It’s fair to say we know quite a bit about the car rental business, but we can’t say the same for all of our customers – particularly our first-time customers. First time customers – for the purpose of this blog – are people renting cars for the very first time.
Renting a car can be a little bit more complicated than some would think – especially the first time through. Additionally, there are a whole slew of things to try and navigate so that you make sure that not only do you get to your destination safely – but that it’s the car you’re taking for a ride and not you!
Here are some rock-solid tips for first time car renters on how you can get the most out of your car rentals and not get taken to the cleaners. Let’s jump right in!
Avoid airport charges
While renting a car at the airport is more convenient – it’s also a lot more expensive. Not only will some companies charge you more simply for being at the airport, they’ll also charge you more to get to and from the airport if their lot is offsite (hint – it is). Sometimes they’ll mark up a $25 ride as a means to charge you $50. Simply take a cab or Uber to an off-site rental lot and you’ll save a lot of money on that alone.
Get a car that fits your trip
While we all want to save a buck, the reality is that you’ll have needs depending on the trip. Whether it’s driving distances or being able to park in small spaces – you’ll need to choose a car that literally and figuratively fits what you’ll need it to do in your given destination. There are plenty of discount codes and deals out there that you’ll be able to make SOMETHING fit into your budget. Shop for the needs of your trip first, then look for the discount.
Expect a hold charge
This one gets first timers every time. Just about every rental company will charge you a hold fee. This can range anywhere from a few bucks to hundreds of bucks. These are there to cover the company if you up and disappear with the car or steal it. This way, the company is assured it’s covered its loss. You WILL get your money back, but make sure you have that hold charge factored into the cost of your trip and not baked into expenses elsewhere on your itinerary.
Don’t buy too many bells and whistles
You don’t need to get a GPS- you should have it in your phone or car. That goes for many special features. We offer these as supplements to your trip – not requirements. They’re particularly handy if you forget something, but don’t feel as if this is an essential component for your travel.
Fill up the tank yourself
It’s convenient to have an agency like us fill up your tank, but convenience is about the only reason to do it. Rental companies do charge a premium on gas fill ups – so this is a great place to save some scratch. Simply fill the car up just before you bring it back.
Hopefully these tips will help make it a little easier to rent a car and not get stuck in any sticky situations. Enjoy your next trip and we look forward to seeing you around the world soon!