Planning A Road Trip? Choosing The Wrong Rental Vehicle Is The Best Way To Ruin It.
Freedom, flexibility, and public transportation don’t even belong in the same sentence when you’re planning a trip. Rental vehicles have a lot of pluses in their favour, and when you consider the cost of taking a taxi all over town for even a single day they begin to make a lot of sense financially as well. Some would say the biggest reason for choosing a rental vehicle is the peace of mind. If you are stranded with engine failure in your vehicle, unless you have a bottomless bank account, there goes your road trip. When it’s a rental, the repair bill goes to someone else.
Choose A Vehicle To Match Your Travel Plans
Think about how much time you’ll be spending in the vehicle and what kind of roads you’ll be travelling on. If resorts and shopping are a big part of the plan, a sedan would probably be perfect, but it wouldn’t be as comfortable for mountain trips where you might see a dirt road you’d like to explore. Pre-planning does not take the spontaneity out of a road trip; it takes away the worry that destroys the fun.
SUV’s, They May Be Called “Sports Utility Vehicles”, But They Ride Like A Sedan
Regardless of whether you decide on a common sedan, an SUV or a truck keep in mind there are several important points to consider when trying to figure out what type of vehicle you need and the best way to go about getting it. One point is if you’ve never ridden in an SUV, you should take one out for a test drive and see why they make such great choices for travelling. Packing isn’t as frustrating when you drive one because even the smallest SUV is going to have more luggage and legroom than the average smaller car. Keeping the following seven points in mind whenever it’s time for a rental pays off in greatly lowered stress levels.
- Always Use A Credit Card – Many car rental agencies won’t accept prepaid credit cards, and if you use debit, your credit score may be checked to ensure you can pay. When credit cards are used, there is no credit check but be aware that some rental agencies will put a hold on a set amount of credit from the card until the vehicle is returned.
- Rental Agency Insurance – It is of course, possible but not recommended unless you have no other choice because it is expensive. Check your private insurance first, and some policies automatically cover anything you drive, including rentals. Another option is checking with your credit card company to see if they offer rental care insurance.
- Driver Fee’s – The fewer drivers you have listed for your rental, the better off you are financially. Even when everyone listed as an extra-driver is over 25 you will still be charged a fee regardless of who does the actual driving. In short, if you think you will need more than two drivers to be prepared to pay for each one of them.
- Driving Under The Age Of 25 – A spotless driving record doesn’t matter to most rental agencies if the driver is under age 25. This age group is considered a possible liability and you should plan for an extra daily fee added to your rental contract if they are on the drivers’ list whether they do any driving or not. Simply put, any driver under 25 on your list is going to cost you extra regardless.
- Fuel Economy – Obviously the better your gas mileage, the less often you have to interrupt your travels to fill up again. Once you decide on the type of vehicle you want, don’t sign anything until you’ve researched the economics. Hybrids get excellent gas mileage, but they aren’t always easy to find. The smaller the vehicle, the more miles per tank but comfort counts as well and maybe even more important to you than trip mileage.
- Take Inventory – Writing a list is good, but the best way to decide if you need something is to gather it all together and see how big the pile is. Rental agencies will have data on how much “average size” luggage will fit in the trunk or storage compartments, but this doesn’t include room for oversized or oddly shaped bags. The internet will have exact information on cargo space whichever model or type of vehicle you choose.
- Take A Head Count – The total number of people travelling with you needs to be accounted for but what about when you arrive at your destination? If there is any chance you will need to transport extra people once you’re there as well as everyone who travelled with you that should be your first consideration, you may need to rent a larger vehicle to make room for everyone at the same time.
According to Julie Hall, AAA spokesperson, the decision on whether or not to rent a vehicle rather than take your own mainly depends on the mechanical condition of your private car and its fuel efficiency. Wear and tear can be hard on older vehicles, taking one on a road trip are risking a repair bill at some point that you could have avoided driving a rental. As stated earlier, if the vehicle doesn’t belong to you, neither do the bills.