Rental Cars – Perfect For When Your Car Won’t Cut It!

Is it time for you to take the family on a vacation? Or do you need to fly somewhere for business or to visit friends or family, and need to leave your vehicle behind? Unless your destination is a public-transit-ready metropolis, you will probably want to rent a car. Plan your search for a rental car online, as it will give you a broad overview of what is available where you’re going, and at what price. Many car rental companies offer special discounts to their customers who book their reservations online. An internet search may help turn up suggestions in which car rental agency to use. Look for reviews of car rental companies written by other travelers who shared their experiences. You may be surprised at what they say.

Some car rental companies emphasize compact, economical cars while others feature larger vehicles or flashier, luxury vehicles. If you are making your travel an event in and of itself, you may consider splurging for a convertible or other novelty element that you don’t normally have in your day-to-day life. After all, you’re on vacation! If you’re on a tight budget, or aren’t planning to spend much time driving, however, don’t rent more car than you need. Remember, you will either be charged for gas when you drop it off (at a much higher rate than what gas usually costs) or have to fill it up, and that cost should figure into your travel budget. A larger tank and worse gas mileage will cost you more.

If you have specific needs with a rental car, plan ahead for those. For example, if you’re tall, don’t take a chance that the car rental company will only have compact cars available. Reserve a larger sedan, van, or sport utility vehicle for your trip. Or, if you have small children, reserve a car seat or booster seat ahead of time as well.

It is much smarter to make a reservation rather than walk in fresh from your plane landing, hoping to get the right car. If you can, plan!

Some websites allow you to make your car rental reservations at the same time you book your flight(s). Take advantage of this feature to save time. Coordinate your car pick-up and drop-off times with your flight schedule for the utmost convenience. If the car rental company has their car lot off the airport premises, and you must ride a shuttle to get back and forth, count extra time into your plans accordingly to reduce stress during your trip. It’s nice to tip the shuttle driver, especially if he or she helps load and unload your luggage.

You will need a credit card and driver’s license to rent a vehicle. If the credit card holder is not the driver, you will probably be charged for an extra driver, even if you are the only one who will be driving. So, if your passenger will be using their credit card, yet you will be the only one driving, call the car rental company ahead of time to ascertain that you will not be charged for an extra driver. Make sure you understand upfront how much is actually being charged to your card, because some car rental companies charge several hundred dollars for a deposit, that will consume extra room on your credit card, which will be credited back when you return the car. If your credit card does not have enough room on it, you will have to use a different card or may be unable to rent the car.

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