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The Car Rental – what you need to know

When traveling, renting a car saves us time, adds convenience and make it possible to travel quickly, without being dependent on taxis or public transportation.

 

As customers, we always consider the following criteria, before choosing a rental car company: the pricing, what the services actually include the location of the pick-up place, the types of the available vehicles, the ease of use and the customer support.

Do you need wheels on your next trip?

 

The Pricing

Rental car costs can vary dramatically depending on duration, dates, discounts, loyalty programs or location. 
Renting a car from the counter at the airport can be very convenient , but normally  it's costlier. If it’s possible, rent from a place that is not directly tied to the airport in order to get lower rates. 

Most of the people who hire a car are interested in a round-trip rental, where the car is picked up and then brought back to the same location. The one-way rentals are another option, but this may cost a little extra.

For customers who will need a car for longer period than just a few days, the long-term rentals are a good choice to go. The majority of the famous car rental companies offer such special business rental programs. It’s recommended to search in Internet for rental deals without hidden fees and to compare the offers from various rental companies’ websites. Booking at the counter might put you at risk of getting stuck with more expensive model, or a car that doesn’t meet your needs.

 

Many of the world’s top airlines offer the customers an opportunity to book flights and to rent a car together, in a single package.

Something to consider – just before the weekends the customers have usually better opportunities to get a really good offer for a rental car, or even a choice to upgrade vehicle for an economy-vehicle price.

 In most cases it’s cheaper to prepay for a rental car when you book, rather than at the agency counter. Pay attention on cancellation policies and fees though. For instance-returning your rental car few days earlier, might result in your weekly rate being changed to daily rate,or- returning the vehicle even half an hour later than the agreed in the contract can lead you to being charged for an extra day! Don’t miss to read the fine prints.

 If anything happens to a rental car, the renter may be liable for the damage,plus-some rental car companies offer additional insurance on vehicles for a daily fee. Sometimes your credit card will cover the insurance on any car you rent, hence-you don't need to buyadditional insurance through your car rental company.The secondary coverage means your auto insurance policy will pay out first, if any damages or losses occur.

When driving a rental car the gas, parking violations, tolls or other fees are normally the responsibility of the driver. Some rental companies though allow renters to prepay some of the expected costs.

 

 

 The location of the Pick-up/Drop-off place

Picking up a car at an airport usually costs more than picking it up downtown, so consider is it really necessary to get your car immediately at the airport or the at the railway station. An airport pickup may still be worth it though– some of the central car-rental offices have shorter hours or can be a challenge to locate, sometimes.

Plus - you may find that the train-station office is handier than the other office, located in urban or suburban location.It’s generally an advantage to choose a larger company, with a wide choice of pickup and drop-off locations.

Before choosing a rental location, find it on a map first and think about the small tips, mentioned above.

 

The Available Vehicles and the Ease of use

You have multiple choices when it comes to rent a car during your travels.Almost anything can be found  these days, depending on our needs- a van for your big happy family or a Cabrio, a luxurious sedan, or a Smart.

The larger companies provide an array of choices, such as minivans, pickups, convertibles, compacts, and commercial vans and trucks.Almost all popular car rental services offer hybrid vehicles and other fuel-efficient options for economically or environmentally conscious customers.

Usually, there are differences between the typical rental cars services offered on the different continents. For instance -in Europe, the offered midrange car will probably have less passenger room, smaller trunk space and a manual transmission as a standard offer. Automatics are more expensive and may only be available as an extra, or if you upgrade to a, pricier,bigger car. Since supplies are limited - if you must have an automatic- arrange it well in advance.Another option, of course is just to skip the automatic and to go for a manual gearbox.


Well, at the end-the choice is yours and depends on you, your needs and your budget.

 

Things to check before driving off

Make sure the car’s tank is full (if it supposed to be), and record the mileage for your reference. The present mileage of the vehicle has to be written in your contract too.

 When you get the car, before you leave, go around the car and have a thorough look for any damage or mark/s on the vehicle’s exterior.

Even the minor scratches should be noted on the rental agreement. Same is valid for the condition of the interior.Check the appearance of the tires. And the spare wheel- is it there, ready to be used?

 

The Customer Support

We usually don’t pay much attention at this point, by the time we really need it.

My experience in various foreign countries taught me to consider the communication as a top priority  when choosing various services abroad. Since  English is not always the most popular language in a certain area, make sure the people who provide you the services talk your language. Or you know their language well enough.

Usually, you won’t have troubles with the well-known car rental company representative offices in the various countries, but better get ready for this one too.

If you get involved in a road accident abroad (which occasionally might happen) you’ll need a reliable support, which can be difficult to be provided unless the communication between you and the company representatives is poor or missing at all.


What the services actually include

These days the rent-a-car companies have begun charging for everything, but the steering wheel.

