We all love a good road trip. What we don’t like is the runaround of having to rent a car. We are here to make it easy with our three tips that are meant to be both financially helpful and actionable. So let’s talk about how to help you make sound decisions about renting. But first, we’ll reveal something that may be a shock to our younger (but driving-eligible!) readers:
Renting is Expensive If You’re Young!
Renting cars is expensive if you’re not 25 years old. Make sure that you talk to the company beforehand to make sure you know what to expect. Depending on where you’re renting, some countries have different rules, so doing your research will help you to save money.
If you’re a little younger, perhaps you can consider buying a car instead. It’s cheaper in the long run if you’re going to use it every day. Plus, it can be a great way to build your credit! Don’t forget to check car finance eligibility to make sure you can finance your dream car.
3 Tips for Renting a Car
- Have Someone Rent It for You If You’re Younger
Adulthood can be quite hard, especially when you realise that there’s a minimum age limit to rent a car. It ranges from 19 in some European countries to 25 in the U.S. Make sure to check your local laws.
It is not that you cannot rent a car but more of the fees that come with being under those certain ages that you might not want to pay. In reality, companies know that they will lose customers if they do not let people under those ages rent, so they create the fees to deter you.
Someone who is 25 years old may be paying £10 per day to rent. But because of this age discrimination of sorts, a younger person might have to pay double on top of other fees that fall under the company’s policy.
Companies even restrict the class of vehicles that a younger person can rent. You might have to think again if you want to lease an SUV or a luxury vehicle from some companies. Some countries even have a restriction for people who are 75 years and older.
- Check Your Insurance Coverage and Explore Insurance Options
If you have a car and just have to rent a different one for a vacation, maybe you don’t need car rental insurance. Car insurance nowadays covers not only your car but also any vehicle that you may be in. Therefore, your existing coverage may already have the coverage you need for your rental vehicle. Make sure to check if your current insurance policy covers rental cars.
Deciding whether to up your policy limit might be something to consider, as your current limit may not be the best match for the car you plan to rent. Liability insurance will cover not only the people inside the car but also those who come into contact with it as well. It can help with court costs and medical bills if it is required. You will be able to rest easy knowing that you are protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your assets.
The insurance that should be at the top of your list is the rental car loss waiver insurance. It allows you to waive not only accidents but also environmental damage and vandalism. This type of insurance will also be useful in case you need to take the car for a repair.
- Examine the Pros and Cons of Various Payment Types
Some companies charge you for using your credit card, while younger renters may be charged extra for using their debit cards. Not only will you have to pay for the car, but you may also be required to leave a deposit. This leaves you less money for your vacation.
Credit cards may not be able to cover everything. Some credit card companies only allow you to cover a finite amount of fees so be sure to check with your company. Even though debit cards can be used, many rental companies may require a credit card from you. This is to help them in the case that they have to pay for damages that are not covered by the deposit that you left behind.
Another reason for that is to deter theft. By using a credit card, the company will be able to issue you a fine immediately instead of taking a few days or weeks, which tends to happen when using debit cards. Your credit scores can hurt as well if they don’t get their money back.
Even though many companies do allow you to pay using virtual cards and prepaid cards, rental companies may not. But to be sure, you can check their T&C for more information on what cards they accept.
It can save you time and hassle if you bring your card when picking up the car as you may be required to use your card as a deposit if you are the driver.
Using these tips will certainly save you money when you rent a car for the first time. From knowing about the age limit that some countries may have to the different payment types there are and how they can affect you. And if you’re not happy with the rates, explore other companies! Who knows? Maybe those in less busy areas have better rates.