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Things to Know About a Successful Car Rental


by: Gabby Hyman
01 Dec 2010

Whether this is the first time you're renting a car or if you've had a less-than-satisfying incident with an auto rental company, here are some tips to make the most of your experience.

Determine Your Car Rental Needs

Even regular customers find themselves ignoring brand loyalty in favor of good rates when it comes to renting a car. If you're looking into an auto rental, the first step in the process is to honestly evaluate your needs. If you intend on saving money, you can't let your ego talk you into a luxury car or high-performance sports car. Unless, of course, showing up in style leads your list of needs.

How much room do you need? How many passengers will there be? How much luggage? Among rental companies, the concept of a luxury car, a mid-size auto, or a compact means different makes and sizes. When you comparison shop, make sure you're looking at similar vehicles. If you find an advertised price on a car or a special offer, be sure to ask the booking agent whether the terms and rates apply to your travel dates. There are blackout dates during high-rental periods like school vacations, national holidays, and weekends.

When examining your needs, determine whether you plan to pick up the car at an airport or take a cab or shuttle to an off-site location in the city where rates are typically lower. You should expect to pay more if you're not returning the car rental to the same location at the end of your trip.

Car Rental and Insurance

Although many credit card companies offer coverage on rental cars when using their card, you may benefit by buying temporary insurance from the auto rental company. If you have an accident, or if someone runs into your car in a parking lot, the transportation of the damaged car, receiving a replacement, and getting a release from liability may not be covered by plastic. Collision Damage Waiver fees cost extra.

Car Rental Discounts and Charges

Do you belong to any clubs or organizations that participate in discount programs with car rental companies? Check with your prospective auto rental agency to see if you can get a rate break based on memberships.

Ask about the fuel requirement or mileage charges. You may have to fill the tank on returning or you'll be charged an excessive per-gallon charge to top it off.

Sources:
Choosing a car-rental company - price versus loyalty • http://travel.latimes.comhttp://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/index.php/choosing-a-car-renta-1473/Discount Rental Cars • http://www.carrentalexpress.comhttp://www.carrentalexpress.com/tips/discount-rental-cars.html