When renting a vehicle, it’s important to be aware of potential financial risks involved. Here are 7 tips to help minimize your financial risk when renting a car.
Book early. Rental vehicle availability can still be limited so look well ahead of time to find the type, size, and cost of vehicle that will best fit your needs.
Understand your insurance options. Check with your personal auto insurance policy to see if it covers rental cars. Many policies do, but it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered, and what your deductibles are.
If you don’t have auto insurance, or if your policy doesn’t cover rentals, you may need to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company. Read the fine print and understand the terms of any insurance policy you purchase.
Shop around for the best rates. Car rental rates can vary widely depending on the rental company, location, time of year, and loyalty program availability. Shop around and look for discounts and promotional codes that can help you save money.
Check the vehicle for damage before you drive off. Take pics or video of the rental car before you sign the rental agreement. Document scratches, dents, or other damage, and note it on the rental agreement to protect you from being held responsible for damage you didn’t cause. Also, take pics/video when you return the vehicle for the same reason.
Drive carefully and follow the rental agreement. Read and understand the agreement before you sign it, and follow all the rules and guidelines. For example, understand who is insured to drive the vehicle. If more than one person will be driving, add that option to your agreement (which will increase the daily cost).
Fill up the gas tank before you return the car. Many rental car companies charge a premium for gas if you don’t return the car with a full tank.
By following these tips, you can minimize your risk and enjoy your rental car experience with peace of mind.