If you’re a few days before your first road trip, you’re probably all excited and can’t wait for the fantastic adventure that is just ahead of you. You’ve packed up all the necessities, planned your way thoughtfully, and checked all the restaurants that serve the best food on the way. However, there is one more thing you can’t neglect while planning your trip – renting the vehicle that would meet your expectations.
There are plenty of car rental companies that offer you the driving experiences of your dreams. But don’t trust each slogan you see. If you read the small print in plenty of offers carefully, it might turn out that you spend vast sums of money on the opposite of what you’ve wanted. So before you pick up your car, get to know what you should always make sure about before renting a vehicle, so you don’t end up with empty pockets.
1. Check the Insurance
Most of the car rental companies offer you car insurance. However, you need to make sure what accidents your insurance covers. Stop for a while, and take into account all the unpleasant surprises that can happen on the way:
- You can accidentally destroy property and bump into someone’s fence.
- You can experience the mechanic fire.
- Somebody might try to steal your possessions inside of the car, or even a tire.
- You might just happen to have a collision.
Find a rental company that offers you a customized protection plan. For example, in Hyrecar, you can be sure that you’re safe in case of any unpleasant surprise.
Beware of your credit card companies that offer you rental car insurance. A rental car company might demand additional costs from you if you destroy a car, even if you have insurance from an outside party.
2. Consider Local Restrictions
While planning your road trip with a rented car, you need to check the location-specific policies for the countries and states you want to visit. It would be best if you consulted them with your rental company. Usually, it’s not a problem to cross the state’s borders, but keep in mind that sometimes there are specific restrictions. For instance, some companies from Las Vegas allow you to travel only to Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.
A similar situation can occur when you plan to cross the borders of countries. Most rental companies do not allow you to do so. Remember to declare it in advance – even if it’s permitted, you might be charged with additional costs.
3. Choose the Car’s Size
Spend a minute or two reconsidering how big your car really should be. The bigger the vehicle, the higher the prize. Moreover, you need to consider that if you plan a trip to a place with narrow streets or going to be an adventurer on the mountains roads, the biggest SUV on the offer would be an obstacle rather than support.
4. Don’t Go for the Cheapest Option
It’s tempting to choose the rental company that offers you renting the car at the lowest price. But remember that car rental price is not only about how much you pay for kilometres you do per day.
If the price is suspiciously low, expect additional charges for their fuel policies or mileage allowances. What’s more, the hidden costs usually mean awful customer service that is unattainable when you notice that money disappears from your card. So, let’s repeat it once again – always read the small print!
5. Rent a Car in Advance
Maybe you’re a spontaneous soul that plans the trips two days before they happen. But if it’s true, you have to reckon with additional costs. The golden rule of renting a car is to do it a few weeks ahead of your road trip.
If you’re searching the car renting companies’ websites, you’ll notice that the closer to your trip, the higher the prices. Start doing research a few weeks earlier, so the probability that you’d find discount coupons or special offers is 50% higher.
Renting a car can be stressful and confusing. However, if you follow those five tips, you might save money and avoid surprising additional charges. Always keep in mind the aim of your trip and what type of car you really need.
For example, if it’s your first road trip and you’ve packed all the stuff that you might potentially need into your backpack, you decide to rent an SUV. Then, you see the adjective “luxury” just next to it in the offer, and you can’t resist booking it. And you end up with the most expensive vehicle in the offer that you don’t need. To avoid that, do always think twice and choose a rental car that meets your needs and financial capabilities.