The Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car
There are many important factors to consider before renting a car. You want to make sure that you choose a company that provides the best deal for you and that you know how to get the most value from the rental. In addition, you want to know how to get the best insurance to cover you if something goes wrong.
Many rental car companies, including sites such as Rent.is, offer rental car insurance as an optional type of protection. The policy pays out regardless of who was at fault for the accident and covers medical bills for the renter. Some states require that you have coverage.
Most major credit cards offer some level of coverage when you use them. However, this is usually secondary coverage. Typically, the company will charge you a daily fee for coverage.
Depending on the terms of the policy, you may be required to pay a deductible. Also, some procedures are limited to 15 days. If you need to keep the car for longer, you may not be able to make a claim.
For drivers who do not have health insurance, personal effects coverage is a good option. It covers the renter’s personal belongings, as well as their passengers.
Alternatively, you can purchase a standalone policy from a third party. In addition to the rental company’s liability insurance, you may consider a collision/damage waiver (CDW) or a comprehensive coverage policy.
Many rental car companies also charge you for loss of use, a fee for when the vehicle is not in use. It can double the daily fee amount, so check the terms of your policy before renting a car.
Ultimately, the decision about whether or not to buy insurance when renting a car is personal. Discussing the details of your policy with your insurance agent is essential.
Limits on how much mileage you’re allowed to drive
If you plan to rent a car, it’s essential to understand the limitations. It is because going over your allowance will cost you money.
While there are no guarantees, most rental car companies in the U.S. offer unlimited mileage. However, car rental companies may also limit your daily or monthly miles. For example, Europcar limits the mileage for rentals to 28 days or more.
Some companies, such as Fox and Sixt, restrict your driving miles within particular geographic regions. You can find out if your rental branch has additional restrictions in place by contacting them.
Another standard limitation is the “do not rent a list,” a nifty little tool that prevents you from renting a car if you have previously rented one. Some rental car companies may charge a small fee for each mile you exceed your limit. Alternatively, you can upgrade your rental to unlimited miles.
The best way to determine whether you’re being charged for extra miles is to ask about your rate. Most companies will display the total mileage in the rental agreement, but it’s also easy to learn if you ask.
One of the more expensive ways to overspend on a rental car is to exceed your mileage limit. You’ll be charged a few cents per additional mile, but you can also owe thousands in excess mileage charges and not have a vehicle to drive. Luckily, the best way to avoid these fees is to get a lease buyback.
I am returning a car during regular operating hours.
Often, you’ll have to return your rental car during regular operating hours. It can be due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a long business meeting or flight delays. But before you leave, you’ll want to ensure you know the company’s policy.
Some companies offer a grace period, allowing you to return your vehicle a few hours after the rental time. However, you should be aware that you may be charged an extra fee for doing so.
Other companies, including Avis, will not accept after-hours returns. These rules are spelled out in the rental contract.
It’s worth calling your car rental company to check their policies before deciding whether to return your vehicle during regular business hours. You should also ask if the company requires a key to be left in a drop box.
You should check the odometer for mileage when returning your car during regular business hours. You’ll be charged an additional daily rate if the vehicle has been driven more than the miles stated in your rental agreement.
In addition to late fees, you could be charged for the gas used during the trip. To help prevent this, you should keep the receipt for the gas you purchase. And you should inspect your vehicle for damage before you drive it off the lot.
Aside from the fees, you should know the other rules for returning your rental car. You may be liable if the vehicle is damaged beyond repair.
Avoiding add-ons and extra offers
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get around town is to book a rental. It is especially true of the more expensive classes like limousines and sports cars. The fuel cost is a killer, but you’ll be much more frugal when you get a free ride. You can also save a bundle on insurance. As for a rental car, the most important thing to remember is to take the time to do your research before you get in the door. By comparing quotes, you can nab a cheap lease. It’s best to do this the day before you go. Luckily, most rental car companies will let you pick up your keys a couple of hours before departure. To be safe, leave the keys in the car until you arrive at your destination. Alternatively, you can do a quick and dirty pickup at a cheaper rate, then a quick pit stops at a car wash or fills up your tank.
Inspecting every rental car you get
Inspecting every rental car you get is a critical aspect of ensuring you are renting a safe and reliable vehicle. Even if you are unfamiliar with the car, it is a good idea to do a quick inspection to ensure no problems.
A simple way to do this is to list things you’d like to check out. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the car to document any problems. It will provide peace of mind in the event of any disputes.
If you rent a new or old model, inspect the interior, exterior, and lights to ensure they work. Also, be sure to look for any dents or other minor damage.
You should also inspect the fuel level and brakes. Make a note of any odors or other unusual sounds that you notice during the test drive.
When you return the rental car, be sure to have the company inspect it again. Some rental companies require you to sign off on a form outlining damages. The inspection report will include any new problems you encounter.
For some rental companies, the employee will show you around the vehicle before leaving. Check for any warning systems or other features.
You can then look at the odometer to ensure you are not overdue on your rental. The rental company may also charge you for any tickets you have received.