for First Time Car Rental Customers
Renting a car can be confusing, even to the most experienced traveler. It’s no wonder first time renters are often overwhelmed when reviewing rental policies and offers. With so many car rental companies, comparison websites, rates, and promotional offers, it’s almost impossible to know which company will offer the best rental experience.
If this is your first car rental experience, stay calm. It’s not as bad as you think! Here are some tips to improve your rental experience today and in the future.
1) Constantly Compare Rates
When it comes to finding a great rate, don’t just Google familiar car rental company names. Just because you’ve heard of them, doesn’t mean they’ll offer the best deals. Instead, start with a general search for car rental companies in the area you’re planning to visit. This will likely bring up some great comparison car rental sites, like Car Rental Express.
Car rental comparison sites are designed to scour the Internet in search of great car rental rates. Results will include rates from both national chains and independent agencies. When it comes to finding a great rate, comparison engines are the best place to begin your search.
2) Understand Car Rental Classes
First time car rental customers are often confused when it comes to reserving a vehicle online. This is because first time renters expect to reserve a specific vehicle, rather than a vehicle class.
Most car rental companies cannot guarantee a specific rental car model. Vehicle demand and rental requirements make this virtually impossible. Instead, rental companies will guarantee a “class” or “group” of cars, rather than the make or color. Car rental classes are normally grouped by size and features, like power windows, etc., so instead of guaranteeing a Ford Explorer, the rental company will guarantee an SUV rental with seating for six.
3) Know What You Need
Renting your dream car might seem like a fun idea… until you realize there’s no space for a child’s car seat. Luxury rentals are fun, but far from practical. What’s more, they’re often pricey. When renting a vehicle, base your search on your needs, rather than your wants.
4) Stick to Similar Hours for Pick Up and Drop Off
Most car rental companies charge based on a 24-hour clock. This means that if you pick your car up on Monday at 3pm and then return it on Thursday at 9am, you can expect the total rental fee to be for three days, not the two and a half you would expect. If you can, try and keep your pick up and drop of times at similar hours. You’ll be surprised how much money this simple scheduling update can save you.
5) Stay Away From Airport Locations
Convenience comes at a cost, especially when it comes in the form of an airport car rental. Car rental companies that operate in airport terminals often pass along high operating costs to their customers in the form of rental surcharges. A quick cab ride in town could be cheaper than the combined cost of airport rental fees.
6) Research Insurance Rates in Advance
Every car rental company offers it’s own unique car rental insurance packages. No two ever offer the same coverage, so be sure to review all of the small print prior to purchasing your coverage. Remember to check with your insurance agent concerning your personal insurance packages. Your rental could already be covered.
Renting a car for the first time? Then check out the Car Rental Express comparison search tool. Our detailed search results make finding great rental rates quick and easy!