Are you renting a car to travel when on holidays – here are some tips to do so smartly and affordably.
- Use a credit card when picking up the car
Banner is one of the easiest ways to rent a car. But be sure to use your credit card when you go and pick up your wheels. If you were to use a debit card, you will face an additional authorization cost and a substantial incremental hold will be required as well, to the tune of several hundred dollars. Rental car companies will typically run a credit check to ascertain your capacity to make payments if payments must be made.
This is a policy that has been changing in some of the larger corporations. If you are planning on using a debit card, it is worth researching the companies that will provide better terms. This way you can avoid running into unexpected charges that most credit cards can avoid.
- Kids cost more to drive rental cars
Your 23-year-old son may drive better than most NASCAR drivers and hold a spotless record of traffic safety, but the rental companies really don’t care. Rental companies see inexperienced drivers as a liability to their property and even though they will rent to drivers as young as 21, anyone under the age of 25 will have to pay an additional fee to drive the vehicle. If you are travelling with an additional person who is under 25, don’t add them to the agreement and certainly do not allow them behind the wheel of the car. You can then avoid this fee for unexperienced driving entirely.
- Keep drivers to a minimum
Whether you are travelling with the family or just having a getaway with your friends, the fewer drivers that have access to the vehicles are cheaper. It is always good to have more than one in case of unforeseen circumstances, but each additional driver may incur an additional fee, sometimes this fee is paid daily.
There will be times that rental companies waive this fee for certain corporate partners, domestic partners or spouses, but this will have to be cleared with the company in question. Policies will be different from company to company so be sure to ask around.
- Shop around for car insurance
You will find that most rental companies are more than happy to offer you their inhouse car insurance policy. but these are typically very high. It would be a better idea to take a look at some of your other options before resorting to this. For example, your personal car insurance policy could potentially cover rentals in other countries. Another place to inquire will be with your credit card companies, you may even find that you are already covered by the card as a perk benefit.
Many of these deals are very good and as long as you have rented the car within the period your credit card is valid you will be able to waive all insurance charges when renting a car abroad. Remember that the best car hire excess insurance, need not be the most expensive.
- Try not to rent a car at the airport
While you will find many questions when planning car rental and it is very important to consider where to rent the car. We know it seems like the most convenient location, but renting the car at the airport will involve a greatly elevated cost. There is a considerable cost for the convenience of stepping out of the plane and into the car. The rental companies pay a very high cost offering their services at the airport and pass these charges onto their valued clients.
But there is a simple and cost-effective way of avoiding these extra fees, hop in a cab and head off to a car rental that will offer a fair price without additional charges. If you are using a car rental app like Skyscanner and you will find the closest rental location on the “Show Location” button.
- Stay on paved roads
You may think this is a no brainer, but you need to be clear on this one. There are rental companies that are fine with you taking their cars off the road. This doesn’t necessarily mean mud running, but even driving onto campgrounds or concert grounds, this is also off-roading. If your car has to be towed because it was stuck in the mud in some place it shouldn’t be, the charges can be steep.
- Fill up the tank before returning the car
You have had your fun and you are on the way to drop off the car at the rental. Just before you do, consider topping off the tank with whatever fuel is missing. If not, you can bet the rental company will ask that you pay for what I missed from the tank at 2- or 3-times market value. Even if you are pressed for time, it is well worth the few minutes it will take to fill the tank.