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Sign and Drive: Top Car Rental Tips and Tricks for Smart Travelers

Regardless of whether you’re traveling by train, plane, or automobile, it’s smart to save money. However, if you don’t know the tricks vendors use to get you to open your wallet, the scale of good fortune will not tip in your favor. Before signing up for a rental car, be aware of the ways sellers get you to pay more than you bargained for. Smart travelers know the top car rental tricks.Five of my top car rental tips for all of those travelers looking to go on a fun road trip.In this blog post, you will find car rental tips.

Sign and Drive: Top Car Rental Tips and Tricks for Smart Travelers
Photo by: Jonathan Brodsky

Top 5 Car Rental Tips and Tricks

Rent What You Need

Be practical in renting the vehicle. If you need something to get you and a cohort to a business meeting three hours from the airport, then you really don’t need a high performance SUV or cushy large vehicle. However, if you start out by requesting something basic, an agent may tempt you to upgrade with promises of greater comfort and driving performance. They may even throw in mention of a reduced rate and ‘savings.’ However, even with the savings, you may wind up paying more in fees for that vehicle versus your first choice.

Scan for Damage

You don’t want the responsibility of damage to fall on you if you weren’t the one who caused it. Be sure that your agent does a thorough job in walking around the vehicle with you and inspecting any current damage before signing off on the rental. Moreover, take pictures of present damage with your smartphone. You can also record the conversation taking place that includes the agent admitting to present damage done to the car. Get in contact with a Houston car accident lawyer available at

Fill the Tank and Return on Time

A number of rental companies have a ‘return with full tank’ policy. This is unlike borrowing the car from a family member; your family won’t charge you more than the price of gas for forgetting but a car rental agency will. Moreover, be sure to return the car and get to your destination on time. This may require giving yourself more than enough time to get to your destination, accounting for bathroom stops, traffic, getting lost, etc. Use driving apps for navigation help, to avoid traffic, etc.

Inquire About Final Price

Don’t assume the price coming out of an agent’s mouth is the final price, the one you’ll pay upon completion of the contract. Ask about all fees and taxes upfront. This will give you a better indication as to whether you’re getting an okay deal or being taken for your money. This applies to website information as well. Some site literature won’t spell out the actual price, which disallows you to read between the lines. Get a representative on the phone and make sure you double check regarding the price you’ll pay.

Figure Out the Time Limits

In some cases, you may pay more money for having the car for a lesser amount of time. For example, some ‘weekly’ rates only apply to those who keep the car for five days or more. If you only need the car for three days and think that you’ll get a better deal versus keeping it for five (because three is less than five), you could be wrong and pay more money for it.

Elizabeth Holloway has worked with numerous car rental companies over the years, both at home and abroad. Now semi-retired she is taking some time to explore writing; sharing her wisdom with an online audience.

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