If you’re planning on renting a car on your next vacation, here are some things that you should consider not doing.
Prepaying For Gas
It’s appealing to go with the prepaid gas option since it can save a lot of time and hassle, but the rental car companies know that and they jack up the cost quite a bit. The only time it really makes sense to go with the prepaid option is if you know for sure that you will be returning the car with no gas in the tank, otherwise you’re best off doing it on your own. The best thing to do here is look for a gas station as you are leaving the rental place, so that you will know of somewhere close to stop to fuel up right before you turn the car back in.
Getting the Insurance
It seems like a good idea to get the insurance on a rental car especially when it isn’t too expensive, but most often your own car insurance will cover you if something goes wrong. Of course you would need to check with your own insurance since the minimal coverage would not cover rental cars, but what is considered full coverage most certainly would. However if you happen to get in an accident in a rental car and need to claim it on your own insurance, your own policy charge could go up.
Additionally, some credit cards offer insurance coverage on rental cars even if your own car insurance policy doesn’t. This is always something good to look into. Some rental car agencies will charge for “loss of use” for small changes to a rental car and your normal car insurance would not cover this, but a lot of credit cards do.
Not Trying to Get an Upgrade
One tip for renting cars is to book a cheap one and then ask about potential upgrades once you are at the front desk. If you happen to be there at a busy time you might find yourself with a nice upgrade for no or low cost since they might be running low on their inventory of cheaper cars. If they offer to upgrade you tell them that it depends on the price and see what kind of offer they might make you.
Not Trying to Get a Discount
You should always see if you have any access to discounts before you rent a car. Programs like AAA, AARP, and other rewards programs often offer considerable deals that are worth taking when it comes to rental cars.
Not Doing a Good Inspection
When you pick up a rental car it is always smart to do a thourough inspection of the car to make sure they haven’t missed anything that you could end up getting unfairly charged for later. It’s much harder to make a case for yourself when they don’t have a flaw marked down before the car enters your hands.