When traveling, a rental car can be a tremendous convenience allowing you to go where you want, when you want. Whether you’re planning a business trip, a family vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, here are a few factors to consider when deciding on which rental company and what kind of car are perfect for you.
Research your location. Check with the destination hotel, condo or home you will be staying at and find out what parking options are available. Not all places offer free parking and this may be something to consider before you decide to rent a vehicle. It may not be worth the money if you have to pay for the rental fee plus parking. Your pick-up location is another thing to think about. If you are flying to your destination, the most convenient way to pick-up your rental car would be at the airport. This is typically a quick, easy process but if money is an issue, check the rates in advance. Some rental companies charge more when the vehicle is picked up at the airport. Make sure you take a walk around the vehicle and check for any damage before you leave your pick-up location.
Evaluate your vehicle needs. Consider what is important in a car. How many people can it hold? How far will you be traveling and is fuel economy a factor? What kind of cargo space does the vehicle have? What is your budget? Knowing the answers to all these questions will make it easier for you to pick the right car. If you’re traveling alone and are used to driving the family mini van, now might be a great time for that two-seater convertible. How fun would that be!
Where to find the best deal. Research online booking websites such as Expedia and Travelocity. Not only can you see prices from a variety of rental companies all on one site but they also offer some great deals. It is also recommended that you check any frequent flyer programs you are enrolled in and any deals that may be offered through your credit cards.
Insurance. Make sure you have enough insurance in case of an unfortunate accident or issue with your rental car. First check with your personal car insurance policy. This policy may already cover rentals but you will want to confirm this with your insurance company. Credit cards over extended insurance for car rentals so this is another option to look into. If all else fails, the rental company offers insurance with each rental for an added charge of $15-30 a day.
You can make your rental experience hassle-free and affordable by knowing what you want, doing a little research and having the correct coverage. Have you rented a car recently during a vacation? Share your best tips with us.