There are times in one's life when the use of rental cars cannot
be avoided. When someone plows into you at an intersection, when
you are taking a 2-day trip and your compact car just does not
have enough room to stretch out, these are times when you are
happy that there are rental cars at your disposal. Before you
rent that car, though, you should know some things about the
1- The first step involved in obtaining a rental car is to do
research on the companies in your local area. There are a number
of nation wide companies and more than likely local companies to
choose from when conducting your research. Try to narrow them
down to three or four companies that are closest to either your
pick up location or your destination.
2- You will want to ask about procedures that may be required by
the rental company. Many companies require that the car be
fueled up before its return, if this is not done, they will
charge you extra for it. It may also be in your best interest to
ask what the fee would be if the car is needed for longer than
expected as well as what the rate is for late drop off.
3- If you have personal auto insurance, call your agent to see
if you are insured with a rental car as well. This will allow
you to save money by turning down the insurance offered by the
rental company at the time of vehicle pick up.
4- Finally, you have chosen the company and the car, its time to
pick it up. Make sure that you have the paper work that you will
need. Most companies will require you to show your drivers
license, be sure to have it. Also, your proof of auto insurance,
if you will be turning their insurance down. A major credit card
is necessary; if you are not using cash to rent your car, do not
count on them taking a check.
5- Be sure to read the contract and ask questions about anything
that you do not understand. It's better to take sometime at the
counter or on the phone to pin down the details, than to think
you got it and have to deal with the company in the event of an
accident. Ask questions!