Are you planning to rent a car for your vacation? Make sure you know what to look for when renting a car and find out how to save money on that rental car with these simple tips.
Renting a car for vacation makes sense. It saves you money that you would spend on a taxi or other means of transport. But car rental can be daunting for first-time and seasoned travelers alike. There are 8 things to keep in mind when collecting your car from the rental company.
1. Use a credit card to pick up the car
Renting a car on , is a piece of cake, but make sure you use a credit card to collect your vehicle. You can use your bank’s debit card, but some car rental companies check your credit level to make sure you can pay all your charges. If you use a credit card, you won’t have to worry about checking your credit. However, be aware that some car agencies will hold certain funds on the card until you are done with the car. Oh, and don’t think about using a prepaid credit card: many car rental companies won’t accept it.
2. Kids cost more to drive rental cars
Your 23 year old daughter may have an impeccable driving record, but the rental car companies don’t care and only see them as a possible liability for their property because they see nothing more than a young driver. For someone under the age of 25, whether or not they drive on the trip, you should expect there to be a daily charge. As long as that person is on the list of additional pilots, you will pay more.
3. Keep drivers to a minimum
Whether you’re going on a family vacation or a getaway with friends, know how many of them can drive the car. No matter how many people are over 25, you will still have to pay a fee to find out who can actually drive. Try to limit yourself to two pilots, otherwise you will pay more than necessary.
4. Try not to rent a car at the airport
I know it is easy to pick up a car at the airport. But what you might not realize is that you’ll end up paying for the right to ride the car moments after you get off the plane. Rental companies cannot do anything about this, as they are obliged to collect and pay these fees at the airport where they operate. You can circumvent this charge by simply calling a taxi to take you to the rental car shop which is not located on the airport grounds. A trick that many people do not know
5. Shop around for car insurance
You can get insurance on your rental car from the agency. But insurance at a rental car shop is extremely high and should only be used if you have exhausted all other options. Take a look at your personal auto insurance , which may be able to cover rentals. You should also call your credit card company, as many offer some type of vacation car rental insurance.
6. Stay on paved roads
This advice probably sounds pretty obvious. There aren’t many rental companies that will allow you to drive their rental car off-road. Let’s say you’re on a trip to Guadeloupe and want to visit a scenic stretch of beach that doesn’t have a road. The same goes for passing over grassy terrain. Both are technically off-road, and both are a violation of your rental agreement. If you find yourself stuck in the mud with a rental car in a place where you shouldn’t have been driving, the costs of removing and cleaning the
7. Fill up before returning the car
You’ve had a great vacation, but now it’s time to return the car and head home. The only problem is that you forgot to return the car with a full tank. Could you let the rental store fill it out for you? Absolutely, but you could be taxed up to €5 per liter depending on the agency. We can all save 10 minutes and refuel before returning the car.
8. Bring your own extras, if possible
Sometimes you need more than a car for the trip, and car rental companies are keen to get you what you need for your vacation, but they will charge you for it. You can bring a few extras with you from home. You can use the GPS from the agency you rent from, but your phone offers quality navigation, which won’t hurt you much with your data plan. If you are traveling with a baby, you can take car seats on the plane at no additional cost, provided this complies with the guidelines of the main French air carriers