What used to be a simple process, choosing a good car rental service is becoming increasingly more complex and confusing. There are so many options, sizes, prices and add-ons that one needs to think a lot more carefully than we did in the past. The last thing you want, whether travelling for business or pleasure, is the added stress of making the wrong selection. We have put together a few useful tips and tricks to make this decision easier, ensuring you have less hassles and regrets down the line.
- Be Practical
Consider where and when you will be driving, how many passengers you will need to carry and how much luggage there will be. Also give some thought to all the added extras, are they all necessary?
- Size Matters
It is important to understand that what is called a compact car in one place, might be very different in another area. European compacts tend to be dramatically smaller than what is considered a compact car in the US. European streets are often a lot narrower than most US roads. The smaller the car, the easier it is to manoeuvre and park. Obviously the trade-off is less leg room as well as space for passengers and luggage. Smaller cars will be less expensive to rent and will also give you much better fuel economy, something that could be very important if you are doing a fair amount of travelling.
- Never Look at Price Alone
Given the vast number of options available, timing, extras and other factors, price is a poor indicator of a good deal. You need to look at the package holistically in order to ensure you are getting a suitable rental car at a fair price.
- Manual or Automatic
Many people are only experienced and comfortable driving an automatic transmission while others prefer a manual. The availability of these options can vary from area to area so be sure to check on this first if it is important to you.
- Other Features
You no doubt gave a lot of thought to the vehicle you drive on a daily basis at home. Don’t forget to be specific about features that will be important to you when you travel. You want to be comfortable and safe. Certain comforts you might take for granted could be missing from your rental and just cause frustration. Take the time to consider what you need and make sure you get it.
- Plan Ahead
If you leave it to the last minute, you might well find that your options are limited. When you plan to rent a car, the sooner you start looking, the more variety you will have. As an added bonus, you will probably get a much better rate as well. Last minute rentals often result in you getting a car that is not suitable for your requirements. On the same note, shop around. Options and availability can vary from one company to the next so chat to a few of them to find what you are looking for. Most of this can be done quickly and simply online. There are even very useful online comparison tools one could use.
- Always Read the Fine Print
You do not want to be in for any nasty surprises so spend a little bit of time to read the fine print. Yes, I know, most of us never do this but it is worthwhile. You do not want your experience to be hampered by a small detail the consultant failed to tell you upfront.
When planning a trip, we generally focus most of our planning on the flight, accommodation and the agenda. Neglecting the car rental aspect of your trip could have a negative effect on your travels. Avoid this buy using the information we have provided here and you should have a carefree, happy journey.