When visiting a new city, a problem many travelers face tends to be transportation. Getting from the airport to the hotel to the places of interest and then back to the airport can be difficult, and if you don’t plan ahead, it might even be very complicated and expensive as public transport options may not reach all of the places you want to go to and taxi/uber fees can get unexpectedly high with each additional trip; and let’s face it, if you really want to get to know the city you’re visiting, then you´ll be doing a lot of trips around the city.
There’s an option that allows you to move just as if you were a local and that’s renting a car. By having a vehicle just for you, you get to explore the city and cover much more terrain than you could by using other options with the added benefit of being able to make your own itineraries. Hey, you don’t have to wait for your uber if you get to be your own driver!
Now as with any other form of service there are some issues with rental cars, but if you plan, you’ll be able to avoid pretty much all of the most usual problems with car rentals, and that’s precisely what we´ll do with this post as we´ll explore some basic tips and tricks about rental cars.
1. Don’t get overwhelmed by the options
Unlike other services which offer you two or three options to choose from, the car rental industry is plagued by options, not only there are dozens of car rental companies to choose from, but each of those companies offer many different vehicles each with different prices. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as you can be sure that there is an option that adjusts to your needs, but the share amount of options makes the rental car processes a little bit confusing, especially for first-time renters. Luckily, there are ways for making this process a little easier, and hey even a little bit less expensive!
Enter: the car rental brokers.
There are some companies whose entire purpose is to help you sort through the many car rental sites and their options. They compare the many options available and offer you a much more understandable catalog that you would find if you searched all by yourself, with the advantage of finding the best prices available within the available rental cars.
So here you’ll find a little list of such sites so you can get started.
Viajemos.com Trustpilot score: 4.7 / 5
As prices go, this is one of the best brokers you can find. Here you’ll find the best deals in the market, with the added benefit that they have partnerships with worldwide renown car rentals. If you’re an experimented car renter then you´ll be happy to find deals with your favorite companies such as Dollar, Thrifty and Alamo.
Miles Car Rental Trustpilot score: 4.7 / 5
This one also has very competitive prices, but it also has other benefits, such as an extensive car fleet, and partnerships with worldwide renown car rentals. In addition to this, they have customer service in multiple languages, customers praise this service as very competent and capable of solving most problems that may happen.
Priceline Trustpilot score: 4.5 / 5
Customers report this company to be an overall helpful and easy enough to use. They have made recent upgrades to their app, which allows their services to be accessible from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They have a varied catalog of vehicles to choose from and offer other vacationing services.
CarRentals Trustpilot score: 4.3 / 5
If you’re traveling abroad this might be the company you’re looking for, as they have a presence in exotic faraway cities such as Tokyo, Sydney and Tel Aviv. On their page, you can find useful advice for when you’re visiting many international cities around the world. They are described by costumers as functional and effective.
Rentalcars Trustpilot score: 3.8 / 5
This company champions accessibility as they give you the option of changing the language of their main page to many languages from all over the world, complementary to that, you can also see the prices in other currencies. They also have a newsletter system that will automatically deliver information to your mail.
2. Have in mind the basic requirements
Simply driving a vehicle requires you to meet some very basic expectations, such as having a driver’s license. And so, all car rentals need to make sure you meet certain requirements before handing you the car. It seems very simple, and it is, but sometimes people aren’t aware of those requirements and of course, issues arise, so now we´ll review some of the basic requirements needed to rent a car so that you know them all.
1. A Driver’s License
No license means no driving. No driving means they won’t ever give you the car. It’s just as simple as that. If you plan to rent a car you should always bring a valid driver’s license with you.
Now as a pro-tip I can tell you that when you rent a car, you can set other people on your travel group as additional drivers, and of course they should bring their licenses, but the main driver’s license is the most important, if the main driver doesn’t bring his or her license they won’t give you the car no matter if the additional drivers brought their licenses.
2. Being over 25 years old
Most rental places require you to be 25 years old to rent a car, without any issue. Non-minors under 25 can rent, however, if you’re under 25 they will ask you for an extra fee that can be expensive.
3. Full coverage insurance
Driving uninsured is simply unwise as any accident, even a little fender-bender can have disastrous consequences for your wallet. For that reason, car rentals simply won’t let you drive uninsured, so if you want to rent a car you have to be sure that you have full coverage insurance, the same one you should have when driving home.
Now some rental sites offer to sell you this insurance with third party insurance companies, it’s not very recommendable that you buy them this way as sometimes the car rental companies don’t accept third party insurances and then force you to buy the insurance again, so the best thing you can do is to buy the insurance directly at the counter with the car rental company itself, this way there’s no way you sure there won’t be problems with your insurance.
4. An embossed credit car
In the car rental business, there is always the possibility of someone running off with the vehicle and never coming back. After all, they are handing out cars people. Car rentals must have a way to ensure that at the very least you´ll be handing something of value in return. Ergo they need you to present a credit card as a safety measure should something ever happen.
Now, this credit card is often used for charging you should you want to add any additional services and insurances. Be extremely clear to the vendor at the counter about what extra services you’d like to add to your car rental experience, if you don’t want any, be sure to say so, as they might charge you extra services at the counter.
And that’s it, that’s pretty much all you need to know about renting a car, nothing too complex really, so if you’re planning a trip to another city, and want to thoroughly explore it then now you know that there is a great option to do so: renting a car.