Know before you rent
Renting a car? Before you go, there are several things you need to know. Car rental will always be a more affordable and stress-free experience if you do a little research prior to hitting the road.
Excess kilometres Your trip might not run to schedule and you could go a little further than you had planned. Will your rental car company be a little excessive when charging you for excess kilometres? Again, this is something you should know before you rent a car. Find out what the charges are for excess kilometres – some companies may penalize you; others may charge a very fair rate. Comparison sites for rental car companies will reveal this sort of information in a flash.
Hidden fees and charges Will your rental car company charge you a fee for a one way journey? Will you be charged for dropping off at a different location to where you picked up? Consider whether you need fancy gadgets like DVD players or GPS navigational systems. Will those extras cost you extra? Again, a reputable rental car company on a good comparison website will clearly state all fees and charges that are not immediately obvious to you. If these conditions are not spelt out, go with a more transparent company. Another hint to save you money. Rental cars picked up at the airport are usually more expensive than rentals picked up at other locations. If you can, hop on an airport bus and pick up your rental car in town.
Fuel economy Something else that might play havoc with your budget is fuel economy. The tariff itself might be reasonable but your rental car could be the original gas guzzler. Research car dealer websites before you rent to check on the fuel economy for particular vehicles. For a more straightforward comparison, rental car company websites should give you this information.
Is it big enough? Your rental might have room for your suitcases. But what about your golf clubs? And your surfboard? And maybe even the kids? A cheaper price for a smaller car might make you happy when you pick up the keys, but when you’re all squeezed into a confined space, like a Sumo wrestler into a dinner suit, you’ll wish you’d chosen something a little larger. Before you rent your car, add up who is travelling, multiply by what you’re all going to take, and look for a vehicle that allows a comfortable division of everything, and everyone.