Recently I’ve discovered that there are many occasions that call for renting a car. Sometimes you’re in a city that has a nearly nonexistent public transportation system, the city is very vast and spread out or perhaps you’re going on a road trip to several cities – these are times when renting a car can be beneficial. And according to the New York Times, it’s the beginning of car-rental season! So here’s a few things to keep in mind when you decide to rent a car for your trip.
1.) Type of Car
This doesn’t mean the brand of the car – though if you’re traveling to Las Vegas and renting a Lamborghini then I understand, perhaps brand is important in that scenario. But for all of you average people like me, consider what kind of car you’re renting. Perhaps for a road trip you’ll want an SUV, a car with utility and space to lounge. Or, if you’re sticking to a city, you’ll want a small coup to squeeze into tight parallel parking spaces. Keep in mind what kind of trip you’re taking and what your driving habits are and try to match it up to an appropriate vehicle.
2.) Gas Mileage
Gas prices are crazy, am I right? It’s been the same complaint since I started driving 8 years ago, so I doubt that prices will go down anytime soon (though I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’m wrong). Rent a car that is good on gas. No one should have to spend more money in excessive visits to the gas pump!
Another thing to consider is the car rental company’s policy on returning the car. Some require that you fill the tank before returning the car.
If you’re horrible with directions and have no sense of location then perhaps you’ll want to also rent a GPS with your car. It’s a small daily fee, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to waste time and gas driving around because you’re lost.
4.) Avoid Renting from the Airport
You can save a lot of money by renting a car outside of the airport. Off-airport car rental locations tend to be around 30% cheaper. Sometimes convenience is not worth the hefty price tag. So grab a shuttle or taxi into town and rent from a different lot!
5.) Book Online
With enough research, you can find a good deal online. On top of good online deals, you should also look for coupon codes before you hit the “book” button.