So, your main car is in the garage, and you have an all-important road trip looming. Just what can you do? Fortunately, in this day and age it’s easy peasy to be able to rent a car, of any size and make.
But it’s not 100 percent simple, either. If you’re struggling with the process, or were just curious about what to do next, you’re in the right place! Below, you’ll find the quickest steps you can possibly take toward an easy car rental. Good luck!
Step 1: Determine why you need it
This isn’t as simple as saying ‘yes, I need a car!’ and going to get one. It’s likely the rental company will ask you for a lot of information, so you need to be prepared.
1. How long do you need the car for? How many days, and how many nights? Perhaps you’re waiting for your current car to leave the garage, or you need to rent a bigger one for a holiday. Whatever the reason, get a timeframe!
2. What size car do you need, and why? Do you need a bigger car to seat more passengers? Or do you need a bigger car to transport goods/luggage? What will you be transporting?
3. How do you plan on using the car? Will you be taking it off-road, or is it just to get from A to B? Will you be attaching anything to it, like a bike rack? Do you need to fit anything to help someone cope with a disability?
In short, the more information you have to hand, the easier it is for a dealer to help you decide. Some cars may be off limits to you, while others may be perfect.
Step 2: Booking the car
Now, it’s as simple as presenting the information you have to hand to your dealer/vendor. I’d shop around – there are online vendors like Hotwire.com as well as the usual in-person ones. You could find a cheaper price just by browsing and comparing.
Also, there are several things you typically need to bear in mind when booking.
1. A valid credit or debit card. Depending on the luxury level of the vehicle, you may need more than one.
2. A valid driver’s license, for obvious reasons. This license must be in the main driver’s name, and must match the credit card.
3. On average, you must be over 25 years of age to rent a car. Sometimes, this can be reduced to 21 though.
4. Younger drivers, under 25, may be required to pay a small fee for the privilege of renting. At the very least, you’ll need to have been driving for one full year and have a clean insurance record.
Step 3: Using the car
Now this isn’t just your typical car ride – far from it. You have to be very careful not to damage or tarnish the vehicle in any way. I’d take the time to brush up on some basic car safety tips, so you can be sure you’re looking after that particular model.
It would also be a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s guide for that particular car. There may be a function or button you’re using wrongly, or the car may have a special requirement. Guides are available from many places, such as edmunds.com, so you have no excuses!