Travel is something that is very important to everyone in our world today. There are many ways that we get around town every day and even a wider variety when we are on vacation or traveling. When people travel for vacation or for business or many other reasons they find that it is not practical to have their own car taken where they are going especially if they are flying to their destination. This often makes it practical for people to rent cars while they are away from home. But there are still many different factors that are important to consider when you are choosing a rental car company. Here is some information that will help you make the best decision for your needs.
Most people pick a car and a car rental company based on the fee structure and normally rent the car that is the least expensive as far as rates go. And although this can be a good way to choose, there are other things that should be considered too. You should make sure that the company you are going to rent from is reliable and has a track record that will support what you want them to do. This is especially important because you will probably use a company or personal credit card to rent the car. This information needs to be secure and only a company with a proven track record should be trusted with this info.
Another reason this is important is because the company may have recourse against you if you damage the car (or if they say you did). You want to make sure you are working with someone who isn’t going to take advantage of their customers just to inflate their profits. Another very obvious reason is that you want to make sure you are getting a reliable car, and that is much more likely coming from a reputable company because they maintain their fleet better.
It is also a very good idea to thoroughly read the terms and conditions of the rental agreement to know what you are liable for and what the company is responsible for. Very few people spend the time to read these agreements and they are intentionally made long by some companies to discourage people from being thorough. Make sure there are no fees you are agreeing to pay if you don’t understand why they would apply to you and make sure there are no surprises.
It is also important to check the minimum age requirement so that you don’t have anyone drive the car that is under this age. Although they may let you still rent a car, the fees may be higher if you are under a certain age. It is also a good idea to see if the rental company has a variety of cars available to fit different sizes and numbers of people. Larger and more reputable companies will normally have a wider selection of cars.
Choosing a rental car company
There are many things you need to decide on when you are choosing a rental car. One of the most important things to consider that may initially be overlooked is the size of the car. It is important to make sure that you will fit in the vehicle but also all of the things you are brining with you. Your family may be able to fit in a sedan but would really need an SUV to hold all of your baggage too. The definitions of compact, midsize and luxury may also be different from company to company so pay attention to what they mean at each possible rental place. Knowing what size car you need from the beginning may help you to save money later and to have your needs met without paying extra fees.
It is also important to plan ahead for the price of the vehicle. Don’t just assume that you will be able to find a car rental a rate that you saw quoted online. Call ahead and get price quotes from several different companies and shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. There are often special deals that may be available to people that book in advance of picking up their car. You should also know that you can check rental rates through your travel agent if you are using the services of one. You should ask about special deals that may be happening because you are staying for a certain period of time or during a certain time of the week or month. This is also important because it will show you blackout dates when advertised prices are really not available to renters. Having a somewhat flexible schedule may make this easier, but it is also important to make sure you are able to do everything you planned on your trip too.
Many people believe that renting a car is something that anyone can do whenever and wherever they want. This may not necessarily be true as some rental companies have restrictions as far as age and other requirements placed on the people that will be using their cars. You driving record is one of the things that could affect your ability to rent a car or to get a better rate on one. Don’t assume that just because you have a reservation that you will be able to drive off the lot under any circumstances you desire. You may be disqualified from renting a car if you have had and recent moving violations or even within the last few years. You could also be disqualified if you have a record of breaking seat belt laws and regulations.
Accidents on your driving record are also a red flag even if you were not the one at fault in the accident. Another one that could really be a problem for you if you are renting a car is having any type of alcohol or controlled substance violations on your record. If you have had a DUI or DWI, you may want to plan on having alternate means of transportation if you are denied a rental. It will also be a problem if you have an invalid, suspended or revoked driver’s license. These are some of the reasons you could be denied, but this doesn’t mean that you automatically will be rejected. Rental companies have to determine if letting you take one of their cars on the road is worth the risk and these parameters often show how much of a risk you are to their property.
A great way to know what you are being charged for when you rent a car is to ask about it. If you don’t ask some questions you shouldn’t plan on them being answered because rental companies are also in business. There are many charges or fees that could change the actual rate you pay compared to the one advertised. Some of these may include a Collision Damage Waiver fee, a deposit or refundable charge, fees imposed by the airport, fuel and mileage costs, taxes and government fees, charges to add additional drivers or underage drivers, out of state fees and many others.
It is a good idea to ask about these and if they will apply to you. It is better to know in advance what you are really going to pay rather than being surprised later with a much higher bill than you were expecting. You should also understand that extra things in the car may include an additional fee as well. One of the most popular extras is a navigation system of some sort to help you find your destinations more easily in a place that is unfamiliar.
Although there are many different factors that are involved in choosing a rental car company, perhaps the most important is finding one that works best for you. You have to be able to find the balance between price and service. Discount rental places may offer a better price, but cut corners on things you are expecting and therefore making the savings or little or no significance. You have to have in mind what is really important to you before you rent and then find the company that best fits those needs in the places you are going.
Choosing a rental car company is very easy for some people because they have done it many times or because it is being paid for by the company or by someone else, so the service is much more important to them than the price. As you search for the best rental car company to fit your needs, remember to keep your expectations realistic and to be flexible if exactly what you are looking for is not out there. As always make sure that you are doing business with people with a reputation to uphold because they are more likely to provide good service. As they saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Always be careful with the decisions you make.