You’ve just landed in a new city. Where should you grab your rental car from? How do you plan your route to ensure an easy return? And how much should you pay for insurance and fuel without going broke? We’ve done the research and collected five tips to help make your rental as smooth as possible — no matter whether you’re traveling across the country or just down the road.
1. Find out where to pick up your rental car
When you arrive at the airport, you’ll want to find out where to pick up your rental car. It’s usually very easy to do this on the car rental company’s website.
Most car rental agencies will let you search for nearby locations close to your destination, offering several options that could suit your needs. On Expedia or Orbitz, you can search for options on the car rentals by city. Consider doing this when you’re making travel plans to determine where to go for your rental.
In addition to these custom search options, some travel sites also have a section with lists of options you can narrow down and search for a variety of different car for rent.
Once you know your options, you’ll want to confirm your location and price. Some car rental agencies will have icons or icons with flight/bus icons next to their locations, so you can find flight deals or confirm city transit times. You can also lookup low prices tailored to your location, to make sure you get an awesome deal.
Collaborations are a great way to make a reward or gift for someone. We recommend booking a car with a guest and sending them a printout of the receipt. Make it a personalized note and include your rental car’s contact details.
The recipient can guarantee they won’t miss the delivery. Rentole has a section for returned items that take up to 72 hours to process. You can check on status updates in your area when you click on the car info icon. If you’re curious to learn more about the car you rented, simply call the rental company and make a reservation. Most companies offer free returns, which they refer you to upon your return date, said John O. from Aussiessay.
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2. Don’t assume the price you see is the price you pay
When you’re ready to make a purchase, it’s important to read the fine print. The price you see isn’t always the price you pay. When it comes to beauty products, you may be charged tax depending on where you live, and you may be charged for shipping.
3. Try to get an economy car on a longer trip, especially if you’re only taking it for a day or two
If you’re going on a longer trip, I would suggest renting a car that’s smaller, more fuel efficient and costs less. Getting a cheaper car for longer trips, especially if you’re only taking it for a day or two, is a great way to save money.
With that said, however, quality over quantity isn’t always the best choice. Small cars (passenger cars and pickup trucks, excluding SUVs/couches) are less likely to have problems. You’ll have to be more careful behind the wheel, but if you’re planning a longer drive and don’t want to take the risk of running into an emergency; you can definitely save money by renting a car of this type.
If insurance, they’ll probably ask you how your driving background is and what kind of car you have. Thankfully, most rental companies allow you to disclose your driving record to them. Now, insurance policies, while not that expensive, are still more expensive than they used to be.
It can also increase your rental car rates further. If you’re planning a longer trip, getting a car that’s easier to park and manages to fit 2–3 adults in one space can be beneficial. Monthly leases will also save you a lot of money.
Very few rental companies allow four adults in one car, though. This not only limits the amount of space you have to comfortably sit in your rental car, but also the number of seats you can order.
4. Know the rules of the road in your destination country
When traveling abroad, you have to know the rules of the road in your destination country. For example, in the US, we drive on the right-hand side of the road. In Pakistan, they drive on the left-hand side of the road. Rental car agencies are required by law to document and comply with local ordinances, so in many cases, they’ll set you up with a car that’s exactly the same on both sides of the road. But with a modern car, you might appreciate a more creative option. You can license your car on one side, but lock the car on the other.
It’s also worth mentioning that while you can legally license your car sometime after you get it, it’s usually due for a full license renewal within 30 days.
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5. Make sure you have enough fuel to get there and back without having to refuel on the way back
It’s important to have enough fuel to get you to your destination, but you don’t want to over-fuel yourself so much that you can’t get back home without stopping to refuel. This advice applies to everything. Gas stations are packed with people all day, so you want to make sure you have a car that can actually go anywhere. Since gas stations aren’t exactly the most convenient places to park, having spell-checked and saved locations on your phone helps a lot.
Stay on the road — and steer clear of busy intersections and cross streets. There are a lot of pedestrians on the road, which is illegal. So when someone is crossing in front of you, be prepared to stop and avoid hitting them!
Some cities have little or no parking options, which is detrimental to your comfortable driving. If there’s no convenient parking, don’t worry — you can always go on the street. Just look for a spot in an area where you won’t be missed and, if possible, let your rentals car park nearby.
On that same note, your car has a set of directives. Some cities have strict rules and road regulations when traveling inside their city limits, so don’t try to drive right up against them. Most places, however, are pretty relaxed. Start your route by marking your route on a map and sticking to the right side of the road. Don’t carelessly pass others on the road, and avoid crossing the street at busy intersections. Stop at red lights if possible to help avoid getting a ticket. Remember to use your phone with those directions in mind.
The greatest risk for your rental is that you’ll have to break a window or cause an air leak. Window agents are paid to check if and where the windows are properly sealed, so it’s worth scheduling them for at least one full day before you leave.