How to Choose a Rental Car: The Complete Guide for Travelers

At some point in your life, you’ll be in a situation where you have to choose a rental car. Drive long enough, and you will become part of this $44 billion market

Maybe you’ve experienced an accident or mechanical failure. Or, maybe you just want to go on vacation and not take your car. Whatever the reason, you’ll be faced with the decision at some point. Here are the factors to consider when you are.

1. Determine What You Need

Before getting into the types of rental cars that you want, it’s important to think about how you plan to use your vehicle. Focus on time and distance.

How long will you need the vehicle? How far do you plan to go? There are per-day charges and gas considerations to make.

If you’re on a budget, this can be a cause for concern. But then, comfort is an important overall factor as well.

Driving something you like increases the likelihood of a safe trip. It also can be important if you have any health issues that make getting in and out of your car challenging.

Renting more for the luxury and fun of it all? Cars can be a nice little adrenaline rush. If that’s what motivates you, companies like specialize in this very type of fun. 

2. Plan Ahead of Time

A rental car company isn’t necessarily going to have what you need on short notice. That’s why you want to start planning as far in advance as possible. This will give you the chance to look at all your options and make sure that you’re able to reserve the car you want or need.

3. See What Others Are Saying

The Internet is a great place to research rental cars. You can find out about prices, features, and how companies compare. It’s also a good way to get coupons or discounts that can shave more money off your trip budget.

Reading online reviews of the companies out there can also help. Social networks, search engines, and business directories like Yelp all offer some insight into the experiences that others have had with the companies you’re considering. Use them to your advantage.

4. Compare Costs

When comparing car costs or renting cars for vacations, make sure that you’re doing actual apples-to-apples comparisons. That means that you’re looking at the same type of car, with the same features, from each company.

The devil is in the details when it comes to rental cars. The last thing you want is an unpleasant surprise when you go to pick up your vehicle and find out that it doesn’t have air conditioning or enough seats for everyone in your group.

5. Consider Insurance Coverage

Insurance is one of those things that people often forgo when renting a car. Your personal car insurance policy might cover you, or your credit card company might offer some protection.

But it’s always best to check with your provider in advance. The last thing you want is to be held responsible for damages that you weren’t aware of or aren’t your fault.

Choose a Rental Car That Offers a Satisfactory Experience

Whatever the purpose, choose a rental car that hits all your must-haves. That could include performance, power, price, or prestige.

You’re in the driver’s seat, and your satisfaction is of the utmost importance. For more travel tips and information, check out some of our additional posts!

Author: Brandon Park