Rental Car Facts

If your travel plans in your near future include some type of car rental either for part of your trip, or the entire stay, you’ll want to get to know how the car rental process works. The four largest car rental companies are Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. There are dozens of travel arrangement aggregator sites online where you can browse through car rental offers when booking your reservations. Sometimes it pays to check with the specific company sites for the best deals.

The first thing you will need to do is decide on what type of vehicle you want to rent. This choice will have the biggest impact on the cost of your rental. Compact, mid size, SUVs and luxury cars are some of the standard categories from which you can rent vehicles. If you have any questions about the specific vehicles offered in these categories, consider cross referencing the make and model with a reputable automotive website like to be sure the car offers enough room for your passengers, cargo, and other must-have details you’ll want while away.

Once you’ve decided on a vehicle based on what’s available during your travel dates and compatible with your budget, you can either elect to pay up front for the entire reservation or pay at the rental desk when you arrive. There are a few things to note about the car rental contract. You will be expected to return the car to the desk at the end of your trip with a full tank of gas. The only exception to this is if you make arrangements at the rental desk to buy whatever gas you need from them, in advance, at the company’s prevailing rate. The rental company will ask if you want to purchase additional insurance on the vehicle too. Certain credit cards already offer protection for car rental contracts. Check yours before committing to this add on with the rental company. Some automobile insurance policies and homeowners insurance policies also include clauses that offer protection when driving a rental car.

There are also several other fees that you will see added to your final bill including taxes for the location in which you rent the vehicle. There might be an early or late drop off fee charged depending on the arrangements you make. Sometimes there is a charge for dropping the car off in a location different from where you picked it up. Most rental contracts include unlimited mileage, but pay close attention to mileage limitations if yours does not.

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