Let’s be honest, there’s nothing more annoying than renting a car at the beginning of a surf trip, when you’ve just hopped off the plane you’ve been on for who knows how long and all you’re looking to do is wash off the stench with some salt water. Renting a car can seem like a daunting task, particularly because there are so many companies from which to choose, and we always have that fear that we’ll get a lemon ultimately making our experience a nightmare. However, here are some mistakes that you can avoid, to make your next trip as successful as possible:
1. Not utilizing the Internet to find the best price
The Internet has revolutionized our lives! Let’s be honest, it’s why you’re able to obtain the information you’re reading right now. Searching online for cars to rent allows you to sift through millions of cars, to find the one that’s right for you. Apart from price, convenient online search engines also let you narrow down features such as the make, model, and rental charges for different cars. And because your search will be faster, it can be wider in scope. That will help you to find the best deal on the Net!
2. Neglect to check the condition of the car
When you pick up the car, make sure to examine it thoroughly. In fact, check the car while the deliveryman is there. To further protect yourself, use a camcorder or digital camera to film the condition of the car before you drive off. That will verify the state of the car when you borrowed it.
3. Forget to clean up a car that’s somewhat dirty
If you spill a soda in the car or drop some food, take a few minutes to clean it up. Otherwise the car rental company may tack on an additional cleaning charge to your bill. That can be counterproductive when you’re traveling on a shoestring budget, or found a great car rental deal. It also sends a positive message to any children that you may have.
4. Carelessly examine the terms for a car rental deal
If you are planning to drive far, then be sure that your deal includes unlimited mileage. When you’re on vacation, that’s usually the situation you’re in. With some deals, after you reach your mileage allowance, the car rental company will charge you an extraordinarily high rate per mile/kilometer. And the last thing you want to be thinking about while you search for “the next peak around the corner” is whether you’ve exceeded your mileage allowance.
Also, check if you need to return the car with a full tank of fuel. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. You could save yourself a ton of money by not filling up the tank before returning the car.
5. Never check for rental cars offline
Though you can usually find the best deal online these days, the main benefit of renting a car offline is that you’ll have more of an opportunity to negotiate the rental fee. Sometimes you can find some excellent offline packages that are linked to hotels.
Before renting a car, knowing what NOT to do can be as effective as learning what to do. By avoiding these common car rental mistakes, you can ensure that your next surf or snow trip will be as successful as possible.