Renting a car for use is a huge convenience over the need to wait for public transportation or pay for a taxi every time you need to travel. However, the process is sometimes time-consuming, expensive, and full of hidden fees and shocking requirements.
But when you shop for the best car to hire and you make sure you understand the rules and regulations before and after you make use of the car, you will find yourself not minding the seemingly stressful process and hiring a car as many times as you need it.
Although people rent a car for various reasons, everyone needs to know the top 10 car hire tips discussed in this article.
Top 10 Car Hire Tips in 2022
Choose the Size of Car You Need
The size of the vehicle you will be renting depends on the size of your group. A family may need a minivan or SUV, while a small group, which can either be a group of friends or sweethearts on a romantic getaway, may only need an economy car. This could save you money on the rental fee and fuel.
Compare Options and Prices
It is worth your time to shop around for prices of car rental. With various meta-search engines and travel apps available, it is easier to get an idea of where you can strike a good deal on a car.
Moreover, before booking a car with any car rental agency, ensure you compare the options and prices you have online, so you can have a glimpse of what you are getting into, as well as for you to have some negotiating power if they try to charge you extra fees or refuse to include some particular services.
Sometimes, it may seem as though all car hire rates are the same, but that is not so. Bear in mind that car rental companies keep track of each other’s prices, which helps them to remain competitive. It is highly important to compare rates from various companies so as to find the best price possible.
Make Your Reservation as Early as Possible
It is better not to wait for last-minute deals. If you book the car only within 24-48 hours of the pick-up time, you may be forced to shell out more money.
You can save up to 30% on the price of your hired car if you can book it about two months before your pick-up date. Hence, plan your trip and book your rental car, well before your pick-up date.
Additionally, with an early rental car booking, you will get to choose any car you like. For example, a convertible is a perfect choice for a group of four people going on a road trip. If you plan to make an early reservation, you will be able to get the convertible you need at an affordable price.
On the other hand, if you decide to wait for the last-minute rental, you will have no other choice but to adjust to any car model that is available at that time.
Know the Required Insurance
You may not need to buy a collision damage waiver (CDW) or personal accident insurance if you already have a credit card that includes those protections. However, some credit cards only cover your vehicle. Others do not include PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and CDW, which is why you should always confirm.
If you do not have a credit card, many car rental companies provide basic CDW coverage, while some car insurance companies also cover rental cars.
Nevertheless, ensure you do not pay for services that you can get for free. Examples include music or navigation.
If you are driving in a city that is not familiar to you, free navigation should be a must, as the majority of car rental companies give free navigation these days. But if it does not come as part of your package, or if you feel frugal and you would like to save some cash, you can get great service by downloading a GPS app on your smartphone before you start the road trip.
Search Online for Special Deals
When you find a reasonable rate for car hire, you can go ahead to book the car. But before that, try and go to that company’s website and search for a “coupon code” to see if you can get an even better car hire rate on the same vehicle by using a coupon or discount code.
Avoid Picking Up From Central Locations
Here is another tip which is not to pick up a car from a very central location, like an airport. This is because you may eventually spend more than you would if you picked it up from a local store instead.
Hire your vehicle at a local company instead of inside an airport terminal, where the costs are generally much higher.
Check for Deals With Organizations
Before you book a car to hire, check to see whether your credit company or employer gives any discount on car rentals. Sometimes, the best car rental options are usually right under your nose.
Rent Directly from the Rental Company
The presence of intermediaries between you and the rental company will most likely increase the car hire prices significantly. The problem with intermediaries is that they intentionally add their profit margin to the actual hire rate and then pass the whole burden to customers.
There is no need to use an intermediary when car rental companies have various platforms, including the website and social media pages, that direct you to the booking page. Therefore, to save you money and even time, rent directly from the rental company.
Rent for a Longer Period
Sometimes, you get a better deal if you rent for a longer period. Some rental companies have a weekly rate, so you will want to inquire when the week starts and ends from their side. This will enable you to plan how to take full advantage of the car and the hire rate.
Return the Car on Time
You should get your timeline in place and return the hired car at the right time, as you may be charged extra if you return it late.
When renters damage cars, companies usually do not like paying out costly insurance claims. Bear in mind that many car rental companies have a strict no Graffiti policy, and you will be charged for every graffiti mark on a vehicle. To avoid extra fees, drive carefully and avoid denting, scratching, or breaking anything during your trip.