The Comprehensive Guide To Car Rental

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Many people could perhaps pack up their cars for such an adventure. But you might want to rent instead to save money on gas or get a bigger or better car than your own. Here are ten ways you should do before renting a car to ensure you receive the ideal deal, earn extra points or cash back, and are covered if it goes wrong.

Stay far away from airports.

Whether you are flying or not, airports are often the best places to rent a car in a city. However, it does not mean you should pick up or drop off your car at one of them. Many companies charge extra fees when you rent a car at an airport. For example, Avis charges $4 daily at Charlotte Douglas Airport for a customer facility charge. If you rent your car from another Avis office in the area, you can avoid the annoying fee.

You will also be charged if you return the vehicle to a location different from where you took it. Picking up a vehicle from one Hertz site in Seattle and returning it to another will add over $60 to your account, which is an absurdly high fee. Hence, begin and terminate your rental at the same location, or expect to pay extra if you want to travel in one direction.

Compare prices

Before picking one, ensure you’ve looked at all your choices. It would help if you started by looking at sites like Kayak and Priceline that let you compare prices from different companies. You might also look at Autoslash, a terrific site that provides vehicle rental quotes, records your bookings to see if you can get even better deals, and adds any discounts you may be entitled to. 

After you’ve found possibilities that work for your budget and schedule, go directly to the automobile rental company’s website to verify whether the pricing is the same. But it would help if you did the following before you click “Rent”:

Look at what’s happening.

Types of cars can be hard to figure out. There are “Economy” cars, “Compact” cars, “Intermediate” cars, “Standard” cars, “Full-Size” cars, “Premium” cars, and “Luxury” cars. There are also “Small SUVs,” “Large SUVs,” and “Extra Capacity SUV” cars. 

Pay attention to details such as how many people and bags it can carry comfortably if it has electric windows and an entertainment center, and, most notably, if it has an automatic or standard transmission. If you don’t do your homework, you might end up with an automobile you can’t drive or fit all your belongings and individuals. Most cars have this information written down, so if you take the time to read it, you should be fine.

Ensure that you’re covered.

Getting insurance for your rental car could be one of the process’s hardest, most frustrating, and most expensive parts. You might be able to use your home or car insurance to cover rental cars if you have it. Check your policies to see what they cover and what they don’t.

Many credit cards also offer secondary car rental insurance, which covers theft or damage up to a particular dollar limit, but only after any other insurance has been used. But some credit cards already have rental car insurance built in. This implies you don’t have to purchase a costly policy from the rental company or rely on your insurance if something goes wrong.

Pay up to the value of most car rentals in the U.S. and other countries for damage caused by an accident or theft. If something bad happens, you should file a claim with Chase’s advantages administrator and work with them directly instead of your health coverage adjuster.

Partnerships can lead to discounts and perks.

Car rental companies work with other companies, like airlines, hotel chains, and credit card companies, to give loyalty program members bonuses and other deals. If you are a AAA member, you may also be eligible for savings of 10% at Thrifty and 8% at Dollar. Members of Costco can also save money. If you are an element of AAA, you can register a driver for free rather than paying an additional $10 to $15 daily.

Also, consider whether you’ll have airline miles or hotel points and determine which rental car businesses they work with. Car rental companies with American Airlines include Avis, Budget, Payless, Alamo, National, Dollar, Hertz, and Thrifty. The benefits depend on the partner, but you can save up to 35% on some rentals and get 50–500 more American AAdvantage miles per rental.

Fill up the bonus categories on your credit card.

Regarding bonus points or kilometers, if you have a credit card offering additional benefits when you purchase travel-related things or rent a vehicle, use it to pay for your rental and get the most out of it, such as on hotel accommodations and car rentals.

Since you’ll likely have to buy gas more than once, it’s also good to have a credit card that offers you bonus points or cash back when you do. For example, you might want to top off the tank before returning the car, so you don’t have to pay much extra for gas. At gas stations, you can get bonus points with many good credit cards.

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