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Top Tips for Renting a Car for Your Trip

Top Tips for Renting a Car for Your TripWhether you are staying in your home country or are planning a vacation abroad, having reliable transport is essential. Renting a car is one excellent way to enjoy freedom on holiday as well as complete convenience; hiring a vehicle abroad does not have to be expensive either, and there are now many companies offering excellent car rental services for exceptional prices worldwide.

The first tip for renting a car for your trip is to make sure you get a good deal on the price. Many agencies will offer excellent prices for those who spend an extended period of time renting a vehicle. Before you choose from any particular agency, check out their offers for one week or two week extended rentals – you may be pleasantly surprised with the prices you can get.

Of course, check that any special offers available are on good quality vehicles and all inclusive packages. Some companies will sell cheap packages on price, and then the customer finds out that not everything they need is within that package, or the vehicle is old and not particularly comfortable or reliable.

The next tip for renting a vehicle for your vacation is to ensure that many different kinds of insurance are included. This is vital to make sure that you are not out of pocket if you run into trouble whilst renting the vehicle. Unfortunately, accidents can happen on holiday, such as a broken windscreen or scratches on the vehicle.

An all inclusive insurance package will counter these issues, ensuring that all damage is covered should it happen. Although you may have to pay a little extra upfront for these insurances, it can provide you with great peace of mind in the long run and certainly work out cheaper should you have an accident.

Bear in mind that for many agencies, all-inclusive packages are standard. Although you may have to pay a little extra for certain insurances, prices should not skyrocket. If you find a car rental agency charging an arm or a leg for an insurance package on top of loan rental price, beware -this could indicate a dishonest company that will spring hidden charges on you.

In addition to your insurance packages and your long-term rental deals, look for agencies that provide roadside assistance. This can help a lot, especially in the case where you are abroad and do not speak the local language. There is nothing worse than experiencing a breakdown and not knowing what to do in a foreign country.

The best car rental agencies will ensure your safety with road side assistance. Check that it is part of your package before you sign up to rent a vehicle from any company. As with insurance, this extra should not cost you an arm or a leg, so expect prices to be reasonable for this service.

Last but not least, see if you can hire your vehicle with a GPS, as this will help you navigate a lot easier in an unknown area. It can be very frustrating to get lost, and this especially true when you are on a trip trying to make your way to a specific destination. The GPS system will help you with that and ensure that you encounter very few troubles finding your way around.

GPS systems are not generally included as standard, but they should be available at a reasonable price from your car rental agency. These few tips for renting a car for your trip can help you enjoy yourself a lot more and stop you from running into significant difficulties. Bear this advice in mind before you accept any vehicle rental agency’s quote.

 

What to Avoid When Renting a Car to Help You Save Money

What to Avoid When Renting a Car to Help You Save MoneyThere are a number of things you must avoid when it comes to car rental, things that can save you money in the long run and ensure you only pay for what you were quoted and not for any unexpected extras.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when arranging car rental for their next holiday is to take out extra insurance. Insurance is expensive and reputable car rental companies will provide you with third party insurance. Remember third party insurance only covers third party property and vehicles and does not cover the vehicle you are driving. Speak to your own insurance company to identify if your current policy will cover you when on vacation and driving a rental car. Even if you do have to pay extra in excess, it may be a cheaper solution in the long run.

Another common mistake is when you receive a car rental with half a tank of fuel, ensure you return it with the same amount of fuel. Many car rental companies will provide you with enough fuel to get you to your hotel or to the next petrol station, but the contract will advise you are to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel. If you don’t, the car rental company will charge you and in most instances, this charge is a premium rate as they have to send someone out with the vehicle to buy the fuel.

Don’t pay for extra services. When it comes to car rental, you will be given the vehicle you have chosen with the additions included. But what about a baby seat? What about GPS? Some companies charge for these extras at a daily rate, which soon adds up. If you have a baby or child, take your car seat from home, you can put it in with your other luggage and it won’t cost you, in fact it will only save you money. The same applies with your GPS, it may be cheaper to download maps for another country than to pay the rate the car rental company charges per day for rental of one of their devices, especially if it’s a country you visit or want to visit on a regular basis.

Before you hop in your car rental and drive off to your hotel to start your vacation, ensure you do a thorough inspection and write down and photograph any existing damage. You can write down the damage on the acceptance sheet you sign when you collect the vehicle, ensuring you and the car rental company have a copy. This reduces the risk of you being charged for damage when you return the vehicle.

