Here are some tips when renting a cheap rental car from an independent agency.
Check with the rental company to see what the local government requires you to keep in the rental vehicle. Usually you need the rental contract that authorizes you to drive the car (and also a list of any other authorized additional drivers). Also keep the vehicle manual and an updated map. Make sure there's an emergency kit handy in case of accidents. Keep a list of emergency contact numbers (many agencies will provide roadside assistance in case of break downs), because you never know what will happen on the road.
Before leaving the rental agency with your cheap rental car, be sure to check the company's procedure regarding the extension of the car rental period. Keep the operating hours, any contact numbers and the name of the employee you're dealing with on hand. You may have to wait until the next business day to contact the agency, depending on what time of the day you call.
Make sure to check with the rental agency concerning their policies if you want to drive your cheap rental vehicle across the border. Also, do not forget to confirm any mileage restrictions or add-ons for out-of-state or out-of-country driving. These conditions should be stated in your rental contract. Mileage charges can rack up very quickly and if you violate the company's policy, you may be charged for this extra mileage.
If you plan on driving on un-paved roads be sure to check with the rental agency's policy concerning this. Most commonly, under contract, rental vehicles are required to be driven on paved, regularly maintained roads. Off-road driving can be a violation of the rental agreement so it is important to know this in advance.
It is crucial to stick to the policies outlined in your contract. For example, putting snow chains on the tires, towing a trailer, off-roading (as mentioned before), transporting people or property for hire, and the like will terminate many of the terms of the contract you signed. As a result, this could also cause problems with your insurance carrier or credit card company.