If you are planning to do any traveling, either business or personal, you’ll likely want to rent a car upon arrival at your destination. Most airports have car rental agencies onsite for your convenience. These tips on how to rent a car will help you get the best deal.
The major international car rental agencies have offices throughout North America and often around the world. There is no such thing as the best company in this industry. It really does pay to shop around. Rates will depend on the type of vehicle, the time period, and things like agency specials. You can easily compare prices online and you can reserve your car online too.
Almost all rental cars have automatic transmission, radio, and air conditioning. Even if you request a manual transmission, chances are it won’t be available upon arrival. If you are traveling with children that will require car restraint seats, make sure to request them when you book your car.
If you are renting a car in the US, you usually do not need an international driver’s license. Your license from your home country should be adequate. That said, an international license can be helpful in proving to the agency that you have a valid license especially if they aren’t familiar with the licenses from your country.
Rental companies have different rules about who they will rent to. Some will not rent to anyone under the age of 25 while others won’t rent to anyone over the age of 70. Other rent to drivers under 25 but charge a premium. Check with the agencies for restrictions before you book.
The car rental business is extremely competitive so prices change frequently. Some companies offer regular advertised deals; others run random special promotions. If business is slow you are likely to be able to get a better rate than if you are trying to rent during peak seasons. No one agency has the monopoly on best prices. It just depends, so do your homework and don’t be afraid to try to barter a better price!
Sometimes if you booked through a travel agent, you might get a better price on your rental car. Some packages even include the rental fees. Compare these offers to see which is best.
The car rental insurance is where many agencies really soak you. The collision damage waiver and theft insurance they attempt to sell you is priced ridiculously high. But you also cannot risk driving without it. Some auto insurance companies have a rider that covers you and some credit cards also provide you with free coverage. See what you can do to avoid purchasing the rental agency’s insurance because it can almost double the price of your rental.
Now that you know how to rent a car and get the best deal, you’ll have a few extra dollars in your pocket to start planning that next vacation.