The best tips for booking a rental car

best tips for booking a rental carWhen considering what you need to know about reserving a car for when you are on business or a vacation and want your own transportation, there are several helpful tips for booking a rental car.  There are even times when you might want to spend a while in a country and need a vehicle for a long term which is why you should book it from home and go online to do it.  Regardless of what your reason is to look for a rental car, there are numerous tips you need to know for booking a rental car that will help you to make it a less stressful process and perhaps evens save you money.

In regards to these tips, you need to think about which rental company you want to choose.  All over the globe there are major rental car agencies and some of these are global and not just in your home country.  You may want to choose your favorite if you have booked with them before and have had a good experience.  When you go looking around and want to consider tips for booking a rental car…

14 tips to rent a car saving money, without bad surprises

1. Do not just look at the initial price quotes and compare them.  Instead, consider the extras, the fees, the company’s service, their office hours, the available pick up and drop off locations, and other information.  Many times, people who have booked with some of these rental car agencies have left their own reviews online. You may want to opt to listen to their tips for booking a rental car and not just go with a lower price quote on a rental car.

2. Also, it is advantageous to choose larger rental car companies.  They generally have more choices of pick up and drop off locations all across the world.  Some of these companies will also offer replacement cars if you run into trouble at one of their locations since another one of their branches might be nearby.  Still though, you will want to choose a company that is thoroughly present in the vicinity that you will be driving in.

3. Regardless of who you choose to rent through, make sure you keep all of the paperwork you are givenWhen booking online, print off all of the information in regards to the type of car you have chosen and make sure you keep the car reservation number.  You may need to do screenshots of each of these pages so that you have access to everything you have asked for.

4. You also should print off the contract so you can read and have with you any fine print.  When picking up and dropping off the car, you should also keep that paperwork.  They will have a company checklist they use to see what the car’s condition is when you return it to them.  Keep a copy of that too in case you have a billing dispute in the future.

More tips for booking a rental car include how you go about choosing a car…

5. Remember that whenever you choose a rental car, they will vary in different countries in how they are made. If you are renting a car in a country where you do not live, you may want to see what it looks like to make sure that the space is suitable for your driving needs.  Typically in countries such as Europe, a car may have less passenger space and a large trunk is virtually unheard of.  Also, manual transmissions are more common than automatic ones.

It may be advisable that you upgrade to a bigger but pricier rental car to ensure that all of your needs are met. If your needs require that you have an automatic transmission, you need to take note of that when you place your reservation for a rental car online. Otherwise, you might want to brush up on driving a stick shift though it is not recommended to use your rental car to learn to drive a car with a manual transmission.

When opting for budget rentals, you may find makes and models that you are familiar with such as Mercedes or Volkswagen. However, you may run into some car rental makes that you are unfamiliar with such as Seat, Fiat, or Peugeot.

6. Be prepared that you are not guaranteed to get the exact car that you prefer so you might just want to opt for a similar car to what you are used to.  If you spend a lot of time comparing the models, you may just be wasting time otherwise. Just remember that sometimes when you travel to foreign countries, larger cars may be harder to maneuver on the narrow and winding roads.  However, if you have a passenger that is traveling with you, you may want to upgrade to a little bit larger of a car rather than the smallest and cheapest rental car model.  You may pack light but another passenger may not.  With only one other passenger in tow, you should be fine for space but if you plan on travelling with more people, you may want to upgrade to a larger model.

7. When you are going to rent a car, you need to choose a pick up and drop off time and place.  It is easier and less stressful to stay away from larger cities that you are not used to driving in.  If you can, try to pick up your rental vehicle away from larger destination spots.  You can utilize public transportation or taxi cabs to get to your rental pick up place.  However, if you choose to pick up your car in a tiny area, be prepared to have less options available and perhaps more inconveniences. It is likely that they have shortened office hour times which can make picking up and dropping off a rental car difficult.

8. Remember that when you pick up a car at the airport, it costs more on average than picking it up a little further away.  You pay for that convenience though sometimes, it may be worth it.  Note that before you choose a rental location to pick up a car, you will need to find it on a map so you know where you are going.

9. Another “renting tip”: also note that some agencies rent for a few days at a time.  They may offer deals such as renting a car for three days and getting the fourth day free.  Sometimes cars are rented within a 24 hour time frame so you need to remember that if you pick up a car at noon one day, you cannot wait to return it at 2 p.m. on your drop off date.  Never book your pick up time for a rental car earlier than you really need it.  Try to also book a drop off time that is within the office hours of your rental agency.  This way you can actually finalize the paperwork in person rather than just leaving your rental car’s keys in an afterhours drop box.

10. The tenth tip booking a rental car is that you should get quotes on a weekly rental.  It may be cheaper.

11. Also, check on the currency conversion rates when you are making car comparisons if you are traveling to a different country.

12. Always read the fine print so that you are not blindsided by additional fees.

13. Pay upfront and beware of whether or not you are purchasing a collision damage waiver.

14. Make sure your insurance will cover a rental car.

By following these tips for booking a rental car, you will be ensured that you have the best experience possible when renting a car and are not taken advantage of.  Note that it is also best to pre-plan and book online (try this RentalCars form in order to have the best deals!)