If you’re going to a new location and you want to experience the area fully, you might need to rent a car. Renting a car today is one of the easiest parts of planning out your trip, but if you’ve never done it before, it can seem a bit daunting.
Whether you’re planning a road trip or you’re new in town and in need of wheels, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about renting a car to make sure you get it right the first time! Follow these tips and tricks and hit the road the right way!
Do your research
The first rule of renting a car when going to a new destination is to always do your research. Car rental companies and their policies differ from state to state, let alone country to country. It’s a good idea to look up car rental companies in the area you’ll be staying to know what to expect.
Some countries are more strict than others when it comes to renting regulations, so it’s always good to know them beforehand. You’ll also need to know how much renting a car will cost you, so you can plan your travel budget. To avoid any hiccups on your trip, always research car renting ahead of time.
Book ahead of time
The second rule of renting a car for the first time is to always book in advance. Although it is more spontaneous to book when you arrive at your destination, you do run the risk of a few things. You may run into a lack of available cars or risk paying a higher fee on the spot. To avoid this, always book ahead of schedule and you’re good to go.
Book ahead of time and make sure to book in the right city.
If you’re landing in Auckland, make sure to hire a car in Auckland and not in the wrong city! There’s nothing worse than getting somewhere with nowhere to go because you rented a car in the wrong city!
Bring your own gear
A pro tip for new car renters is to always bring any extras you may need for your car. From baby seats to a GPS system to the radio, these extras may make or break your journey. Car rental companies will always have everything you’ll need, but for a price.
Companies will charge you an added fee for extra items you wish to add to your car. The added fee per day may be small or large, depending on the rental company. If you want to save money on your next car rental and trip, make sure to bring your own gear.
Avoid bumpy roads with a rental
When renting a car for the first time, chances are, you won’t be aware of the fine print. Many car rental companies don’t want you driving on unpaved roads, and will prohibit this. This is either to protect their own vehicles or to catch you in a clause. Companies will charge you for any damages done to their vehicles, which are more likely on unsafe roads.
If you do plan on driving offroad, speak to your rental dealer about getting a collision damage waiver. This will help cancel out the “no off-road” clause and you’ll be able to drive on gravel or unpaved roads. This is recommended for those who want to plan a more adventurous trip.
Fill up before returning
There are a couple of things to remember to do when returning your rental. Making sure to take back all your personal belongings and return the car in good, clean condition is a good start. This helps you avoid any added cleaning charges the company may ask you to pay.
Another pro tip for new car renters is that filling up the tank before returning it is a must. Car rental companies often require a full tank for returned vehicles. Remember to stop by the gas station and the car wash to avoid any added costs and make sure to factor this into your rental budget.
So there you have it! With these pro tips and tricks, you’re ready to rent your first car like a pro! When renting a car, always remember to scope things out and do your research. Book your vehicle ahead of time and remember to select the correct time and location!
Where you can, always bring your own gear to cut costs and minimize risks. Read the fine print and don’t drive on unpaved roads with your rental without a waiver. Last but not least, always return your car in clean and good condition with a full tank of gas.
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