Do you need to rent a car for your vacations or for your business trips? You can save a good handful of dollars by comparing prices on the internet. But be sure to compare the total cost – not just the announced rate – because exotic car rental the additional charges and options can dramatically increase the base price.
What you need to know
The size of the car is important
The interpretation of the terms “compact”, “medium” and “luxury” may be different for each car rental company. In general, to illustrate the sizes of the cars, the companies indicate the name of the models article source or report the suggested number of passengers for each vehicle.
Search and compare
Find the car you are interested in renting from various websites. To get an idea of the best price you can get, look up the rates on the websites of each car rental company and on price comparison websites.
Discounts or special offers
If the dates of your trip are flexible, it may be convenient to rent a car on days with discounts or special prices. Try to have the special prices apply to all the days the vehicle needs. If you book in advance or combine the reservation of the car with a flight or hotel stay, you could find better offers. Read the fine print section to find out what restrictions apply to special offers, and see what dates discounted prices are not available. Some companies also offer special rates for seniors or members of some particular organizations, such as motorist clubs.
Analyze the charges
To have a complete and accurate picture of what you will pay, it may not be enough to make a comparison of rental rates. Try to compare the prices of the rent analyzing “apples to apples”, that is to say including all the obligatory charges and expenses and also the charges for the options.
There are some charges that may be quoted when you book online, but you will only find out about all applicable charges when you go to the office to pick up the car. Read your contract carefully and note the charges that are triggered when a specific event occurs – such as an accident.
Your driver record is important
Many companies check customer driver records when they arrive at the office, and reject those customers whose records do not meet company standards. Even if you have confirmed a reservation, you may be disqualified for some recent infractions, including:
- Reckless driving.
- Violation of the law of mandatory use of the seatbelt.
- Accidents, regardless of guilt.
- Abandonment of the scene of the accident.
- Sentences for driving intoxicated or low the effects of alcohol or drugs (DWI or DUI, in English).
- Driving with an invalid, suspended or revoked license.