I personally love renting a car when I’m traveling because I love the extra freedom you get with it. I also really enjoy having the extra storage space and not having to lug my bags around when getting between accommodation and different locations. Renting a car also means that you can easily do road trips, exploring more challenging destinations with ease. Whether you’ve rented a car before, or this is going to be your first time, read on for 4 tips for renting a car on your next vacation to ensure that you avoid costly mistakes and get the best deal.
1. Rent in Advance
Don’t make the mistake of showing up to the airport hoping to snag a deal – prices at the airport will likely be inflated, with no special offers. Instead buy your rental car in advance, that way you can shop around on comparison sites and get the best deal. You’ll also have way more car types available to you if you reserve it in advance. If you’re going somewhere where people love renting cars, such as New Zealand, during the peak of their summer, then you could even find yourself showing up at the airport completely unable to rent anything. If your trip relies on you having a car, your best bet is to secure this as far in advance as possible.
2. Use Comparison Sites
Comparison sites make comparing different rental price points and car types easy. The first thing you’re going to want to do is to look at the overall rating of the car rental site and chances are you’re going to be much happier if you choose the highest one or two results. This is important because other clients have rated them based on their service, the quality of the car and the overall price. The higher the rating, the happier the customers have been. Check out Trustpilot for example, here are the top 5 rated car rental companies and you can easily browse the comments to see how other people found their experience:
- 1. Miles Car Rental 4.5*
Clients love how fast and easy the rental car process is with Miles Car Rental. Many reviewers have also used Miles Car Rental to find them competitive hotel prices, at cheaper than publicly advertised rates. People also mentioned they were happy there were no hidden fees as with some other companies, meaning that they knew exactly what they were spending before the handed over their credit card. Another bonus of Miles Car Rental is that their website is very easy to use, ensuring the booking process is seamless.
- 2. Viajemos.com 4.5*
Clients noted that they were also very happy with the rental car pricing, as well as the cost of insurance. Others commented that the staff working at Viajemos.com are extremely friendly and helpful. Many of the commenters note that they are repeat customers, choosing to rent time and time again from this company. Another big plus to renting from this company is that the service is fast, ensuring that you’re on the road as quickly as possible.
- 3. Despegar.com 4.4*
Clients comment that their website is very easy to use, noting that you can book car rental and hotels online too meaning it’s a one-stop-shop. You can see a variety of airlines at once, allowing you to easily compare the best flights for your next trip. You can also choose an option to defer payment with a credit card, allowing you to make repayments for your upcoming holiday as you can afford.
- 4. Rentalcars 4*
Some of the most frequent comments about this company is that the cars are affordable and really good quality. When renting a car, all the insurance policies can be really confusing so it’s good to see that a number of clients comment on how clear everything was throughout the entire process with Rentalcars, to save you not only time but hassles trying to wrap your head around everything.
- 5. Holidaycars 4*
There’s nothing worse than rushing off your flight, getting to the car rental place and having to wait half an hour or more for your rental car. There are a number of happy customers who compliment how fast the service is with Holidaycars, ensuring that you can get everything sorted fast and start enjoying your holiday. Other clients commented that they thought this was the best option for non USA residents renting in Miami.
3. Get Insurance
Insurance is one of those things you don’t know you need until you really need it. You don’t want to ruin your holiday with having a really expensive car damages debt. Some credit cards actually provide comprehensive insurance for rental cars if the car rental is purchased on that card. You’ll have to talk to your bank to see what specific offers your card has. Most often than not, it’s better to pay for the insurance policy on the rental car so you know you’re covered. Do some research to see what will cover you best to ensure you can enjoy your trip without worrying about a crash or damages.
4. Have a Local Sim
Many car companies will offer a GPS unit at a premium price point. If you have a smart phone, chances are it’s going to be more economical to get a local sim card so you can use Google Maps or Waze on your phone. I always just buy my sim cards with an Internet data plan in the airport, that way I can get started using the maps as soon as I’ve collected the car. Chances are this will be much cheaper than the GPS rental and it also means you can keep in touch with people back home on your phone.
Traveling by car is such a fun way to explore a new place and with these tips I’m sure you’ll have the best rental experience possible.