Renting a car in the USA has always been popular, allowing tourists to avoid expensive taxis and enjoy the freedom of the open road. It’s also very convenient for travelling long distances privately. While car rentals are becoming prevalent and less costly, bad information and hidden costs leave some people with negative experiences.
To avoid regrets and save on car rental fees, here are some life hacks you need to know before renting a car in the USA.
Benefits of Car Rentals
Get Your Vehicle of Choice
Choosing the vehicle you want and need for your travel is one of the most enjoyable aspects of renting a car. People can select the car that meets their standards and the requirements of their journey. If they don’t like what they’re allocated, they can also swap it to try another vehicle.
Have Privacy and Comfort
Renting a car provides privacy and allows tourists to manage their time. They can stop anywhere and anytime to rest, relax, or enjoy the scenery without time limitations. It is also less hassle to book and select a car through an online reservation service than taking a taxi or public transportation.
Renting a car is often a lot cheaper than taking internal flights or relying on taxis and public transport. It is vital to choose a car rental company without hidden charges. With the increasing number of car rental companies on the market, clients are advised to shop around and read the terms and conditions before renting.
7 Hacks When Renting a Car in the USA
Here are some tips to guide you when renting a car in the States
1. Compare Prices
Before renting a car, make sure to check the prices of different rental companies and compare their prices and services. Clients can often choose a lower fee and enjoy the same level of service offered by other companies with higher prices.
And perhaps you’ll fall in love with the car you rent on holiday and will want to get the same model when you get back home! If you’re planning to get a car loan, you can use a car finance calculator to see how much you could borrow. By indicating the amount of the car loan and the repayment period, the calculator will help determine the monthly repayments.
2. Make a Reservation in Advance
Generally, the earlier a reservation is made, the lower the cost of the rental. As the holiday seasons get nearer, rental fees tend to increase. Also, most car rental companies allow their customers to book a car without paying in advance. This allows customers to change or cancel their reservations if they see a better offer.
It’s never usually a problem to cancel a car reservation. So, making an earlier booking will lock in your car at a better price.
3. Check Credit Card Benefits Before Paying for Insurance
Skipping expensive rental car insurance to cover potential damages can help clients save a lot of money. Before renting a car, it’s best to check your credit card because many providers have car rental insurance coverage included.
However, you must also understand that some credit cards have a limit on car rental coverage. It’s better to call the credit card provider and ask first.
4. Don’t Pay in Advance for Petrol
Most car rental companies give their customers the option of prepaying their fuel at a much higher rate. If the client doesn’t prepay their petrol, the company expects them to return the car with a full tank.
Instead of prepaying gas, clients can look for the cheapest petrol station nearby to fill their tank. They must also remember that stations located in cities and near the airport are more expensive than those located out of town.
5. Book a Car as Part of a Package
Some car companies provide discounts when they bundle car, hotel, and flight bookings together. For example, a traveller may have to pay $400 per person for a trip and $130 for a car rental. Then the total cost would be $530. It would be better to find a platform, like Expedia, offering a package deal that costs less than $530.
However, packages may not be automatically discounted and are sometimes only offered as special promotions. Clients will still need to check different websites and make a comparison.
6. Take Pictures or Videos Proving the Condition of the Car
Don’t forget to make documentation of the condition of the car by taking pictures or videos before you drive it away. This is to make sure that you will not be held responsible for any dents, scratches, or damage that the car already had before you used it.
If you find some damage, inform the staff so they can note this on the car’s record. This will cover you in case the rental company tries to charge you for damage you did not cause.
7. Bring Own Extras
Car rental companies often offer navigation systems such as GPS and even child car seats at elevated prices. Packing your travelling extras or devices and making sure that the company removes theirs will help you save money.
Renting a car in the USA has a lot of benefits. However, to prevent hidden charges and save money, it is vital to shop around on the internet to compare prices and services and read the terms and conditions. Following the hacks mentioned above will not only help you save money but will also prevent unnecessary disappointments.
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