Renting a car is an excellent option for on the road travelers. Many questions are always brought up to my attention from our Chavez Insurance clients who are going out of town thus renting a car.
The following are important things to know before renting a car:
Additional drivers cost more
Just because your car is full of people over the age of 25 doesn’t mean each one needs to be registered to drive the rental. However, some car rentals charge a fee for each additional driver added to the policy. While it’s not a bad idea to register at least two drivers to share the driving load, you may want to consider keeping it to one person if the driving distance or trip is short to avoid unnecessary fees.
Inspect your rental beforehand
Before you start driving your rental car, you should inspect the rental for scratches, dents, and other signs of damage. Don’t forget to also take a look inside for any stains, tears, or marks on the interior. The rental company should have these damages filed, but it’s always good to double check yourself and point them out to the staff just to make sure all details have been noted. When you return the rental, before you take off, make sure someone inspects the car with you to verify you turned it in just like you received it.
Know your credit card’s policies on rentals
Before you hand over your credit card and take off in your rental, be sure to verify what exactly is covered by your credit card policy. Know what rental car damages, fees, and extras are covered on the credit card beforehand and you’ll avoid any surprising costs when the bill comes.
Pump gas elsewhere
One of the standard rules of rentals is to fill up the tank before you return the car. A common mistake so many drivers make is returning the car without a full tank of gas and letting the rental car company add the difference. But just so you know, most rental car companies will overcharge drivers who didn’t return a full gas tank plus their rates are higher than if you would do it yourself. Yes, it is a hassle but ultimate if you do it yourself you wind up saving more money.
Airport car rental counters charge a fee
Airport car rental desks are famous for tagging on an airport fee when you rent a car from their counter. To some car rental companies is a requirement by law to collect these surcharges for the airport. So you might want to consider taking a shuttle or taxi to a car rental company outside of the airport where you won’t get charge this extra cost.
Bring your own extras
Things like child-safety seats, GPS systems, and DVD players can add up quick when added to a rental car. Yes! They actually charge for you to use the GPS system integrated to the car. Save money by bringing these travel gadgets with you. Also, if you get a rental car with unnecessary extras, ask to have them removed, or get a new vehicle so that you don’t get stuck with a higher bill.
Buying Car Rental Insurance
When you opt-out of buying the car rental insurance, automatically the car in your personal auto policy with the most coverage will transfer over to the rental car. But in case of an accident in your car rental, you can avoid headaches by simply buying the car rental insurance offered to you. Some headaches to avoid would be making a claim with your insurance company and having to pay out of pocket for the days the rental car is at the repair shop being fixed (loss of use).