Car Rental Saving Tips

Car rentals offer tremendous flexibility for personal or business use.  The highly competitive car rental industry has many great deals available.  The following tips will guide you through your rental car search.

1.-  Prices are based on car size, the rental agency, and vehicle availability.  Additional fees not included in base rental prices will also be charged. These fees may include sales taxes, airport taxes, vehicle license fees, and miscellaneous surcharges. Make sure you get price quotes that include all the applicable taxes and fees.

2.-  Comparison shop and seek the best rate.  Great car rental rates are available online and often with exclusive internet discounts or programs.  You may also reserve a car by calling a reputable company’s toll free number.  Always ask rental agencies for current promotions or special rates.  If you don’t have time to call around or search the web, ask a travel agent to help find the right car rental for you.

3.-  To get the best rate, reserve your car at least a week in advance.  You can also check back later to see if a better rate is currently available.  If you need a car for more than a few days, consider renting your car at a weekly rate instead of a daily one. 

4.- Note a rental company’s hours of operation; choose companies that will be open when you need them and provide dependable emergency road service.

5.-  Rental cars range from economy to luxury and compact to full-sized. Generally smaller cars are less expensive to rent   Moving up in car size is usually not that much more, however, renting specialty cars, trucks or vans will noticeably increase your costs.  Select the car that fits your needs and don’t be pressured into upgrading if you do not need a larger vehicle.

6.-  Once you make a booking, keep any documents that note the company you are renting from, their toll free customer service number, your rental confirmation number, the type of car reserved, your reservation dates, and the rates you were quoted. Take these with you when you get your car.

7.-  Carefully read your rental agreement first before you sign it so you know exactly what is covered in your rental, any restrictions, and your liability.

8.-  You will need a major credit card to pay for your rental and a valid driver’s license and international license for some foreign countries.

9.-  Rental agencies will offer Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver insurance. This insurance releases the renter from responsibility of any loss or damage to a vehicle up to the full value of the car so long as the renter is not in violation of the rental agreement.   Your personal automobile insurance policy may already cover rental cars so ask your insurance agent before making rental reservations. If it is, bring a copy of this policy with you when you pick up your car.  Also, many credit card companies offer free rental auto insurance coverage for car rentals paid with their credit card.  Check with your credit card company to see if this money saving benefit is available.

10.-  Inspect your car with an attendant before you leave the lot looking for signs of visible damage.  Check to see if the odometer mileage is accurate.  If damage or inaccuracies are found, go back to the rental office and have these noted in writing on your rental agreement.

11.- Familiarize yourself with your car’s features and operating systems before driving away.  Know how to operate the air conditioner, defroster, heater, horn, lights, radio, seat belts, turn signals, and windshield wipers.  Take time to adjust your seats and mirrors.

12.-  Return your car at the agreed time to avoid expensive penalties.

13.-  Cars returned to a different location than where they were initially picked up often are charged an extra fee.

14.-  Ask for an extra key.  Many agencies will provide a second key, which can be valuable in emergency situations.

15.-  Make advanced reservations if child booster or car seats are needed.

16.-  Wear your seat belt at all times while operating your rental car.

17.- Do not leave valuable items in your car and lock your doors and trunk when away from your vehicle.

18.-  Gas up your car yourself before returning it since gas prices are usually less expensive at gas stations than at rental agencies.



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