Driving a rental car should always be a pleasant experience. You get to take a break from your usual set of wheels and cruise around in a new vehicle for a few days. If you’re lucky, you might even get to try out that new make and model you’ve been thinking about buying. And, hopefully, you’re renting because you’re off on vacation or about to close a big business deal!
Check out these 3 tips on the rental car process. A few extra minutes when you’re picking up can ensure you have a great time from beginning to end!
Imagine you’re running late for your return flight. You’re tired from the long trip, and, of course, the gas tank is almost empty. You’re not sure where the closest (and cheapest!) gas station is, so now you’re stuck with the decision: Pay the fuel surcharge because you returned the rental car empty or risk missing your flight searching for a gas station in an unfamiliar environment. Avoid this scenario by scouting stations in the vicinity before you pick up the car. Or ask the agent where they fill up!
Read the Contract
It’s tempting to sign the rental agreement without reading or even discussing it with the agent. But not knowing what isn’t allowed under the agreement could end up costing you later.
For example, companies often charge more for out-of-state driving, and, if you’re planning to head into Canada or Mexico, it’s good to know that many don’t permit driving out of the country. In some cases, you may be restricted from driving in large cities or on gravel roads. If you’re planning to drop a rental car off at a different location, be sure to ask if there will be an extra charge. There are also restrictions on who does the driving and additional fees if one of the drivers is under 25. If someone who isn’t authorized to drive has an accident, the insurance may not cover the costs.
Check The Condition…Inside and Out
Inspect the exterior and interior prior to leaving the lot. It’s good to bring the agent along for the check, and the two of you should come to an agreement as to the car’s condition. Look for scratches, dents and chips on the outside and tears, stains and electric malfunctions on the interior. By the same token, you should avoid dropping off the vehicle without having it inspected. If both parties agree on its return condition, there won’t be any surprise problems down the road!
Follow these few simple tips, and you’ll avoid the most common rental problems!