a-car. For example, on the first day, take the free shuttle to the hotel airport; from there, rent a car for the next couple of days for sightseeing and touring; and then use the free shuttle back to the airport. Yes, two days without a car rental can help cut down on expenses.
  1. While it’s easy to rent a car from the airport hotel, it’s better to take a bus from there to a rental agency downtown and rent from it, as the charges are much lower. Airport car rental puts all types of additional charges on you that are only going to hike your overall travel expenses. Some downtown car rentals can also give you a free trip to and from the airport hotel to the airport, so check out such an offer before renting.
  1. Car rentals become expensive when you don’t follow the rules. Most of us are seasoned drivers, so avoid the mistake of running the car somewhere because you were in a hurry, etc. Be sure to return the car on time, as there is an extra payment for late returns. Of course, you would have to fill the tank before returning, as otherwise, the charges are extra for this.
  1. When opting for an agency, check out their credentials. They must have been around for a couple of years, have a good number of car models to offer, and give competitive rates. Never go with nameless companies or those who are informally organised but give slashed prices as their cars are poorly maintained. Hiring a car from such agencies can land you in trouble later.
  1. Avoid getting extra car insurance from a rental car as it will lower your expenses. You can do this by checking up on your own car insurance policy to find out if it covers collision damage to a rental car. Look into your credit cards, as they usually cover auto insurance on rental cars and also your umbrella insurance.
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  1. If you are a member of Sam’s Club, AAA, or Costco, check out their discounted rates or lower prices for car rentals. You can also look into one-way car rental deals, which are cheaper than round-trip ones.
  1. Opt for an economy car as they are priced lower when you want to commute every day into the city and check out various locations. They are particularly easy to use when you need to commute in traffic, and they are quite compact to park easily.

At times, you might want to hire a driver, especially when travelling over long distances. Staying behind the wheel is comfortable, but the additional cost of hiring a driver can be too much, so do your research on this by comparing between various car agencies before hiring.

An online car rental service enables you to easily hire a car of your choice as and when needed from your location. Look out for special deals and discounts to enjoy the car you want with your family or friends without spending too much.

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