Things to Consider When Renting a Car

Monday, July 2, 2012

You have finally taken the time to plan for a trip or a vacation that you have been putting off.  Now it’s time to see what you would like to do when you are on vacation.  Having freedom and flexibility is key for most people when going on vacation.  Being mobile means not having to wait for others (taxis, bus, trains) and gives you the freedom to stop along the way.  If you are going to an area where you cannot walk or bike where you need to go, then renting a car might be the easiest thing for you to do. 

The first thing that you should think of is safety.  Is it safe to rent a car in the area that you are going to go to?  We have heard the stories that people can target car renters (and in some places, even corrupt police).  Do the research.  Check online to find out if it is recommended to rent a car and what sorts of things that you can expect when you do rent a car in the place where you are going.

The second thing you should be thinking of when renting a car is the time that you want to rent the car for and then the distance that you want to travel.  This will then tell you if you will need to have a car with unlimited mileage.  Most car rental companies will work out a ‘deal’ for those that are renting the car for several days in a row (weekly rates). 

The third thing that you will want to consider is the amount of space that you will need, this will dictate how big you need the car to be.  Car rental companies range from compact cars to luxury size vehicles.  Remember that generally the bigger the car, the more fuel it will consume. 

Once you know the length, distance and size of car that you will need, then you need to start to compare prices at various car rental agencies.  You can do this by going online and comparing the different rates on different websites, or you can simply call the different car rental agencies.  Some offer discounts when booking online, so that is something that you might want to consider.  The online sites allow you to type in all the information that you are looking for and then they will give you an option of which car best suits your need, and you can select from there.

There are a few considerations to think of once you have selected your vehicle to rent:

  • Will you have to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas?  Generally, it is much cheaper for you to bring back the vehicle with the gas tank full then have them do it. 

  • What type of insurance do they offer with the vehicle.  Double check if you are booking your vehicle with a credit card, most credit card companies cover you for various types of insurance.  Then you can decline the insurance that the car rental company wants you to buy from them.

  • Know the age restrictions of those that will be driving the car.  Generally, the age restriction to rent and drive a rental car is 25 years of age.

  • Make sure you know when the car is due back.  Sometimes, companies will charge full day rates after the vehicle is returned over an hour late.

Good luck and have fun when renting your car!