Renting a car is a huge part of traveling, but doing it the right way is sometimes not that simple. People seem to make similar mistakes when renting a car which makes the process much more complicated than it should be.
In this article, we bring you the most common mistakes people make and what to do to avoid them. This should help you rent the car you need without all the unnecessary expenses and trouble.
So without further ado, let’s get to it!
1. Don’t rent the car at the airport
While it seems like the most convenient option for any traveler, renting a car immediately after landing might not be such a good idea. First of all, rentals at the airport are much more expensive. You’re probably aware of how everything is overpriced at the airports, from food to the most simple services? It’s the same for car rentals too. This is because airports charge additional taxes on your rental (they can go up to 30%!).
So, if you’re on a budget, and you want to avoid unnecessary expenses, never rely on airport services for your rental needs. What you can do while at the airport is inquire about nearby local rental services, or, at the very least, make use of the airport’s wifi to get the info you need.
2. Inspect the car thoroughly
Not inspecting the car before you rent it out is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You don’t want to pay for defects that were there before you even rented the car. Also, always ask for a test drive to make sure everything is in good order.
If you don’t inspect everything properly, and you miss some scratches or cracks, you might be required to pay for something that’s not your fault. If you do find some minor defects in the car, make sure to notify the rental company and make it clear that you don’t want to be charged for these upon your return.
All in all, it’s important to know where to look when inspecting the vehicle, so make sure you come prepared for that.
3. Ask about the return policy
It’s essential to inform yourself about the company policy when it comes to returns.
In some cases, you might be charged for an extra day if you return the car only half an hour after the set deadline. This will also help you plan out the returning time a bit better since you’ll know exactly how much extra time you might have to return the car. Every single company has its own policy, and policies change, so just because you already rented a car somewhere and weren’t charged for an extra hour, it doesn’t mean it will always be the case.
Don’t hesitate to bring these questions to your agent, since they could save you from unnecessary costs.
4. Paying extra money for GPS
Okay, you don’t know the area, and GPS seems like a good investment to make. Still, if you think about it, there are some better and cheaper alternatives available.
For example, you can buy a local SIM card and use your smartphone for navigation. In most cases, this will be a lot cheaper than the additional fees you’ll have to pay for GPS.
It’s an important sales tactic, so many people rush into the decision and purchase additional GPS without considering any alternatives. So make sure to avoid this if you can, as it’s completely unnecessary.
5. Find a reliable rental service
Choosing a reliable rental service and checking for their customer reviews and feedback is of utmost importance. Try to google different companies by using local terms. For example, if you’re traveling to Limburg, Netherlands, a good idea is to type the dutch word for car rental or „Autoverhuur“, and you’ll find a much broader range of reliable services like the adremlimburg.nl. Don’t worry, every company will have both the English and the localized version of the webpage, but it’s simply easier to find more of them by using their local terms.
All in all, finding a reliable service that offers reasonable and transparent pricing is extremely important. In this way, you can be more certain that you’re getting what you pay for.
6. Don’t travel outside the borders
Many policies won’t let you drive the rented car across the borders of the country. Also, some limitations are coming from the law of the country and the insurance policies.
Make sure to do your research and ask the agency before you make this decision. Sometimes they’ll allow you to do this, but you’ll need to pay an extra fee. You should inform yourself in advance, so you can avoid any unnecessary penalties or fees.
Other than that, your insurance might not cover you outside the borders, so make sure to inform yourself before you make that trip.
All in all, properly informing yourself is the key to safe and convenient travel. The more you know, the more mistakes you’ll be able to avoid.
7. Check your license
This might be an obvious thing to do, but you’d be surprised if you knew how many people make the mistake of booking their rental without checking the validity of their license. Double-checking is always a good idea. Make sure to consider the length of your travel and possible delays in your return. Your license must be valid during your whole trip and longer to ensure it covers possible setbacks.
Always double-check the validity of your license, so you don’t have to deal with the completely avoidable trouble.
Renting a car is a common occurrence for anyone who travels a lot. Still, many of us make some completely avoidable mistakes, that can usually cost additional money and time to be handled.
This is why you should always research all the different possibilities, and don’t fall for any sales tactic. You have to be clear about your needs while still asking all the important questions.
All in all, you should always try to avoid the mentioned mistakes, to ensure your rental experience is the best possible one.