When renting a car, it is vital to be alert. Failing to treat the car with care can result in costly fines, unforeseen damages, and a ruined vacation. Rather than worry, we’ve listed some helpful tips to ensure your rental process is stress-free.
1. Use a Credit Card
When renting a car, it is best to use a credit card to pay. If you use a debit card, the rental company may have to run a credit check on your account. This is typically done to ensure you can pay back any additional charges. Rather than risk being denied by a rental company, you should be prepared to pay with credit.
2. Keep Drivers to A Minimum
Regardless of how many people you intend to have in the car, you should keep the number of drivers to a minimum. Rental companies often charge when more than two people are on the designated driving list, which can result in unforeseen fee’s.
Plus, when a car has more drivers there is a greater likelihood of damage. That’s because you’ll have to account for everyone’s experience and comfort level. Rental companies also consider anyone that is under the age of 25 a potential liability. Oftentimes, this results in added fee’s for accommodating the young driver. Rather than risk damages or charges, you should limit the number of drivers.
3. Get the Correct Insurance
Prior to renting a vehicle, you should take the time to consider what you will need covered. Although the car rental agency may be convenient, they may not offer the coverage you need. For example, if you have a few people driving the vehicle, you will want to make sure your insurance coverage extends to them.
Prior to purchasing, you should also review the terms of your personal accounts. In many cases, personal vehicle insurance extends to rental cars. This means, you could already be covered for your rental without having to worry.
4. Stay on Paved Roads
Many drivers tend to forget that they are in a rental and drive in areas that can damage the car. If the car suffers any type of scratches, dents or bumps the rental company will seek compensation. To avoid these types of costs you should only drive on paved, and clear roads. You should also be cautious of roads with heavy foliage that may brush up against your car and scratch it.
Many car rental agencies have strict clauses in their agreements that state you cannot take the vehicle off standard roads. So, if you happen to get into an accident on an un-paved road you may be found liable and forced to pay out of pocket.
5. Inspect Prior to Driving
Before you take the car out of the agency, you should complete a walk around of the vehicle. While doing this, you should make note of any deficiencies that the car has. In addition to noting it for yourself, you should document it with photos, and make the sales representative aware of the issues. That way, when you return the vehicle there is formal documentation to prove you were not at fault.
6. Clean Your Garbage
If you happen to rent a car for a long duration of time, garbage can easily pile up. Simple things such as a piece of gum, or soft drink can lead to cleaning fee’s if it makes its way onto the floor or seats. Car companies expect their vehicles to be returned with a clean interior, so it is best to be vigilant about your trash.