Whether you’re going overseas or looking for private transport in your own town, sometimes renting a car can be a smart option.
The cheaper rates can make it more affordable than purchasing your own vehicle, plus the rental firm will typically take care of repairs and servicing.
There are, however, a number of important steps to follow, so you avoid difficulties in the future:
Only Rent at the Airport if Necessary
For those travelling, one of the most common places to rent an automobile is at the airport they arrive.
This makes sense as it is the easiest place to pick up a car. However, most people do not know that airport car rentals can be more expensive than in other locations.
The added taxes levied by most airports plus the increased rental rates charged to stores onsite will equate to higher prices for customers of the car leasing office found there.
Ensure Your Own Insurance Is Suitable
Since you’re not driving your own car, you will have to double-check if your auto insurance actually takes care of you in case of an accident. This applies whether you are leasing a car for a few years or a few weeks. By double checking your insurance is suitable, you will:
- Avoid financial costs if you are in an accident and need repairs
- Save yourself from purchasing expensive cover from the rental firm
- Prevent doubling up on car insurance that is effectively redundant
Do the research beforehand and save yourself a lot of hassle when dealing with the rental agency’s customer service representatives.
Compare Different Rental Packages
So that you get the best deal, it is important to crunch the numbers between several different options (even within the same company). If you require a car over the short term, remember that rates generally decrease per day the longer you take the car for. In some cases, it may be cheaper to rent the vehicle for a week than for three days!
Get Evidence at Pick-up and Drop-off
If you are renting a vehicle from an international dealer, it’s important to protect yourself from scams. In many cases, travellers have returned the car and flown home to find their accounts charged for damage they didn’t do. While this won’t happen at all companies, it is up to the consumer to take care of their wellbeing.
The good news is you simply need to take photographs of the car at the rental firm prior to departure. In return, you can take some more photos to complete your collection of evidence.
Also, ask for a photocopy of the inspection document that the employee fills out when you pick up and drop off the car.
Understand Return Time Policies
Our last tip for avoiding difficulty is to enquire about the firm’s policies when it comes to the vehicle return time.
Some companies give you an hour’s grace period, while others expect you to drop it off on the dot. If you are late in the latter case, this can mean you’re charged with a full day’s rate even though you only arrived half an hour after the promised time!
By familiarising yourself with the specifics of the returns policies, you can then avoid any unwanted charges at drop-off.