If you are considering renting a car when you’re on vacation, that’s a good way of saving money instead of taking a taxi. The driver may take a ‘scenic route’ while having the taxi meter on fast forward.
However, renting a car can be a daunting prospect if you don’t know what you’re doing. Often, everything about a vacation is planned and well thought, but many people overlook a car rental until the last moment. This can cost you needlessly and somewhat ruin your vacation. Here are some things you should consider before renting a car.
1. Use A Credit Card
When renting a car, use your credit card. You could use a debit card, but some of these car rental agencies may check your credit score just to make sure that you can afford to pay any unforeseen charges. By using a credit card, this won’t happen. Many places refuse to accept pre-paid credit cards, so in case you were considering this, don’t bother.
2. Try Using Just One Driver
You may be on holiday with your family, or perhaps you’ve decided to join a group of friends for a getaway. Whatever the case, try to keep drivers to a minimum. If all of you can drive, you risk paying fees on who can drive. So don’t say anything, even if all of you can drive, otherwise you could incur higher fees.
3. Shop Around For Insurance
You can get the car insurance at the rental agency, however, these tend to be extremely high. If you have no choice and exhausted all other viable options, then go ahead. A couple of things you should do though, is to check your own personal car insurance which may cover rentals already. The other thing to do is to call your credit card company and find out if you are covered because many of them do.
4. Don’t Rent At The Airport
It’s easy and convenient to pick up your car at the airport, but if you can, refrain from doing this. Rental rates away from the airport are much cheaper. The problem is, these agencies pay fees to the airport, so they don’t have much choice other than to charge more. Instead, get a taxi to take you to another place to rent your car. Some car rentals offer a free pick up and drop off, so be aware of this. This can save you money, but you need to arrange all this well beforehand.
5. Understand The Fees
Make sure that you understand all the fees involved when renting the car. Some of the terms can differ from one agency to another. You need to know what you are paying for and also what you are liable for in the event of any problems. The last thing you need in a foreign country or province is to have a spot of bother and end up arguing about who is legally responsible for something. Once you sign, you’re pretty much stuck, so understand every detail before you sign any papers.
Other little things can also help save you some money. For example, bring your own GPS (your mobile phone should have one too). When returning the car, fill it up and then return it. Also, find out if you are entitled to a slight discount if you return the car earlier. Anywhere you can save money means you can use it to enjoy your vacation even more.