Top 5 Car Rental Tips for Your Next Road Trip
Top 5 Car Rental Tips for Your Next Road Trip
No matter the time of the year, many Americans love to travel across the country and vacation in numerous different states. Car rentals are one of the best options for traveling across the country but it could cost you an arm and leg because car rental prices can be expensive! Luckily, we have some tips to share with you, so you have the best rental car for the family road trip!
How Much Does a Rental Car Cost?
Before we jump into our top five car rental tips, it’s important to know how much a rental car generally costs. Car rental companies tend to hide the prices of what renting a car actually costs, but in general, a seven-day round trip can range anywhere from $250 to $1,000 depending on the type of car you are renting and the demand for the car.
It’s always best to keep in mind that this typically does not include the extra fees, miles used, taxes, insurance, and other add-ons, so it’s always best to pick a vehicle that fits your budget instead of looking into that cool sports car rental or exotic car rentals.
Car Rental App
Did you know that there are several car rental apps that can be used to rent a car for your next road trip? These apps are a great way to save precious time on your next family road trip, instead of spending it at a car rental counter. There are several different kinds of car rental apps by big companies such as Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis. These apps let you find car rental locations, search for vehicles that fit your need and add rental details.
A different car rental app that functions a bit differently, are apps such as Turo or Getaround which are peer-to-peer car-sharing apps that allow you to rent cars from individual owners. This is essentially like Airbnb but for cars! This is a great alternative to commercial operators.
The Top 5 Car Rental Tips
- Extra Insurance
At the rental counter, the salesperson will be asking you about purchasing rental car insurance coverage. Before renting a car, you should check your personal car insurance policy because more than likely your own personal car coverage extends to rental cars as well. If your car insurance extends to rental car’s make sure it covers liability and collision.
Another option is to check with your credit card company because certain credit cards offer extra insurance if you pay for a car rental using that certain credit card company. In the event that you don’t have insurance, you will need to buy some extra insurance from the rental car company, but it’s always worth looking into these options if they apply to you, so you don’t overpay. After all, we want to keep your car rental cheap!
- Shop Around!
Shopping around is key to finding the best rental car for the family road trip because car rental rates are drastically different from company to company. You can save a ton of money by shopping around and taking the time to find that cheap car rental that will suit your needs for your expedition.
Make a road trip planner and try to figure out how many miles you plan on driving the rental car around because some rental car companies have mileage caps. Sometimes it’s worth paying for a rental car that has unlimited miles instead of a cheaper car rental that has a mileage cap because if you surpass that daily mileage cap you will be faced with lots of extra fees.
- Paying For Unnecessary Extra Add-Ons
Car Rental companies offer a wide range of add-ons for your vehicle at an extra charge. Many people believe that paying for GPS navigation for their rental car is a good idea, but to save money, you are better off just using the GPS on your phone.
They also usually offer other add-ons such as Child and Baby Seats, and WiFi hotspot devices. Most cell phones offer wifi hotspot devices, and when it comes to children and baby seats, always try to bring your own. If you are flying, many airports allow you to check on a car seat for free.
- Don’t Prepay for Gas
Roadtrips can be fun, and you might think that prepaying for gas in your rental car would be convenient but more than likely you will be overpaying for that convenience. It’s always best to fill up the gas in your rental car by yourself once you leave the lot because you can usually find cheaper gas prices at a nearby gas station than paying the premium of having the car rental company do it for you.
- Take Time Inspecting the Rental Vehicle
You might be excited to hit the road with your Rental Vehicle and start that awesome road trip you have planned. Before you get in your car, it’s advisable to thoroughly inspect your rental car otherwise you might face charges that you didn’t cause.
If you see any damage inside or outside of your vehicle, always make sure to tell the representative at the car rental office, so you avoid paying for the damages that weren’t caused by you. Never be afraid to speak up!
Ready To Hit The Road?
These five car rental tips should help you stay mindful next time you plan on renting a car for your next family road trip getaway. One last note is that rental car companies always try to sell you roadside assistance and generally speaking it’s usually pretty cheap, but in general it’s a ripoff because these rental car companies are usually not properly equipped to provide the service.
However, having a roadside assistance option on your personal vehicle is always a great option. Roadside assistance helps you in the event that your vehicle’s battery dies, runs out of fuel, or locked your keys in your car. Many extended auto warranties come with roadside assistance included which helps save you money regardless!
But, when it comes to car rentals, skip paying for the roadside assistance, and in the event that something does happen. Call the rental company and ask them who they’d recommend to help, or google a tow truck company and call them!
Author: Stephen Lubas