8 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Car

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A rental car can help you keep your schedule on your trips and as you sight see. You need to be aware of your car rental options and know how to dodge avoidable hidden costs as well as the safety and reliability for a budget-friendly, convenient, and fitting car rental solution.

1. Have the Right Paperwork and Get Insurance

You need to have the proper paperwork when renting out a car which includes your ID or passport, and a valid driving license. Some car rental services may require you to present a proof of reservation or booking or leave a security deposit if you are renting on a cash only policy. Others may even require you to have a good driving record before they rent their car out to you.

You will be required to have an insurance policy to cover the risk when taking up a long term car rental. To save on money you can consider getting your rental car insurance from your personal insurance provider instead of getting the insurance offered at the car lease. It’s best that you get a full damage insurance to keep you mind at ease when driving around and also to make sure that you can avoid the need to leave a security deposit or incur any extra fees or charges from your car rental service.

2. Use Your Credit Card When Renting a Car

You should know that when you rent a car using your debit card, you may incur an authorization fee and get a substantial amount of your funds held which may limit your ability to freely spend, especially if you are on a vacation.

Your credit card company may even provide a primary rental insurance policy which  is why using your credit card when renting a car is advisable. Take the initiative to call ahead or check online to see what your credit card provider’s policies are so you can be able to assess how well you can be able to save on the additional cost of car rental insurance.

3. Costs More to Drive Rental Cars If You Are Under 25

Most car rental companies will require you to be at least 25 years old and they may view you as a liability or less experienced driver if you are a driver younger than this. Some rental companies can rent you a car if you are between 21 and 24 years old, but you’ll have to pay an additional fee for the service. Depending on your state’s laws, some rental companies can allow you to rent a car if you are 18 years old and have a great driving record albeit charging an additional fee.

4. Keep the Drivers at a Minimum

If you’re not planning on having a long drive, it can be more cost effective to state yourself as the designated driver to avoid the additional charges your car rental company may charge you for having additional drivers during your rental period. Driving yourself even when on vacation can help you be in full control of your schedule and help you appreciate the scenery of your destination on your drives. To help you avoid accidents or damage to the rental car, you should familiarize yourself with your vacation destinations’ speed limits, regulations and conform to their traffic rules as you drive yourself around.

To increase your comfort and luxury you can opt to  hire a driver when renting a car on your trip. Hiring a driver can help you freely enjoy the areas you are traveling through while giving you the advantage of having access to knowledge about the roads, local conditions and how to manage officials. You should note that car rental companies charge a reasonable extra cost when you opt to hire a driver and you can be charged additional fees if you decide you want to drive the car as well during the rental period.

5. Opt for Off-Airport Car Rental Locations Instead

Car rental companies at airports are obligated to pay fees for doing business in the premises of the airport and so they can charge you extra fees or be an expensive car rental option. To mitigate the high cost of renting a car at the airport, you can consider hailing a cab and renting a car from a smaller car rental agency in  the city for a much cheaper price. Alternatively you can book a car online or call your preferred car rental service and  have them drive your car to the airport for you to pick up when you arrive for a slightly cheaper price than renting a car at airport grounds.

6.  Drive on Paved Roads

Opting to drive on paved roads can help you save money because renting a car for off road driving comes with additional charges. If you wind up getting stuck offroad  with a rental car you stated you would be using for in city use, you may find yourself in violation of your rental agreement and the rental agency may require you to pay for the towing fees as well as cleaning fees for the car.

For city use you can consider renting small car types or luxury sedans since you will be driving on paved roads. For out of city use, you can focus on renting cars with good ground clearance and capabilities for off-road driving like land cruisers and vehicles with four wheel drive control.

7. Fill Up the Tank Before Returning the Car

It may seem convenient to let tha car rental agency fill up the car’s tank after you return their vehicle to them, however, this can have you paying two to three times the price of the fuel. It’s best to schedule time during your rental period to fill the car’s tank before returning it to your agency. Be keen to note the level of fuel in the tank when you receive the car so that you can return it filled to the same point or consider prepaying for your fuel.

8. Return the Car in Time

You need to select your preferred rental period before renting the car and return it on the agreed time and date to avoid being charged for extended use. Always lock your car and refrain from leaving valuables inside to keep it safe.You should also maintain safe driving speeds and be careful when driving a rental car to ensure that you return the car in the same condition it was when you rented it.


You need to consider your budget, where you are going and how long you’ll need to rent the car for. If you do your research, ask plenty of questions so that you know what you’re getting and go in prepared you can enjoy the convenience of having a rental car like being able to drive new car models.

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