Before you start up the ignition and drive away into the sunset, you’ll need to take a few steps to ensure you’re getting the best deal, and a reliable car rental.

Choosing a Car Rental General Info

How long do you need your car rental? Daily rates are usually lower with national companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. If you’re planning on a trip of seven days or greater, look at local rental companies like auto dealers.
How many miles are you planning on? While most of the big rental agencies will offer unlimited miles at no charge, some of the smaller agencies limit them. If you’re planning a lot of road travel, ask about their mileage policy before making a reservation.
What is their customer service record? You don’t want to get a great rate just to break down and be stuck for hours waiting for a replacement auto. Look for reviews online by using a search engine to search for “CAR RENTAL NAME reviews”, replacing CAR RENTAL NAME with the company you are investigating.

Rate Shopping for Car Rental – General Info

Don’t waste your time calling around the individual rental agencies, use the web. You can shop 24/7 online and compare apples to apples to find the best rate. Beyond the rental agencies, you can often find great deals through brokers. Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline are just a few you may have heard of.

Car Rental General Info and Tips

Once you’ve made a reservation, keep your confirmation number in addition to the car type and rate. You don’t want to get to the counter only to be told your car or rate isn’t available. They should upgrade your reservation to a better car type if your reserved vehicle isn’t available.
Do you have a free upgrade coupon? You might be able to use this at the counter, it never hurts to ask.
Do a thorough check, inside and out, before signing off on the rental. You don’t want to pay for the damage someone else did, do you?

Car Rental General Info During Rental Period

With multiple fuel choices these days, and some major rental agencies offering E-85 compatible cars, you should understand the limitations of your specific rental. If there is any question in your mind, don’t be afraid to call the rental agency or ask an auto mechanic what fuel the vehicle can run on.
No hot-rodding. No donuts on a frozen lake. Treat the car like your own to avoid damaging it.

Car Rental General Info for Return

Inspect the car with the attendant. If they find damage, now is the time to bring it up. Check the fuel gauge with the attendant as well – they may charge $5 or more per gallon to top it off. Don’t leave without a copy of the return slip with damages and fuel levels marked.

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