Renting a car is a common and convenient solution for many everyday scenarios: when your private car is being fixed, you’ve sold your old car and still didn’t get the new one; you are traveling abroad or to some far, out of town destination; you are expecting special guests and you want to show them around the city in comfort and so on.
Although the car rental process is fast and not complicated, it is recommended to follow those tips for a safe, smart and inexpensive car rental.
1. Use small car rental agencies
Small, independent car rental agencies are slowly entering the market, which was, until recently, controlled by large, international brands. Bigger companies use their bigger advertising budgets to convince you to use their services, but they’re not always the best option. Using smaller companies’ car rental services you are most likely to receive a personal service, lower rates and flexible terms, especially if you are renting a car for a long period. Either way, it is recommended to browse the car rental agencies websites before making reservations and look for coupons, special discounts and loyalty clubs.
2. Understand car rental policies & fees
Before renting a car online, take the time to read the companies’ terms and conditions and learn about their fees, restrictions and payment methods: are the advertised rates valid during holiday season? Can you drive the rental car out of the state? What is the minimum age for an additional driver? Do the rental rates include gasoline and insurance bills, pickup and drop-off charges and are there additional costs?
3. Make early reservations
Unless you need a car urgently, there’s no reason to delay your car rental reservations. Early reservations of car rentals usually guarantees lower rates and an ability to pick your preferred car. On the other hand, late reservation can force you to compromise on the selected car, rates and rental agency.
4. Pick the best car for your needs
Match the car rental to your traveling plans: the number of passengers, the amount of luggage and equipment, the types of roads you’ll be driving, etc. For example, if you plan to drive up the mountains with a lot of camping equipment, you might want to rent a large SUV; if you want to save money on gas – consider an economy car such as the Hyundai Accent.
5. Inspect and document the car before driving
To avoid discomfort and misunderstandings when returning the car, it is better to inspect the car’s interior and exterior for any scratches, broken items and damages. Check the tire pressure; verify that the air-conditioning, stereo, and other car functionalities work properly. If you find any damage, even after you hit the road, report to the agency immediately. For additional safety, use your camera or smartphone to take pictures of the rental car before taking it.
Renting a car is a simple and inexpensive solution for travelers, business tourist, city dwellers who don’t own cars and temporarily carless people. When choosing wisely your car rental agency and vehicle and managing the rental process carefully, you will be able to avoid common car rental traps and enjoy your drive without worries.
Looking for an independent car rental agency in NYC? Contact us for more information about our vehicles, rates and coupons.