Moving around in an unfamiliar city is, often, one of the most challenging things that travelers must deal with during their trips. We’ve all been there, you travel to a new destiny and receive many recommendations for the places that you just can’t miss, but when you try to get to those places you soon find that they are way farther than they seem. There are plenty of transport methods a traveler can use to sort out through this issue, but this time we’ll focus on rental cars, as they offer a comfortable and practical way to explore a city.
Now, car rentals are sometime depicted as an overly complicated transportation method, that requires dealing with a ton of steps and rules, and while it’s true that there is a couple of rules to follow, it’s really not that complicated and it even has a lot of perks, so in this post, I´ll be telling you some tips and tricks for renting a car.
- Where to begin?
Let’s begin with the first step, where should one start the whole rental process? Well, the answer is a little bit more complex than just typing “car rental” on the internet and clicking on the first thing that appears. You see, searching for a rental car is a lot like looking for airplane tickets and hotel rooms, in that, there are an almost incommensurable amount of options, and each of them has different prices that can spontaneously change. In other words, if you search for car hire by yourself in the vast oceans of the internet, chances are high that you´ll get overpriced or otherwise less than stellar options.
However, just like with airplanes and hotels, there are broker sites that can help you find the best deals and they even help you throughout the reservation process making it even simpler to book, up next we’ll see the best car rental brokers according to Trustpilot and what they offer.
- Miles Car Rental Trustpilot score: 4.7 / 5
This is one of the best options all-around, as they have some of the lowest prices in the market and they don´t ask for additional fees at the counter. The information on their site is always clear and transparent so you know that you´ll always be getting what you asked for absolutely no hidden charges.
- Viajemos.com Trustpilot score: 4.7 / 5
Viajemos.com has also very low prices. They have a nice assortment of benefits to its customers such as being able to pick up their cars directly at the airport and return them at a different location. They also have partnerships with some of the most renown car rental companies such as Avis, Alamo, and Budget.
- Priceline Trustpilot score: 4.5 / 5
Priceline provides hotel and cruise services as well as rental cars, so if you’re into package deals then you might like this one. They have clear-enough term services and their page is easy to use. Their well-maintained app is one of their stronger points as it offers nightly deals exclusive to app users.
4. CarRentals Trustpilot score: 4.2 / 5
They’re fast, user friendly, and their page is regarded by most customers as easy to use. They have presence on 197 countries from all over the world. Their page has many filters that make searching though page an easier experience. And they have a lot of information about the vehicle types that there are available.
5. Rentalcars Trustpilot score: 3.9 / 5
Rentalcars focuses on its accessibility. If you’re a fan of car rental you can create an account so that you can register the times that you’ve rented with them before. They can also show you the most popular destinations and car types that other renters have chosen so that you can better plan your trip.
- Avoiding common problems
Now that we know how to find the best car rental deals you must avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make when renting a car. These mistakes can truly ruin the experience, but they’re really easy to avoid, you just have to know the requirements for car rental and plan your travel accordingly. So let’s see what those are.
- Having a valid driver’s license
If you need your driver’s license to drive a car you own then you need it for a rental car too, simple as that. Remember they will check this document when you go to pick up your vehicle so have it ready. Now this seems stupidly simple but you’d be surprised by the number of people that forget their licenses at home, and let me tell you, it’s not fun for anyone, so make yourself a favor and pack it first thing in the morning.
- Being over 25
Another common problem is not knowing the age limit required for car rentals which in many cases is 25. Sadly, there are not a lot of tips I can give you about this one. Now, you can rent if you happen to be under that age, but have in mind that there will be additional fees. In some states such as Michigan and New York people over 18 can rent however, there are still some fees associated with it. It’s perhaps a downside, but at the very you’ll outgrow this issue.
- A full coverage insurance
I don’t even want to imagine how bad it would get if you had an accident on a rental car while uninsured, for that reason it’s a requirement for you to have full coverage insurance when renting a car.
Now, this is where they usually get you and where a lot of problems arise. You have to be very cautious about it. Now I´m not saying you shouldn’t get one; you just have to be smart about it. You see the main problem is that some car rental brokers offer you insurances with third party companies, these are the ones you should always walk away from. This is because sometimes the car rental companies reject third party insurance, making you pay twice for not using their services. So, the best thing you can do is to take it directly at the counter with the car rental company that you’re going to use.
- Having an embossed credit card
A lot of people complain about this one without realizing that it’s a requirement of most car rentals. The thing is, however, that you do need a credit card for renting a car as it takes the function of a deposit in case anything happens or you know… so that you don’t just take the car and never come back. Now, annoying as this is, that credit card has an additional function and that is charging for any additional services you want to add to your rental car plan, so be very clear and straightforward at the counter about anything they offer you, if you don’t want any additional thing to be added to your rental plan, be sure to let the people at the counter know. Also, if you happen to cross any toll on your way, they´ll be charged using it so, you’ve been warned.
- The perks of renting a car
Well now that we’ve seen the common problems and how to avoid them, it’s time we talk about some of the perks you can gain when renting a car.
3.1 Plenty of vehicle types to choose and experience
If you’re like most people, chances are high that you own a single type of vehicle and don’t have a lot of opportunities to try different varieties of cars. Well with rental cars you don’t only get a practical way to move within your destination, you also get to try different kinds. On most car rental sites you’ll find the following categories:
Standard/full-size: These range from your average car to more spacious options perfect for simple trips.
Vans and minivans: if you’re traveling with all the folks, and I mean all the folks, Grandpa grandma and aunt Gertrude included, then this is the option for you. This way everyone can come with you on your travels! Have in mind, though, that this is a very popular option among car renters, so, if possible, make a reservation in advance.
Sports cars, convertibles, and luxury cars: I believe we can all agree that owning a luxury car is not very practical, even if driving it around is a fun experience. With car rentals, you get to experience what driving a car feels like without having to commit to the ridiculous prices and high maintenance that comes with owning one of these beauties. Plus, some cities demand that you visit them on style. Don’t miss the chance of driving a sports car in Los Angeles as if you were a movie star! Or perhaps the chance of experiencing Las Vegas’s Strip.
3.2 Making a road trip!
An often-ignored option when it comes to rental cars is that you can pick up the car at one location and drop it off at another location, this means that if you plan your journey well enough, you can use a rental car to go on a road trip and save a whole plane ticket!
And there you have it! Next time you travel and need a reliable transportation option, go rent a car, you now know how to do so problem-free!