Before you even begin the process of renting a car, there are a few things you should know. This might be a stressful task for most, but with a little guidance you will be taking off in no time. Keep in mind that there is an expensive way to go about renting a car and an inexpensive way. You decide. With these helpful tips from Goodfellas, it is likely that you will be choosing the latter.
Score some great rental cars and save a lot of money on your next vacation. Who doesn’t love that?
Skip the Airport Surcharge
This one is a big bummer since everyone loves the simplicity of renting a car at the airport. The convenience makes this experience very enticing, but the downside of renting a car at airports are the crazy surcharges.
What you might notice is that airports charge a premium for the convenience of picking up your car right as you have landed. Helpful tip number one would be to take a taxi or Uber ride to a car rental office located in the city or town near you.
Forgo the Extras
It can be really easy to fall for the extras they try to sell you but don’t do it. Rental car agents typically make more money if they sell you on the extras such as roadside assistance, GPS Navigation, and insurance.
Upselling on insurance is a big deal with car rentals as it typically starts from the minute you open the booking process. Check with your auto insurance company and ask what is covered before falling for this one.
Fill up the Gas Tank Yourself
Car rental companies typically charge a convenience fee for returning the car without gas. Instead, plan on filling up the tank yourself before returning the rental car. The benefit of filling up the tank yourself is that you can find the gas prices you like and compare the cost.
Sometimes, your short trip will only require you to top off the tank. It would be silly to be charged a huge fee for minimal gas.
Much like booking a flight, it might be in your best interest to do your research on the best prices and book online in advance. There are many different websites that offer great deals until you find the rental car you like.
In the event that you book a rental car with less than 24 hours’ advance notice, the rates may be high. If this is the situation you are in, find an independent provider to negotiate great rates.
Pick up and Drop off at the Same Location
Sometimes this situation is unavoidable, but car rental companies typically charge more for one-way rentals. It is not the end of the world if you find yourself paying a little more for a one-way fee, but if it is easily avoidable then do it.
Inspect the Car and Take Photos
Car rental companies are typically good at this one, but better safe than sorry. It is important to take note of any damages and take photos prior to taking off. Even if you see the car rental company inspecting the car it is important to always do this yourself and take note of anything you see. Do not assume a small dent is not important because they will get you for that.