5 Tips On Renting A Car on a vacation

Renting a car on a vacation is a great way to see the sights and get around a place you’re visiting.  It’s cheaper than hiring taxis and more reliable than taking public transit.  But before renting a car, there are a few things you need to know, car rental is not service industry, it’s a sales industry; the person behind the counter is held accountable by the numbers.  They may not necessarily get paid commission based on their sales but the amount of hours they get to work per week may depend on sales and don’t forget, if the salesperson is great at selling those extra items to you, they have a better opportunity of getting promoted.  With that out of the way, below are a few tips on avoiding unnecessary charges and fees when renting a car.

Always Inspect the Car

Do a visual inspection of your rental vehicle, with an employee, before signing anything:

  • Get a vehicle inspection form.
  • Don’t let the salesperson tell you the inspection has already been done.
  • Be adamant about doing it yourself, with the employee present of course, before signing anything.
  • Make sure you do a thorough visual inspection, especially paying attention to scratches on the front and rear bumpers.

Choose a Non-Airport Location

  • Research shows that off airport car rental locations are often cheaper than rental agencies located at the airport.
  • The vehicles cost more at the airport because of airport fees which cover the rental location’s transportation and rental costs.  So compare rates (on-airport vs. off-airport) before you book.

Fill the Gas Tank Before Returning Vehicle

  • Car rental companies often charge quite a high rate for the gas, if they have to fill the car up for you, after you return it without the proper amount of fuel.  It’s often 3 to 4 times the price of gasoline at the gas station.
  • So by not filling the tank before you return the car, you could be charged an extra $30 – $50, maybe more, depending on how much gas was left in the tank when you returned the car.

Decline Insurance Offered by Car Rental Company

  • I always decline insurance offered by car rental companies because my credit card covers me.  My brother worked for a car rental company for a few months, and he says to always decline, it is pure profit for the company and they’re often quite pushy trying to sell you the insurance.
  • However, if your credit card doesn’t cover you or you have a history of damaging cars, it’s a good idea to take the added insurance, because even if you total the car, you won’t have to pay anything and it won’t affect your personal insurance rate.

Timing is Everything

  • When it comes to traveling or vacationing, timing is always a very important factor.  Like hotel rooms and airplane tickets, rental car prices go up and down depending on the season, days of the week, and around holidays.

We hope these tips on car rental have been helpful, if you feel like we left something out (which we probably did), feel free to add your tips to the comment section below, we (and our visitors) will be forever grateful to you.