Don’t ever return your vehicle late. If you are driving a fair distance to return the vehicle, leave that bit earlier. Once you arrive late for your pick up then you may be charged for an additional day, even if you only returned the vehicle back an hour later than expected. Be on time and don’t take the risk.

 

4 Things to Check Before You Rent a Car in a Foreign Country

4 Things to Check Before You Rent a Car in a Foreign CountryOne of the most important things to do is to check the contents of your rental package, including your insurance, roadside assistance, baby seats, GPS, free miles and much more. These are not always included as standard, so it is wise to check exactly what is included before you rent a vehicle from any car hire agency.

Once you have been provided with this information from the company, make sure that it is all written down clearly in a contract so you are sure of what you are getting before you part with your money. Verify these details well before you set off on your vacation so that you are completely sure of what to expect.

The next thing to do when holidaying abroad and using a car hire company is to ensure that you are aware of the driving laws in that particular country. Many countries will drive on different sides of the road, have varied signage, have different kinds of driving culture and so on. These will all affect your experiences on the road on your vacation.

A good car hire company will inform you of all of this, ranging from what to expect from other drivers on the road to how to read signs well so that you do not get lost or take a wrong turn. Information from an insider in the country can be extremely helpful, so make sure to check with natives as well as other people who have already holidayed in that particular country.

It is also a wise idea to check how you are collecting your vehicle before you embark on your plane, train or ferry. Many companies offer airport car hire, where you can simply arrive at the airport and someone will be waiting to hand over the keys to your car. This is a very simple and convenient option that many people choose.

However, do not assume that all companies offer this. It is essential to check and double check the arrangements for picking up your vehicle, whether you have opted for airport car hire pick-up or instead have chosen to collect the vehicle from the agency itself. Having all details in order will ensure that everything goes without a hitch when you disembark from your plane in the country.

Finally, check that you have chosen a vehicle that is perfectly suited to your needs. You may be travelling with a large family, and therefore will need plenty of seats plus ample room for luggage; others may be travelling with an elderly person and therefore need a vehicle that is easy to get in and out of.

Make a thorough list of your requirements beforehand and make sure that your car hire agency is aware of them.

It is not unheard of for agencies to ‘swap’ your car with another in the same category at the last minute due to demands of other customers or other issues. However, if you have some very specific requirements, you should absolutely ensure that they are respected as part of your contract.

These four pieces of advice can ensure that you vacation abroad goes without a hitch, regardless of where you are travelling to and who with. Make sure that your package includes everything you need, that your airport car hire pick-up is in place, that you have booked the right vehicle for you and that you are aware of driving customs, and you can look forward to a great trip in your rental vehicle.

 

Getting Around When Travelling Requires A Car Hire

Getting Around When Travelling Requires A Car HirePeople travel around the globe all the time, and find themselves stuck. Whether you’re going international or you are staying local, you’re going to find that mobility is something that you have to think about. Before you venture forth with a car hire, or perhaps rent a car, you should absolutely consider a few tips and tricks about this. You could easily find yourself spending a lot of money on this, when you don’t have to. With that in mind, consider the following elements when booking your next trip.

How Big Is Public Transit?

Here is the first thing that you need to consider, and it’s in regards to public transportation. Are you going to be visiting a location that has a lot of this for a low cost? Furthermore, does it get packed? There’s nothing worse than venturing to a new locale, and stuffing yourself into a bus. Some options are simple, like subway systems, as they don’t get nearly as crowded as some finite options like buses. Think about this as you look for a cheap car hire.

Renting A Car

You could very well rent a car. That’s right, you could get a ride wherever you go. When you do that, you’ll be able to navigate through the highways and byways that are out there. However, you need to also keep in mind that you may not know where you’re going, and will need to purchase the GPS element upgrade. When you get a GPS, you could try to decipher where you’re going and where you want to visit. Renting a car is great, but don’t just jump into any option without a GPS element in place.

Never Be Without A Ride

The main reason why you should explore this option is simple. You want to make sure that you always have a ride. Whether you’re traveling abroad, or locally, it’s best to have a way to get to and from the airport, and to your hotel. Furthermore, you will want to visit the many tourist locations and beyond. You cannot do that when you are without a car or ride. You need to understand this as you book your flights and more. Some people dismiss this, and end up stuck in their hotel or nearby, because they don’t know the language or they simply didn’t think about getting a car hire.