Some companies offer additional services as extras, like - a GPS, a child seat or an air-conditioner, while other companies will offer some of these as a standard. It’s probably cheaper to simply buy your own baby seat or get your own GPS device with you, so you don’t have to pay extra fees. The optional features always affect the price of a rental, hence-ensure you order what you’ll really need.

 A number of car rental companies have a policy on a full-to-empty fuel tank on rentals.This means you’ll pay for a full tank of fuel and then bring it back empty.This one seems very ok, but if you aren not using the car much, in some cases you'll have to pay for the remaining fuel you actually didn't use.Of course it all depend on the company which offer the service- not all of them have the same policy, but it’s a thing to be checked.

Taking a car with the basic package only usually means saving. Many of the companies will sell the add-ons, which you won’t really need for a good amount of money, so - the actual cost of a rental can end up much higher than advertised.

An important catch is the insurance-make sure you are aware what part of an eventual damage will be covered by the insurance or do you need exactly the most expensive offer, if other cheaper options exist at all.

 

The Alternatives

The traditional car rental companies promote these days their own Car Sharing offers. Unlike the traditional car rental service, with the car sharing the customers can rent a car just for a few hours, pick it up locally, and expenses like gas and insurance are covered.Such an option is great, if you only need a car for less than half dayHowever-in some cases it might be better and cheaper option than renting a car.

 

 

 

Additional Info

More advices about renting a car can be found here.

Do you want to read some more Car Rental Tips?

 

Would you like to find out which rental company is the most trustable as per the customers’ reviews or to see the ratings of the car rental companies, given by real consumers?

 

 

Useful Links

  • Poplar websites for car rental or car booking:

https://www.sixt.com/

http://www.rentalcars.com/

https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rental/home.html

https://www.avis.com/car-rental/avisHome/home.ac

http://www.budgetinternational.com/

https://www.thrifty.com/

https://www.europcar.com/

https://www.enterprise.com

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/reservation/

https://www.centauro.net/en/

https://www.nationalcar.com/en_US/car-rental/home.html

https://www.carrentals.com/

https://www.expedia.com/Cars

https://www.easycar.com/

https://www.travelocity.com/Cars

https://www.dollar.com/

https://www.skyscanner.es/carhire?locale=en-GB

https://www.orbitz.com/Cars

https://www.onetravel.com/car-rentals

http://www.economybookings.com/?lang=en

http://www.rhinocarhire.com/

https://www.southwest.com/car-rentals/search-car-rentals.html

http://www.autoeurope.com/

https://www.carrental8.com/

http://www.booking-centre-online.com/car-rental/car-hire.htm

http://www.holidayautos.com/

https://www.goldcar.es/en/

http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/cars

http://www.bookingbuddy.com/car.php

https://www.hotwire.com/car/index.jsp

http://www.carhire.com/

https://www.kayak.com/cars

https://www.foxrentacar.com/

http://www.mobissimo.com/search_cars.php

http://www.priceline.com/rentalcars/

https://www.orbitz.com/car-rental/

https://www.travelauto.com/car-rentals.html

 

 

 

 

  • Websites for Car Sharing:

http://www.zipcar.com/

https://www.lyft.com/

https://www.uber.com/

https://flightcar.com/

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/productservice/index.jsp?targetPage=hertzondemandAU.jsp

https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/

https://www.car2go.com/

https://www.gocarma.com/

https://turo.com/

http://www.vride.com/

https://www.getaround.com/

 

 

 

 

  • iOS applications for car rental and car booking:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skurt-rental-cars-delivered./id976963158?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/getaround-instant-car-rental/id412017926?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/izzirent-car-rental/id395912603?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turo/id555063314?mt=8

 

 

  • Android applications for car rental and car booking:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gaarajas.gaaraj

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sgsstudio.cheapcarrental

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carsscanner

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uco.co.il.carrental

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carrentalsnet.autorent

 

  • iOS applications for car sharing:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/drivenow-carsharing/id435719709?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flightcar-car-sharing-car/id971393285?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/urbi-carsharing-aggregator/id804024567?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/carpool-school-edition/id353403771?mt=8

 

  • Android applications for car sharing:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ghm.carjump&hl=en

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dn.drivenow&hl=en

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dn.drivenow

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.bahn.multicity

 

  • Software developed for Car rental and Car booking services:

http://www.asaprent.ca/

http://www.rentalbooking.co.uk/car-hire-broker/

http://app.navotar.com/landing/

http://www.limoanywhere.com/

http://reservationengine.net/

http://www.carhiremanagerweb.com/

https://bookridesonline.com/

http://www.oto.rent/

http://www.missionsoftinc.com/

http://www.carprosystems.com/

http://www.thermeon.com/

http://rategain.com/pricegain-car/

http://www.rentalcarmanager.com/

 

 

  • Software , developed for Car sharing services:

http://www.zemtu.com/en/

http://www.invers.com/en-eu/carsharing/carsharing-software/

https://www.rentcentric.com/products/car-share-software/

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