Policies vary among car rental companies, especially if you rent from a local company rather than a national franchise. It's a good idea to call ahead and ask a few questions so your trip won't be ruined because you're turned away at the rental counter. Here are some things to ask about so you'll be prepared.
Ages And Number Of Drivers
There might be an age limit for renting a car. For instance, drivers may need to be at least 25. There may also be restrictions on who can drive the car after you rent it. If you'll be taking a long trip and need someone to help you drive, be sure they are on the rental agreement too. You don't want to get a traffic ticket or be in an accident with someone else driving the car. If you need to add another driver, they might have to be present at the time you rent to present an ID and sign the agreement.
Driving a rental car without insurance coverage is risky. Some companies may not even rent a car unless you provide proof of insurance. You can buy insurance from the rental agency, but it drives up the cost of the rental. Call your own insurance agent first to see if rental cars are covered under your insurance policy. If not, check with your credit card issuer. You may get rental car insurance as a perk for being a cardholder.
Mileage And Gas
If you're planning a long trip, you'll want to understand how mileage works. A rental with unlimited mileage would be ideal if you plan to put on a lot of miles. Some companies may offer a base of free miles and then add on fees after that. If you pay mileage, it could drive up the cost of the rental significantly, so you'll want to know about it in advance. Also, it's a good practice to return the car with the gas tank full. If you don't, you may be charged a fueling fee, which doubles or triples what you would pay to fill the tank up before you return the car.
Types Of Payment
When you return your rental car, you can probably pay for the bill with a credit card, debit card, or even cash. However, the restrictions may be tighter when you pick up the car. You might need a major credit card. Some companies don't even accept debit cards at the time you pick up your rental. Ask about the hold that will be put on your card too. It might be for the predicted cost of the rental or it might be a larger, fixed amount. If you don't have enough available credit on your card, or if you don't have a card at all, you may need to call around to find a rental company that will accept a debit card or cash up front. You may need to provide additional information such as plane tickets or utility bills. You may be able to use a relative's card, but the person will need to be present with you and may even need to put the rental agreement in his or her name.
Cost Of Rental
Another thing to know about rental cars is that the price varies according to the time of year you rent. If your rental period falls over a holiday, you'll probably have to pay a lot more. If you can schedule your rental for a slow period for the company, you could get a substantial discount on your rental car. Another thing to consider is the length of time you rent. It could actually cost less to rent a car for a week if you pick the car up midweek than it would to rent it for just a weekend. A monthly agreement might cost less than renting the car for a couple of weeks. In addition to understanding the cost, find out what you need to do to extend the rental if you think you'll need to. You might be able to call in and extend the car for a few days or another week. Calling in advance will save money because you'll be charged a late fee if you don't return the car on time. Also, understand the limits on rental agreements. You probably can't keep the car for longer than 30 days without bringing it in and exchanging it, and your insurance may not cover the car for longer than 30 days at a time.
Another thing you may want to ask about is added fees you may not consider. For instance, if you want to rent a GPS or child seat, you might have to pay more. By knowing policies and fees in advance, you can avoid an unpleasant surprise when you pick up your car or return it and see the final bill.
For additional information, you will want to contact a company such as Aztec Rent A Car & Truck.