Renting a car is a relatively simple process, but that doesn’t mean you should just take anything. Whether you’re traveling for business or need a rental for some other reason, look for some specific elements to ensure your car rental experience is a positive one.
Experience and reputation
They may provide the same basic service, but not all car rental companies are created equal. Make sure the one you choose has at least several years of experience renting vehicles for the same reason you need one. Ask family and friends for referrals to help you narrow down the more reputable car rental places in your area.
The ability to go through the rental process online really adds to the convenience and speedfactors. Not only can you get it all done from home at any time of day, but it’s easier to reserve your car ahead of time. Naturally, the speed of the internet means you can shop around a little to find the best deals possible.
Alternate location drop-off
Depending on the details of your trip, you may want to look for a rental company that lets you drop off your vehicle in a different location when you’re finished. This feature adds convenience, and could potentially save you another tank of gas if you have to drive a good distance to return the car.
Special rental offers
All businesses run offers, and car rental companies are no different. Depending on the season, you may be able to get something at a discount. Of course, it’s still important to focus on companies that have the experience and reputation you want, but even among the better ones you can still often find a deal.
If you rent a car from a company that includes money saving options as part of its regular features, you can save even more. Some examples of these features include allowing you to fill the tank off-site when you first get the car, letting you use your own car insurance if applicable, or the option to join a club to save money on frequent rentals.
Read the fine print
Any time you have the option to save, look into the details and take advantage if it makes sense for you. Always take the time to read the policies of your car rental company, to make sure you won’t be paying more in hidden fees once you return your car. Make sure you understand the options on fuel. Ask lots of questions and understand the process before you agree to sign.
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