FindItMore | Car rental is a traveling service that allows you to use a temporary vehicle for on-demand transportation during a specific period. This makes it a popular choice for business travelers and tourists who want to make the most out of their time overseas. Compared to riding taxis and public transport, car rentals provide a more convenient way to travel out of town. Renting a car is relatively more cost-efficient than planning to go around cities and towns using public transport.
Of course, before you pick a car rental for your next trip, there are some things you must check first, as listed below:
- Experience and Reputation
As with any industry, experience and reputation should be your top priority when choosing a car rental provider.
Rental companies with years of experience have the advantage of knowing what their customers need even before they ask for it. Also, car rental firms overseas offer reliable vehicles and perform pre-release inspections to make sure that the car you chose meets your expectations.
Reputation is also important. After all, what other people say about a company would most likely reflect the quality of their offerings.
To check whether the car rental firm you’re considering has a good market image, you can check reviews and customer testimonials online. Whether it’s a good or bad experience, people will most likely express their honest opinions on how the company handled their transactions. Remember that a good car rental would never disappoint their customers, so pick only those with stellar ratings from past clients.
- Variety of Offerings
Another thing you should consider before signing on the dotted line of a car rental agreement is the variety of offerings a car rental firm can provide. You should have at least a handful of vehicle options to choose from, most of which can accommodate your specific needs.
Whether you’re traveling with your family or a large group of friends, going on a business trip, or planning a luxurious romantic getaway, you should pick a car that suits the occasion. Check out the vehicles offered for rent, and decide on a set of criteria for vehicles that could accommodate your needs and preferences.
For example, hiring a large SUV or van is best for travelers who come as a big group while a small, professional-looking auto should be the perfect choice for a business trip. Meanwhile, luxury vehicles like limousines and sports cars are your best bet for a romantic date.
Aside from the variety of vehicle options, you should also seek out different modes and terms of payment and pick up options for the car you’re renting. For example, if you’re planning to stay longer than a couple of weeks, it may be better to get a long-term vehicle lease rather than a short-term car rental. Some companies also allow airport pick-up for the convenience of their customers.
- Vehicle Age
Some car rental companies still keep old vehicles on their fleet. While this may be fine for some people, older vehicles may not be as reliable or as comfortable as newer models.
If you truly want to prevent your trip from getting spoiled, you should be prepared to spend a few extra bucks on hiring a better model. Choose car rental companies that offer vehicles no older than two to three years. It will also help if the car you’re renting is inspected by a mechanic first before being released.
Another crucial factor that you should consider when picking a car rental provider is insurance. When driving in a place you’re not quite familiar with, having your trip insured can give you much-needed peace of mind.
Often, car rental firms will offer their insurance products as you take the vehicle out. In some cases, you might not need to get one if you’re already covered. Just remember to read the papers related to your existing insurance policy down to the fine print, so you can get a good grasp of the extent of the coverage and decide whether to get additional insurance.
Also, never decide at the last minute to buy insurance. Remember that insurance products offered at the counter may be a bit more expensive and may not even have extensive coverage. Familiarizing yourself with policy details – even those that may seem minor – gives you a chance to make the best decision.
- Rental Costs and Extra Fees
Although listed last, rental costs and added fees are not the least of your concerns. These are often the first pieces of information that sway people into buying or declining a car for rent offer.
Some car depots have lower rates but high surcharges. These extra bucks may differ depending on the location, but they often make a huge difference in your final bill.
For example, airports are quite a popular car rental pick up areas because of the convenience. However, this also makes it a bit more expensive than other pick-up points, not to mention it tends to take longer because of the high demand.
Having additional drivers may also increase your daily rental fee. Returning the vehicle without topping up the fuel can also cost more because of the “convenience” of not needing to fill the up tank yourself.
The bottom line: ask about extra charges before closing the deal to avoid surprises on your car rental bill later.
Renting a vehicle to drive on-demand when out-of-town offers a convenience that no amount of money can match. Still, this doesn’t mean you should throw away hard-earned cash for vehicles that don’t meet your expectations. Use this article as a guide to make sure that you pick the right car rental company for your overseas trip.