Rental Car Services
When you’re traveling to a new city or you don’t have your own car then renting a car is usually the easiest and most convenient way of getting around. However, there are so many rental car companies to choose from and rental car comparison sites on top of those, that figuring out which one is the best can be difficult. We’ve all heard horror stories of a rental car agency promising one price during booking and then charging a completely different price during drop-off. But given that so many rental car agencies seem on the surface to be so similar to one another, it can be a challenge distinguishing the good from the bad. So let’s look at some elements to watch out for when renting a car.
Variety of Cars Offered At Rental Car Services
You’ll want a rental car agency that actually offers the type of car you want. While the major rental car companies, like Hertz, Avis, and National, will have a huge selection of cars to choose from, others may specialize in more specific types of cars. For example, some companies may tend to offer high-end cars that are great if you’re on a business trip and want to impress new clients. Others, meanwhile, may specialize in compact, budget-friendly options. Some may even focus on moving vehicles or on RVs. In certain cases, opting for a company that specializes in a certain type of car may be more beneficial than going with one of the larger companies that have a wider variety, even if they cost more. The specialized companies may, for example, be able to offer insurance coverage that is more tailored to the types of vehicles they rent out.
Rental Car Services Pricing And Rate Options
For most people, the most important factor is the price when determining which rental car agency they want to go with. A lot of times, the differences in price can seem extremely arbitrary. One company may charge one price for a particular car while another company will charge much higher (or lower) for the exact same car. Sometimes these differences can be explained by the fact that one company may offer more coverage, longer operating hours, or better customer service. In many cases, however, the price difference really is arbitrary and you will be much better off just opting for the cheapest option.
There are a number of ways you can find the best rate on your rental car. Booking early is probably the best way of making sure you aren’t paying an unnecessarily high rate. Especially during the busy summer driving season or around the holidays you will want to book as far in advance as possible. You might also get discounts if you are a member of a driving club, such as the AAA, or a loyalty program. Many rental car agencies also offer lower daily rates if you book for a minimum number of days. So you could find that in some instances your total bill will be lower if you rent a car for a full week rather than for just six days.
Additional Fees With Rental Car Services
Additional fees are what drive up the cost of a lot of rental car bills and you will want to be on the lookout for them. As the Federal Trade Commission points out, you should read your rental contract thoroughly and question any additional fees. Some rental car agencies, even if they promise “unlimited mileage,” will sometimes still try to charge you extra if you exceed a certain threshold or if you take the car out-of-state or across the border. Be sure to also inspect the car beforehand with a representative from the rental car agency. Otherwise, a scratch or dent that was already there might get pinned on you.
Do I Need Insurance With Rental Car Services?
You will definitely need to carry some form of car insurance in order to legally drive a rental car. A lot of rental car agencies will aggressively push you to opt for their own coverage, but in a lot of cases, this is not a good idea. As the website for the New York Attorney General points out, if you booked with a credit card then you may already be insured through your credit card company. Furthermore, opting for the rental car company’s insurance could cancel the insurance coverage you would have otherwise gotten for free through your credit card.
Customer service is great to have in any industry, but it’s particularly important when renting a car. Some rental car companies are notorious for rude, pushy, and sometimes downright unscrupulous customer service. An agency that has bad customer service is also more likely to try to charge you hidden fees or offer little help if you get into an accident or suffer a breakdown. Again, the best way to avoid these companies is by reading reviews from other customers online.
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