Be Mobile

If you’re going to visit any destination, make sure that you take the time to get a car. Whether it’s a simple option or a larger solution, this is going to pay off big time. You want flexibility whenever you are out of your hotel. Getting to and from the airport is simple enough, but if you really want to see the world, make sure that you’re mobile. Mobility is everything when you are in a new location, simple as that. The above elements are just a few ideas to consider as you seek out options that are available. Take your time, book early, and watch what you will see overall.

Checklist for Your Next Car Hire

Checklist for Your Next Car HireRenting a vehicle at home or abroad can surely be a lifesaver adding convenience and saving your costs.

Below is the checklist you must consider while finalizing your car hire.

Driving License: Your Driving license will be requested at every rental. You must ensure that your driver’s license is issued by your country of residence and held for a minimum period according to local legislation or conditions. In addition to your normal Driving License, your International Driving License is also mandatory if your driving license is written in a language different to the one of the renting country and/or in characters that cannot be read in the renting country. Note that your International Driving License is valid only if accompanied by your normal Driving License.

Don’t forget your Credit Card: It is mandatory for all travellers to provide their credit card for authorization purpose. The rental company generally holds an amount which is estimated based on length of rental, Applicable rate including tax, Incidental charges such as gasoline, etc. This amount is not debited but just blocked and is generally released few days after the rental and all charges have been paid for.

Identification document: A valid passport or your national identity card must be carried for all rentals abroad.

While the above mentioned items are mandatory for the car hire company. Below are few tips that must be considered by you before driving your car hire.

Insurance: While insurance can be very expensive in most countries, it is always recommended to include insurances to avoid any unforeseen expenses. Reputed car rental companies generally include third party insurance which covers third party property and vehicles but that does not cover the vehicle you are driving. Hence, it is always advisable to atleast purchase a basic insurance as it will still be a cheaper solution incase of any damage even if you do have to pay extra in excess.

Check the vehicle thoroughly: Before you drive away make sure all external & internal damages, if any on the car is recorded on the paperwork the company has given you to sign. As a precaution take your own digital photos of the car.

Extras / Equipments: While on new ground it is always recommended to have a GPS or Navigation system to avoid losing your way and wasting time. Owning a GPS would definitely be a cheaper option but if not your car hire company can provide this along with your rental vehicle at an additional cost. Don’t forget to request in advance for a baby / child safety seat if you have a baby travelling with you.

Fuel Tank: It’s always better to choose a fueling plan that allows you to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel it had when you picked it up.

 

Car Rental Hidden Fees

AlamoHave you booked your car rental for your next vacation? Think you know what the cost will be? Beware of car rental hidden fees. You may be paying more than you’re expecting.

Hidden Fees
I took a trip not to long ago and picked up a car rental at the airport. After my trip, I returned the car and picked up my receipt. That should be it, right? Sadly, no. After I returned home, I found I had been charged not only for tolls but the convenience fee of using the toll transponder in the rental car.

Most car rental companies have a toll transponder in each of their vehicles. This is supposed to make it easier for you. You can just simply drive through the toll booths without having to stop and the transponder will calculate your tolls that you owe at the end of your trip. Great deal, huh? Not so much. Once you pay your first toll, a convenience fee goes into effect. This fee is charged each day until the end of your rental period or you hit their maximum.

Here are some of the car rental convenience fees:

  • Alamo, AVIS, Budget, National, Enterprise: $3.95 per day, maximum $19.75 per month
  • Dollar, Thrifty: Enroll in PlatePass or $15.00 admin fee per toll, maximum $105.00 per rental period
  • Hertz: $4.95 per day, maximum $24.75 per rental period

My bill actually reflected a convenience fee for each day of the car rental even though the toll was incurred on the last day of the car rental. After a call to the car rental company, they reversed the convenience fee for all of the days except the last one. But, I still ended up paying triple what the actual toll would have been as the charge was the convenience fee plus the toll for that day.

Avoiding Hidden Fees
Trying to avoid paying these fees can be tricky. If possible, avoid the toll booth by driving an alternate route. If you must go through the toll, then elect to pay the toll rather than using the toll transponder. I was told by the rental car company that if you do this, you should ask for a receipt, in case the transponder bills you anyway. If you have the receipt, then you can dispute the charge. Some toll roads don’t have an option to pay, once you go through one of these, you’ll not only be charged the toll, but the convenience fee each day until you reach the maximum. One of the best ways to avoid these toll roads is to use a GPS. In the GPS, set the option to “avoid toll roads”. If you can avoid the tolls, then you’re on your way to avoiding car rental hidden fees!