Almost all travelers depend on a rental vehicle, but when renting a car there are many things one should consider, like model, availability, fees, etc. However, if you are not careful you can easily come across problems, especially when it comes to rental car company policies i.e. if you have to for re-fuelling charges?
The rental car reservation process is not that straightforward and simple, so here are a few tips on how to avoid common problems when renting a car.
It is best to avoid renting a car at the airport as they can have very high charges, skip the extra expenditure and opt for a local car rental company. Make a reservation before landing, that way you can be picked up from the airport or even pick up the car yourself from a pickup point.
Reserving a rental with a local company can help save a lot of money and you don’t have to worry about reliability and quality as most local businesses are quite good. You can always do prior research before settling with a company.
Every rental company has a policy to refuel the car before the customer drops it off at the drop off point. You also have the option of paying a refueling charge and drop off the vehicle instead of pumping a full tank before doing so.
However, this can be quite expensive as companies almost always overcharge for this service. It is best if you take it upon yourself to do the refueling before drop off as it is the more cost-effective option.
When renting a car you must have insurance that covers rentals. Most credit cards offer insurance that extends to rental cars, however, car rental businesses may urge you to apply for insurance via them.
This may double the final cost of the rental, therefore it is always best to opt for your own insurance instead. Also, make it a point to check with your credit card provider if they offer insurance for rentals.
Inspect your rental
Make sure you take a thorough look through every part of the rental. Be on the lookout for any pre-existing scratches, dents, seat covers that are chipping off, etc. It is important to inspect the rental car closely as this will help prevent any unnecessary disagreements between you and the rental company.
When dropping off the car make sure an agent is present, always wait while they inspect the car for any damages. This way you can avoid any unnecessary arguments between you and the company as they may claim that damages were caused from your hand when that may not be the case.
If there are damages caused to the car by you, take responsibility and sort it out in a civil manner. If you have insurance you don’t have to worry about anything.
If you are looking for a smaller car, always book in advance as they tend to be pre-booked a lot during the holiday season especially. Smaller cars are more economical than bigger or luxury grade cars.
Depending on availability and seasonal offers, you might be able to book a bigger car for the same price as a small car. However, in the case of luxury cars make a point to ask your agent if the rate they are offering is their final, because if there is only one car available they may give it to you for a discounted price.
Many rental companies may ask you if you require a navigation system with your rental car, this can incur an extra fee, therefore be vigilant when confirming your reservation. If you have a smartphone, a navigation system would be unnecessary, as your smart device is equipped with a navigation app.
Drop off on time
Depending on your reservation there will be an estimated time for the drop-off, some rental companies may give you a grace period of one hour, but some others may not. It is best to stick to the given time as if you exceed the estimated drop off time they may charge you.
Plan your itinerary such that there is extra time for drop off, leave early as possible so that you can make it on time.