Which is the right way to rent a car? The playlist maybe is the first important decision you need to make before you leave for an holiday.
Once you’ve settled on some jams, you’re going to need a way to get around.
The right way to rent a car: where to pick-up your car, when to book and which services to choice
Renting a car means making a series of choices such as comparing costs, buying insurance, even fueling up can seem like ordinary tasks repackaged as bad traps for unwary consumers. Understanding the rules of the rental-car and how those rules are changing, thanks to everything from ride-sharing technology and car-booking apps to new standards for safety and recalls, is the only strategy.
Rental car picked-up at the Airport? Choosing between time and money
You don’t necessarily need or want to rent your vehicle at the terminal. Lots of people flying into your destination are also looking to rent a car at the airport, meaning longer waits and more opportunities for things to go wrong. Rates can be higher when you rent from the airport, partly due to tacked-on fees —facility charges and so on — and partially because that’s just where they get you.
That depends on the city and the date, of course. You might not find a better deal outside of the labyrinthine airport lots, but it’s worth crunching the numbers. You may escape the sometimes-harrying drive out of the airport (and save money to boot) by taking a ride to pick up your car.
You have to remember, though, that pick-up your rental car at the Airport has a higher value for money, because your time always worths more than few dollars.
Sometimes an airport rental isn’t actually located at the airport. Sometimes reserving a car doesn’t actually secure you a car, and believe it or not, sometimes car-rental agencies are not exactly the picture of excellence in customer service.
Picking a car rental through an online travel search engine means looking at mostly identical entries, differentiated solely by price and pick-up location.
Check review sites like Yelp or Google to learn about the common pitfalls at the pick-up spot before you click yes to anything. Many airport rental locations are off-airport or even nowhere-near-airport; at the same time many airports now are aware of the importance of the car hire services.
There’s nothing set down in stone that requires rental-car agencies to charge higher rates to drivers under 25. Young renters who call and plead their case to rental car companies may find an office that’s willing to reduce or even drop the fees. For rental companies, the statistical risk associated with youthful drivers may be a smaller liability than the branding risk of outraged Yelp users complaining about ageist penalties.
Do you have to buy insurance? It’s the ultimate rental-car question. Odds are you won’t wind up in an accident, but better safe than sued (or worse). As for how much insurance you should buy? Try to ask someone who isn’t trying to sell it to you. If you have health insurance, you probably don’t need to buy extra personal accident insurance, for example. But if you are a car owner with only limited-liability insurance for a personal vehicle, this insurance will do you little good if you get into an accident while driving a rental car.
Whatever you decide to do about insurance, don’t wait to make that decision when you’re picking up the keys. You can reliably buy insurance from that same rental-car agency at a lower rate, so long as you buy it online (or over the phone). That’s because at any point before the person-to-person purchase, you have options, whether that’s through booking search engines or from another rental-car agency—and the company knows it.
While you are surveying your options you should place a call to your credit-card company and your insurance company (if you are a car-owner). You may already have all the coverage you need. In the end, you want to opt in on the things you know you need—not doubt yourself over what things you can afford to opt out of.
There aren’t usually any penalties for canceling a rental-car reservation, so long as you do so in advance. If a better deal comes down the line, drop the one that didn’t work for you, find several deals and reserve them all. Of course, rental-car companies (and your fellow renters) would prefer that you didn’t do this. The threat of no-shows—customers who reserve a car in advance but never cancel the reservation when their plans change—makes it hard for rental-car companies to match up their inventory with their customers.
That’s why many companies offer discounts to customers who pay in advance online, since they’re less likely to bail without canceling. Now, if everyone follows this advice, everyone is in trouble. Tech can save us from ourselves, however. New apps and comparators like rentalcars are poised to give find drivers the best prices while providing companies with more accurate predictions for providing the right number of cars.
Enterprise couldn’t provide any information about which cars in its fleet are the most popular; the spokesperson claims the company doesn’t even know the answer. So maybe go with what’s popular. If you’re hoping to store all sorts of end-of-summer gear, you can get a roomy hatchback, such as a Volkswagen Golf or a Ford Focus.
For cruising around, treat yourself with something sleek and sporty, because you deserve this. The very fastidious driver can use different fuel-cost calculator to determine exactly how much gas a rental-car trip will use (and how expensive it will be), then compare that rate to the pre-paid rate offered at the rental car location.
People who have chill should just fill up the tank on the return trip. One more recommendation: Make sure the tires have good air pressure before driving.