How to Rent a Car the Right Way: A Quick Guide

Renting a car is probably a bit more complicated than you thought. 

When you’re in need of a vehicle, renting a car is a great option. You can get whichever type of vehicle suits your needs for as long as you need it and it can be relatively affordable if you know what to do. The problem is, there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out and decisions to make before you drive off the lot with your rental car.

Today, we’re going to give you a short guide on how to rent a car. Read on and you’ll find out what steps you need to take, what you should avoid, and a few car rental tips that can get you the best possible deal.

Understanding the Car Rental Process

Before you start the car rental process, there are a few things you’ll need to get in order. First, it might seem obvious to some, but you need to have a valid driver’s license in order to rent a vehicle. Photocopies aren’t accepted, nor are learner’s permits, and certainly not expired licenses.

You should also understand the age restrictions involved with renting a car. In the US, you need to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, but it’s worth noting that there’s may also be an extra fee for those below 25. At most companies, you’ll need to provide a credit card and leave a damage deposit before you take possession of the vehicle.

Choosing Your Company

There are three main rental companies that have various subsidiaries; Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz. All of them will share various similarities, but once you start doing your research, you’ll find the details that set them apart. Look at things like distance-based rates, additional driver costs, and various other extra expenses that drive the overall price up.

Once you figure out your needs, you can match them to each company and see which one checks the most boxes. There are also an increasing number of car sharing companies out there, like this one that lets you SHAiR your car with interested renters. These often have more car options and can be cheaper overall in some cases.

Car and Driver

When choosing a car, it’s always cheaper all-around to go for a compact car. The actual rental price per day will be cheaper, but these cars are also much more fuel-efficient, so you won’t spend as much on gas. When it comes to gas, you’ll have the option of filling it up yourself before returning it – always do this, as rental company fuel prices are usually much higher.

If you can manage it, have one driver for your entire trip. Adding a second or a third driver is going to be upwards of $10 per day, which can quickly add up.

To Insure or Not To Insure

If you’ve got insurance on your own car or a policy attached to your credit card, then there’s no sense in purchasing the rental company’s insurance. These policies are usually bare-bones and only cover you for scratches and dents. If anything serious happens, the $15-20 per day is going to do anything for you.

That being said, if you don’t have insurance coverage of your own, you’ll want to consider their coverage for peace of mind alone.

Learning How to Rent a Car

Now that you know how to rent a car the right way, you can get a decent deal for your rental car needs. These were just a few car rental tips, but the important thing is that you read the fine print and get exactly what you want for the right price. 

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