A rental car is a huge convenience over having to wait for public transportation or paying for a taxi any time you need to travel farther than walking distance. But hidden costs can put a crimp in your wallet if you’re not aware of them. This list will help you go in prepared.
Be Aware Of The Differences In Rental Car Type
More and more people are choosing to rent a car instead of driving their own, due to the advantages of the type of car rental company and the types of vehicles that they offer. Each company has its own unique things you should know about when renting a car. Some of these will be better than others depending on where you are traveling.
Less often people use these types of vehicles for local driving. Instead, they make up the majority of rental cars when travelling in North America and Europe. These vehicles are generally made for more urban purposes, for local driving and for longer trips. And these types of cars generally come with fewer features than the more commonly seen and advertised car rentals. Features like cruise control and heated seats are not a given with these types of cars.
Understand The Costs Involved
The first thing to understand is that your rental car will come with a base rate. You’re going to pay for any additional fees, even if they’re part of a rental agreement.
To get the most bang for your buck, it’s better to select a model that comes with multiple locations or brands in your area. These typically include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, and National, and can be compared in many listings across the web.
- You can also compare car rental companies online, but you need to click on the link below to get a $1 credit for signing up
- Let’s say you opt for renting a car from the cheapest car rental company at $39/day for a mid-sized sedan.
- They’ll ship your rental car to your home address. You just need to fill out a short form with your information to receive it.
Consider Your Driving Needs
Do you frequently travel to places that require a lot of driving or going to the airport? When renting a car, make sure you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Do you need a car that can withstand extreme heat or cold? Do you have pick-up and delivery needs for many things you’re bringing along? That will impact the size of your cargo space, gas mileage, maintenance costs, and other important factors.
Make Sure You’re Paying For Every Rental Period
Most rental companies only offer 12-hour rentals and that’s likely going to cost you more. Know when your rental expires so that you can plan ahead and save. If you’re renting a car for multiple days, find out how much you can rent each day. This will keep you from getting frustrated and returning it too soon, which costs you money.
What To Keep In Mind When Renting A Car
It’s no secret that renting a car means having a stranger’s vehicle in your personal space at all times. There’s a risk that they’ll break down, leave their cars unlocked, or engage in some other quirky behavior that you’re not expecting. For that reason, it’s important to do a little homework before you head out to save yourself potential headaches. Here’s what you should think about before you rent.
Don’t rent from a location that’s too far from where you need to be. Maybe you’re going to a conference in your neighborhood, but it would be quicker to drive yourself. Start off by asking to drive a sample car first so you can see what to expect. Make sure you check the place’s website to make sure the car you want is available.
Extra Insurance Options Available
If you’re renting from an airport, your driver’s license and credit cards are checked and your car is inspected before you leave. So what happens if your credit card is declined or you don’t have sufficient insurance? The insurer will let you drive away and apply the fee to your rental bill, so don’t worry if that happens. On the flip side, if your drivers license is suspended or you’re underage, you’ll have to cover the damage from driving the car and those costs will be charged to your final bill.
It’s a good idea to have car insurance on your car, just in case you’re renting a car for business travel. Even if your car is fully paid off, an uninsured driver could destroy your vehicle, so you’ll want coverage on your auto. According to CreditCards.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
What Is It?: With the CDW, your auto insurance company will reimburse you if any car that you’re renting is involved in a collision. Your deductible is the portion of the cost of the repair that you’re responsible for. Some companies charge additional fees if the vehicle is a newer model.
Best For: You need to lease a vehicle for a few days. CDW isn’t applicable in some states, such as California.
Sign Up: Most of the companies that offer this service have a mobile app for your smartphone, which you can use to link your insurance provider to the rental company so the latter can obtain coverage for you. However, you’ll have to wait for reimbursement.
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
When renting a car, some companies require you to purchase a separate personal accident policy for your rental vehicle. This cost is significantly higher than if you were to purchase it yourself, especially if you’re renting a car from a company that requires this insurance. For example, InsureMyRent warns you could pay as much as $600 to cover $25 for this optional policy on a rental car for a week. That’s a huge difference. If you are renting from an individual and not renting for a company, then your rate for this type of insurance will vary. I have rented from both personal and corporate car rental companies, and I’ve found the corporate company’s rates to be much lower. You’ll want to do your research to see if this is applicable to your company.
Every rental car insurance policy has a roadside assistance coverage. But this coverage might also be automatically included by the rental company. Some insurers don’t include it, while others do. Asking the service rep can be helpful as well, as they might be able to show you whether the car insurance policy applies to your rental. You can buy a standalone roadside assistance card and use it without a rental company, if the policy you have doesn’t have this coverage.
Most rental car companies have a customer portal where you can check deals, specials, and rental car reviews. You can also get an overview of the car you’re buying. This can help you negotiate a better price, and sometimes even special incentives.
While there are far more car rentals to pick from than are reasonable, a solid list of the best business car rental companies and how much they cost is always helpful. If you still have questions, though, you can check out these useful guides, all of which can help you have your needs met.