For anyone who’s traveled for business or pleasure, it’s a good bet that you’ve probably rented a car at some point. Today, there are tons of options available, but how do you know you’re getting the best out of your experience? Our blog this month tackles the four biggest dos and don’ts of renting a car.
DO use small companies
While the big companies have a huge share of the market share in the car rental industry, independent outlets are slowly but surely coming into vogue once again. That’s great news for you as a traveler because while the big guns focus on profits and generating revenue, smaller, independent companies have to rely on great service in order to get business.
And make no mistake about it – the big companies certainly provide more accessibility and provide more convenience. You’ll see them littered throughout and around airports. But just because it’s easy doesn’t make it the best option. Smaller rental companies often offer lower rates and will go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy. So instead of hanging around those big travel websites and booking in advance, do some local digging on Google and you’ll be able to mine some incredible savings.
DO choose the correct vehicle for your trip
The most important word of advice we can give towards getting a great deal is not over or undershooting on the kind of car you’ll needs. If you have a lot of people and stuff to haul, pick something like an SUV. If you’re traveling light, solo and in an urban setting, go with a smaller car so you can squeeze into the nooks and crannies of a city and not blow cash on a big, hulking vehicle that’s full of space you’ll never use. Last thing to keep in mind is automatic and manual transmissions. Especially if you’re traveling abroad, manual transmission is the norm, so be sure to request an automatic.
DON’T wait until the last minute to book your car
While going smaller will save you money, make sure you take care of your arrangements before you fly in – at least a week in advance. Not only will it be cheaper, but also you’ll be more likely to get the kind of vehicle you want AND need. Leaving a longer lead-time means more available cars and a better selection along side the better rate.
DON’T just climb in your car and go
Most companies WON’T bust your chops for insurance claims unless it’s a really serious ding on the car, but just in case – it’s good to stay outside during the initial inspection before you get in the car and get a copy of everything. Unfortunately, some companies see inspections as a way to drive profits and you can avoid unnecessary charges if you’re a little more diligent.
If you’re flying into the St Pete/Tampa area, look us up! You’ll get the car you want and the service you deserve. Any tips that you’d like to share? Let us know below!