Tips to Make Car Rental Easy

Renting a car can be a frustrating and high stress experience, if you don’t know the ropes. These few simple tips can make it easier.

  • Tips for saving money:
  • Book your rental online, many rental companies have online specials.
  • Book your rental at the same time you book your air travel or hotel, package rates are usually discounted.
  • Rent a 2,3 or 5 day, or week long package, packages are generally priced lower.
  • Many rental companies will offer you the option of returning the car without filling the gas tank…They do this by selling you the full tank of gas that is in the vehicle at the time of rental. If you are sure you be using more than one tank of gas, and you are offered a price per gallon that is lower than the prevailing price per gallon in the area, you could save a few dollars, and have less hassle returning your vehicle.
  • How are you going to handle insurance?The rental agent will try very hard to sell you the coverage’s they offer…which are usually a very expensive form of temporary insurance.
  • You do have other options…The least costly way is to tell them that your personal or business auto policy will cover you. Before you suggest this, be sure you check with your insurance agent, to be sure exactly what coverage you do have.
  • Many credit cards will cover some rental car insurance…You need to use that card to pay for your rental, and be sure you understand what is covered and what the limits are.
  • Miscellaneous Tips.
  • The type or model car you reserved is not available…what can you do? This could be a bait and switch tactic, or they may just be overstocked on larger models…it is also an opportunity to practice your negotiation skills. I usually will accept the upgrade to the next level…if it is offered at the same rate…I may suggest that we split the rate, or I may refuse to complete the transaction and go somewhere else.
  • If your car breaks down be sure that you call the 800 number usually provided for service or road emergencies…if you do not call them first, they may not cover whatever you spend.
  • If you discover that you left some item in the car when you turned it in…don’t panic, call the rental location where you dropped off the car, they may have found your item, and will usually send it to you.
  • Always be sure you have a major credit card with you, Car Rental companies may accept checks, but they will never rent a car for cash.

Jim Newell