10 Things to Do Before Renting a Car

rent a car tips important things to doRenting a car is always a great idea to consider when taking a vacation. It can save you from spending too much on taxi rides, provide added safety and security compared to taking public transportation, and finally, offers convenience during sudden schedule changes.

However, it can also present a lot of unnecessary headaches if you’re not careful. Fortunately, most of these issues can easily be prevented with the following steps that we are going to share with you below.

Let’s see some good practice to be followed!

Rent a Car for the first time? 10 things to know

1. Limit Additional Drivers

We highly recommend driving your own rental as much as you can. It is only natural for some people to be more careless and irresponsible when they know that they are not going to be held liable for any mishaps. 

However, we also understand that there are trips that are simply too tiring to drive alone. If that’s the case, then you should definitely include the additional driver’s name in your rental contract. This will protect your insurance coverage should something happen that will merit a claim.

We also know that it might not seem to be the most affordable option for those having family vacations on a budget, but it will actually save you a lot of money and headaches.

2. Review your Car Insurance Policy

This step is a given when you’re choosing a budget family car, but did you know that this is also a helpful way to save money on car rentals. After all, there are personal auto policies that extend to rental vehicles.

There are even credit card companies that also offer such benefits. This means that you won’t have to purchase the insurance option from your rental car company anymore. See all our articles about Car Rental Insurance.

3. Learn about Car Rental Travel Policies

In relation to the previous tip, don’t forget to check the geographical limitations on your insurance coverage as well. You should know that there are insurance policies that don’t extend overseas, and those that do are not always recognized by the local government of the country you’re visiting.

This is especially true for those who are crossing any borders during their trip. 

4. Fill up Before Returning

While this is not a step that you should keep in mind before renting a car, we will be remiss if we don’t take this opportunity to remind you of the potential savings you’ll get by filling up the tank of your rental car BEFORE returning it

5. Bring your Own Accessories

Are you going to need any equipment like a baby car seat or a navigation system during your drive? Do you already have them at home? If so, then it’s ideal to bring them whenever possible instead of paying the extra price for them. 

You will also get to ensure their safety and functionality this way. 

6. Driving Safety: Background Checks could Block You

Most rental agencies allow you to make car rental reservations in advance:

but did you know that they can still block you from using their vehicle at the last minute due to a problematic driving record?

We recommend checking with your preferred rental agency regarding any specific concerns about their background checks before heading out just to be sure. 

7. Inspection is Necessary

If there’s one tip that we want you to take away from this article, it would be this. Never skip checking your vehicle inside and out before leaving. This will protect you from being held accountable for any existing damages.

With that said, take a lot of photos and videos whenever possible and necessary. You should also have a rental car company employee sign the documents where you have stated all of the damages you have noted.

8. Avoid Costly Airport Locations? Or not?

It certainly is very convenient to rent your car at the airport, but don’t think that this won’t come at a price.  If you really want to maximize your savings, then you should consider renting a car outside the airport. The farther the company’s location is, the cheaper it can be. 

But also consider the transfer costs to reach your desired locations and the big amount of time you will lose for sure during these transfers. 

We already faced this important question here:

9. Beware of Credit Card Blocks

Another factor that you should consider before renting a car is your available credit limit. Rental fees can be quite costly and most rental companies even add a buffer amount on top for good measure.

They will then hold this amount (or in some cases, your card) until you have returned the vehicle. This block can then take up to two days to disappear.

10. Return on Time

Finally, don’t forget to return your car on time, not a day earlier or later. Doing so might result in penalties. Make sure to let the rental car company know if there are any unexpected changes to your drop-off time as soon as possible to discuss the potential waving of additional fees. 

Renting a car doesn’t have to be expensive. By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we are confident that you will be able to keep your trip both convenient and cost-efficient. We wish you safe travels!