Renting a vehicle can be a dream come true for those long road trips. You save the wear and tear on your own car and you dont have to clean it when you bring it back. Renting a car isnt just for the long road trips though. Sometimes you feel the need to drive a convertible or you could use more space. Here are a few tips to help you have the best rental experience possible.
The best car for you
The good news is that there are a lot of options available. The bad news is that they can seem overwhelming. Knowing what you need before you see your options will help narrow the task. Some important questions to ask include: How many passengers are there, do you need a roof rack and can you drop the car off at a different location?
In general, the minimum age to rent a vehicle is 25. However, if you are younger than that there might be some leeway for you. For example, an extra daily fee might be tacked onto your quote. Traveling for work might also give you some wiggle room. Make sure you ask before you sign the dotted line.
Can someone else drive the car?
Typically the renter is the only one allowed to drive the car unless you pay an extra fee to have an additional person on the rental slip. However, only the names provided have the coverage to drive the car. That means if John Smith happens to be driving and gets into an accident or is pulled over for a ticket you will have a lot of explaining and paying to do.
Drop off at a different location
Unfortunately, each rental company has a different policy for this. It also depends on the type of vehicle you are renting. Typically, it isnt a huge deal to drop off the vehicle at a different location but you will need to clear this ahead of time. Also, it seems the higher end vehicles have more restrictions.
Touring the wine regions in France or the quaint Italian villages is an amazing way to get the most out of your vacation. However, there are different road rules for every country and sometimes each city so get educated. Figure out what side of the road they drive on, what the speed limit is and what all those lights mean. It is very unwise to learn these as you go. No winging it please. You may also need to get an international drivers license. Again, research before you go.
Bring your own air freshener
The only downside to a rental vehicle is the odor from the previous tenant. Now, most agencies are very good at cleaning up the mess/stench but stay on the safe side and bring your own air freshener. Your senses will thank you.
The general rule is to bring the tank back the same way you received it full. If you run out of time you can return it with less however you will be charged for this. Make the time to fill it up so that you can avoid this extra cost.
Do a walk around before you leave the lot is there enough air in the tires, any previous damage, is there windshield washer fluid and oil, do they have a map for you and where is that spare tire? Also, if you happen to be renting a vehicle where it snows see if the agency will lend you a snowbrush.
Accidents happen but this is why it is essential to have some type of car insurance. Some credit cards offer this service so you may not have to purchase it at the agency. If you do get into an accident get as much information as possible from the other driver. Witness statements and if possible, pictures can also help explain the situation.
Can I cancel my reservation?
Yes, you can but you need to tell the rental agency as soon as possible. Cover your bases and take down the name of the person you are dealing with in case any discrepancies arise in the future. Please note that agencies are starting to penalize no shows so save yourself the hassle and cancel as soon as you can.