When it comes to renting a car, you must be careful otherwise you can end up with problems. The cost and the make of the car are the most important factors to keep in mind when renting a car, but they are certainly not the only things to consider. Car rentals generally have very lengthy contracts. Although you might be in a hurry to hit the road, don’t be in a hurry to sign the contract. It’s crucial to scrutinise every term and condition of the contract. You can incur very costly penalties if you return the car without adhering to all of the agreement. Remember to carry a copy of the contract for reference.
Kids Pay More
Hiring a car to a total stranger is a shot in the dark for car rental companies. Companies use multiple parameters to figure out how much you will pay to rent the car in order to mitigate against the risk of damage to the car. Your age and associated driving behavior will be top of their list. How long you have been on the road doesn’t matter as much as your age when it comes to ascertaining if you are a good driver.
For example, if you are under 25 years old, you will pay more than a person who is over 30. However, if you are over 60 years old, you will also be charged more. Young people generally drive faster and take more risks on the road than their older counterparts, and they usually insist on hiring the best cars. On the other hand, if you are over 60, the additional charges are due to the deuteration of mental and visual faculties with age.
Pay for Minimum Drivers
It doesn’t matter how many adults you’re travelling with—pay for two drivers maximum because any extra driver you add will mean more money for the car rental. Two drivers can drive for over 15 hours a day when they alternate with each other. If you’re traveling as a group, you must be careful because everyone likes to experience driving a different car. The worst thing you can do is to let your teenage child take the wheel. If anything happens and you have not included them as a driver in the contract, you’ll be regretting it all the way to the bank.
Do not Buy Car Rental Insurance
Car insurance is one of the most competitive industries today. Consequently, you should not buy car insurance from the car rental companies until you have shopped around first. These companies often deal with car rentals alone, meaning that the insurance they offer is likely subcontracted and therefore sold at a premium. However, not all car rentals companies overcharge for insurance. So, just be sure that, when renting a car, shop around to get the most affordable car insurance cover.
Avoid the Off-road
One of the most ignored rules by drivers of rental cars is driving on dirt roads against the terms of the contract. Unless you have hired a car for off-road driving, it’s critical to keep the car on the pavement. It can be tempting to drive out to a beach or down a dirt road, but should the car break down in an area that you’re not supposed to be, you will pay dearly to have it towed away. You can only imagine how frustrating it would be to be stuck in mud when you weren’t supposed to be driving off-road. To be on the safe side, always drive on pavement, even if it means taking a cab.
Ensure the Car has a Full Tank Before Return
Seeing as you received the car with a full tank, you should therefore return it with a full fuel tank. It’s understandable that you will be exhausted after a long day driving, but when the time comes to return the car, make sure the tank is full. It can be tempting to leave the car rental company to fill it up for you. Although this may save you time and stress in the short-term, you will eventually pay more for the fuel because the rental company will charge extra for this refueling service. Remember that their core business is to rent cars, not to sell fuel.
Do Not Use a Debit Card to Pay
You might be wondering why it’s not advisable to use a debit card when paying for a rental car. The amount you will pay for the car will depend on many factors, one of which is your ability to pay in case there are extra charges. The way that car rental companies can ascertain your creditworthiness is to check how well you pay off your debts. A debit card with a bad record will, therefore, ensure you pay more than what you would have paid if you had used a credit card.
Chose Your Car Wisely
Not every car in the rental yard will meet your needs. The make and age of the car are important features to consider when choosing the best car for renting. The cost is also another vital factor. However, do not rely on these two factors only—a car can look great but fail to reach your destination. The car rental company can send you a replacement, but you will have lost valuable time. You should at least have a general knowledge of cars so that you can pick the best suited for your needs. If you are not familiar with cars, you can bring along a trusted friend who can help you make an informed decision.