Renting vehicles used to be straightforward – but that is changing. From insurance policies, to fuel fill-up considerations, there seems to be a lot of potential bad situations that anyone can unexpectedly run into.
So here are nine tips on vehicle rentals to direct you in the right direction:
1. Be careful with false auto rental organizations. It’s very simple to be tricked by a fake organization offering low costs and across the nation accessibility including last minute reservations. So keep in mind that if it sounds to good to be true, it presumably is.
2. Get your work done. In case you’re looking for cost-saving deals on third-party websites take careful consideration on what’s excluded in the total cost. Generally, most online deals only provide the basic cost of renting a vehicle and may not include what could be an essential accessory to you, such as a child seat or GPS system. So you want to do your homework and ensure that your needs are included in a sweet awesome vehicle rental deal that way your not hit with an unexpected add-on charges for a child-seat, GPS, and ski racks. For example, in the winter here in Calgary, AB, Canada some car rental companies increase the rental cost for cars with winter tyres, compared to cars with all-season tyres. Something to think about if you’re planning a winter vacation.
3. Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage and waivers. This is one grey area in vehicle rental industry. You have to do a little bit of research on the local insurance laws and requirements. As this would help you sift and sort what coverage you need and/or don’t need. In addition to the insurance policies, some companies (in my experience – Avis) sell windshield protection, key replacement protection, tyre protection, and breakdown cover separately. This is where your personal judgement comes into play. Have you lost keys before, are you driving through gravel roads, and then you choose what protection may suit your needs.
4. Understand the conditions of fuel options. Most rental companies and locations would usually run the fuel options with you prior to signing the rental agreement. However, it is worth discussing that when you rent a car you should check the fuel gauge in the car with the lot attendant, especially the new models where you can tell how many kilometres of gas is remaining in the tank. Most rental companies will give you the choice of purchasing a tank of fuel from them and restoring the car fuel tank empty or returning it with a full tank. Keep in mind what you consented to, else you could wind up gifting the rental company a free tank of fuel or paying an additional charge to have the tank re-filled.
5. Tell the rental company how you choose to use the vehicle. Ensure that you tell the rental company in case you will take the vehicle abroad – a few company may refuse you the permission to take the rented car to certain nations. Here in Canada for instance, most rental company will not let you take rented cars from one province to another province.
6. Read the printed material. Please make sure that you have read and understood the terms and conditions of the rental agreement before putting your initials and signature on that paper. And most insurance company will always give you a printed copy of the agreement and if they don’t then ask for a copy.
7. Come Prepared. Just to iteriate previous point, please do your research as to what you intend to pay for including any additional coverage, or add-on like child seat or windshield protection. Also make sure that you show up at the rental office with your credit card that have enough balance for them to put a hold on the credit card, your driver’s license, and any other stated requirement.
8. Vehicle Examination. Do a careful investigation, 360 walk around, strolling the distance around the vehicle. Note each and every chip, gouge and scratch. Give careful consideration to the wheels, windscreen and lights, which are regular harm ranges. Try not to sign any printed material until you are completely satisfied with the vehicle and the terms and conditions. Before you drive away with the rented car please familiarize yourself with the controls of the car – light, windshield wiper, emergency brakes.
9. Don’t drop and leave the car immediately. It’s difficult to do when you’re under time constraint to get you flight home, however you should give yourself enough time prior to dropping off the car so that both you and the rental attendant can do a walk through inspection of the car, check the fuel gauge level and make sure that you and the rental company are happy with the car and the rental condition before closing your rental account. It is good to return the car during business hours so that you can have an attendant in place to be satisfied with the car and obtain a receipt of the final payment. In the event that the rental location is closed for business when you return the car then the car is still in responsibility and you can only hope that nothing goes wrong before the rental company resumes for business.