5 essential points to consider before renting a car

5 essential points to consider before renting a car

Renting a car is a smart and safe way to ensure smooth travel arrangements, be it inside the states or for a trip abroad. You have the flexibility to plan and alter the schedule based on your preferences, and even avoid the hassle of waiting for public transportation. Also, if you plan to travel with a lot of luggage, a spacious SUV rental will suit your purpose better rather than hiring and paying for a cab at every juncture in the trip. But before you rent a car, consider the following points to plan the journey efficiently.

Check your driver’s license
Check to see if your driver’s license is valid for overseas car rental. If you intend to go on a road trip abroad and want to drive yourself around, this is a must. It is advisable to carry an International Drivers Permit (IDP) at all times. Note that the documentation required to rent a car in the States and abroad will be different, so ensure you understand the travel arrangements well in advance.

Note the cost of additional drivers
Car rental agencies often register more than one driver and this will add to your cost. But it is always advisable to register at least two people in the group for long-distance trips. Multiple drivers can share the load and drive in shifts to save time and avoid stopping unnecessarily en-route. While it is not a mandatory requirement, this is a safe practice that saves both time and effort.

Do not forget about the primary inspection
Know the basics and understand what to inspect before you take the vehicle out for a cross country drive. Check the exterior and interior for dents, scratches, dings, and any damage that may compromise the safety of your drive. Bring such issues to the rental agency’s notice and ensure that the car has been serviced regularly. You can always pay a professional to inspect the condition of the vehicle and mainly acknowledge any existing damages. This way you will not be responsible for dings and dents left by previous rentals.

Take into account the gas for the drive
Not many people know this but it is better to return your rental with a full tank of gas and avoid the company charging any difference. It is quite normal for car rentals to charge excessively for not returning the vehicle the way it was given for hire. Fill-up the tank at any rest stop you come across en-route to the destination. This practice will also translate into better cash management as you can divide the cost of gas equally throughout the duration of the trip.

Make a note of the fees, taxes, tolls, and parking
Understand that toll collection rules will differ from location to location and, hence, it is advisable to calculate the total cost before you depart. You should also check for taxes and fees that are levied on said route. Many countries impose certain restrictions on driving at odd hours or late during the night. In such cases, it pays to check ahead and plan your route to avoid the locations. Most importantly, ensure the places you visit have a secure parking spot for your car rental, even if they charge by the hour.