Renting a car can feel daunting, especially if it is your first time or you have had a bad experience in the past. Then there are the age restrictions, different features and programs, different penalties, and so much more to consider that often you might feel like you’d be better off just taking a taxi everywhere.
With the right knowledge and rental car booking tips on your side, however, you can choose the right vehicle for your needs and enjoy a stress-free vacation without being bound by strained public transportation lines or the high rates of taxi fares.
For all the greatest tips for booking a rental car, look no further, because we have put together the ultimate guide just for you.
Be Honest About Your Itinerary
The type of vehicle you will rent needs to be suited for your trip, which is why you will want to be very honest about the kind of vacation you are going to have. If you plan a week trip to a big city like NYC, then it likely won’t be feasible to plan a day trip into that time. Similarly, if you are planning for a road trip, then you shouldn’t try to cut corners for the sake of your budget and instead invest in a large rental that will provide everyone enough room to stay comfortable and cordial during your trip.
Features You Want with Intercity Travel
For a city trip, you want your rental to be easy to drive, easy to get around, and comfortable. If you can afford the upfront cost, opting for a hybrid or other type of vehicle that is designed for great inter-city travel will help you save in the long run. That’s why when you are looking for features for a rental vehicle to have when your goal is just to enjoy a city break, these are the top three:
1. Great Drivability
Cities are tight, and a lot can distract or threaten you while driving. That is why it is best to choose an automatic over a standard vehicle, ideally with extra safety features like sensors and cameras, to make it safer and more comfortable to drive.
2. Small Size for Easy Parking
By choosing a vehicle low to the ground, you can ensure you are always able to get into all the parking garages available.
3. Great Intercity Mileage
You will be stopping and starting a lot and won’t be able to reach cruise control or eco-cruise in a city. To save money, you will want a vehicle that is designed to be efficient in cities.
Features You Will Want with Intracity Travel
If you intend to go on a long-scale road trip, then the areas you will want to focus on will include:
1. Great Fuel Economy
It needs to be able to travel long distances before you run out of gas. This will reduce your overall cost.
2. Lots of Leg Room
Choose a spacious vehicle so that everyone in your car doesn’t feel cramped and can instead enjoy the freedom of the open road.
3. Lots of Storage Space
You don’t want to be crushed or buried in your belongings, so choose a vehicle that has plenty of trunk space.
Amenities Worthwhile to Invest In
Some great extra amenities you will want to invest in include:
- Extra Safety Features
- GPS Features
- Backseat Comfort
- A dash camera
Tips for Renting
Now that you have chosen the right vehicle, follow up with these cost-saving tips:
Pay With Your Credit Card
If you can and have the right type of credit card, then it is always best to pay for your vehicle rental with credit. Some credit cards will provide insurance cover for you as a bonus.
Book in Advance
You can save quite a bit on the cost of your rental if you book in advance.
Know What Your Own Insurance Will Cover
In most cases, your car insurance will likely cover your rental. Always double-check in advance, however, and call your insurance company so that they can better help you understand your policy. Between your credit card and personal insurance, you won’t likely need to pay for additional insurance offered by rental agencies.
Take a Photo of the Gas Tank Indicator
It is always cheaper to fill it up yourself rather than pay for that extra service. Take a photo of the gas tank indicator at the start of the trip so that you can ensure it is at the same level when you take it back.
Inspect the Vehicle Before You Drive
Go around the vehicle yourself before you drive to make a note of any other issues, such as scratches or minor bumps. Once you drive it off the lot, unless there is proof, the damage will be assumed to be your doing.