5 Important Things to Take Care of While Hiring a Car While for Your Travel

Hiring or leasing a car for a trip or any other business purposes is something that always makes you feel confused. In most of the countries there are a number of car rental companies that compete with each other providing different services and facilities. If you are on a travel, then you must need a car to explore that particular destination in a better way. For a travel destination that is too far away from your home, renting a car is only the best option to explore the place on your own. This makes things easier for you and if you are not familiar with that location, you can even hire a travel guide to accompany you.

While renting a car, you can either drive it on your own or hire a driver for the same. Some prefer to drive the car themselves, while other prefer to hire a driver and enjoy the beauty of the different travel attractions while the car is in motion. Both methods depend upon your mood and the only thing that you need to make sure is that you enjoy the ride as well as the travel spots in that particular place.

Renting a car is not an easy task as we need to be very much careful while selecting the car and the car rental company. In any part of the world, you can see top class car leasing companies as well as car leasing companies with poor services and facilities. If you are serious about your travel, then it is highly recommended not to compromise on the quality of the services provided by the car hire company. There are a lot of factors and points that you need to take care of before making the final deal about the company and the car you are going to rent. Otherwise you might end up with some bitter experience that may completely ruin your tour.

Here are 5 of the important things that you need to take care of before hiring a car for your travel activities.

1) Do a Research on the Best Car rental Companies

If you are going to a place where you are not at all familiar with, then it is better to do a thorough research about the major car rental service providers in that area. You can do an online research or even take help from friends who are familiar with that place. Once you do a proper research, you will be in a state to determine who all are the major players and which of them provides the best services at the reasonable prices.

2) Compare Services, Rates and Facilities Offered

You can easily do a comparative study about the major companies in a particular location and can go through important factors such as facilities, rates and the services offered by different companies. By doing this you will be able to make a decision on which company to go for and what all services you need to have, depending upon your budget.

3) Evaluate Company Reputation

Company reputation is another major factor that you can easily fall upon and a company having a big name in the industry often provides the best services to its customers. It will be better to avoid companies that have bad reputation, as you might risk wasting your time and money.

4) Check the Condition of the Car

If you have finalized a car renting company, then you need to do a thorough inspection about the condition of the car that you are going to hire. Hiring a car that is in a bad state of performance can backfire and spoil your trip. So always make sure that the car is in a good running condition before hiring it.

5) Finalize the Quote Before Hiring

Once you have chosen your car, you need to ask for a finalized quote so that you will get an exact idea about the total expense. This will also help you in identifying any other hidden costs involved and if you find something fishy, you can request an explanation for that.

Apart from the above mentioned points there are a lot of things that you need to take care of and everything depends upon the nature of your travel and other geographical factors. If you are traveling in a car that is in a bad condition and do not get enough assistance from the car hiring company, then you will really feel disappointed and gets distracted from the real joy of your trip. So always select the best car from a reputed car leasing company to make your travel happy and memorable. You do not need to compromise on the quality of the car rental service and should always go with the best one.

Getting a Ticket in a Rental Car – Are There Additional Fees Or Fines?

When driving a rental car, there is a question that looms in the mind of the renter. One of those questions is, “What happens if I get a ticket?” That is a very good question because the car is not in the renter’s name. The car is in the name of the rental car company. This means things can get a bit complicated, depending on the company that you’re using. Sure, it is simple to say that you just shouldn’t do anything to get a ticket. However, it isn’t always that easy.

Getting the ticket

So let’s say you get a parking ticket. You didn’t mean to. You just simply didn’t see a sign or parked at a parking meter and forgot to pay it. So you go home, write a check, and mail the payment for your ticket to the city. However, you find a couple weeks later that you receive a letter from the rental car company telling you the ticket has not been paid. You know you paid it, so you call the city and they tell you that they received the payment. You then call the rental car company and you find out that they will charge a fee to you for you having to pass their contact information to the city that has issued you the ticket. This is because it is then on their record that one of their cars received a parking ticket. The catch to this is the fact that the officer issuing the ticket has to take down the VIN and license plate numbers on the car, which are registered under the rental car company.

Sometimes, the only way a fee is assessed is if the car rental company pays the fee and then they pass on the cost to the customer. However, in an instance where you pay the ticket and the car rental company contacts you, chances are they have not checked to see if the ticket was paid. These companies receive thousands of tickets per day and do not have the manpower to check if each and every ticket was paid. When the municipality that issued the ticket contacts the rental car company about a citation, they automatically assume that the ticket was not paid. Sometimes you can fax a receipt from the original payment to the car rental company to have your money refunded. However, the car rental company will charge a fee.

If you receive a speeding ticket, then the penalty is against you and not the car you are driving. Your personal driver’s license is involved. The police do check the plates to ensure everything is in check, but it is you who has to pay the penalty and not the car rental company. In fact, the car rental company may not be notified that such a citation occurred in one of their cars. The only way is if something happens you do not pay your fine. If the car rental company has to get involved in that case, then you can expect some kind of additional cost.

Exceptions

There are no exceptions to parking tickets, but the one exception regarding a speeding ticket being against you and not the car is in the case you are caught speeding on camera. If the camera catches you speeding, the authorities use the license plate number to find out where to send the ticket. The rental car company gets the ticket. They may pay it, but will pass the cost and a fee on to you for taking care of it. Yes, it is good to be careful, but it is also good to know how you can be ticketed in a rental car just in case it happens to you.

European Car Rental – Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel – Tip #6: Location Location Location

For most of us, the basis of a car rental in Europe is the journey, not the destination. We spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars so that we can see everything that we want in the minimum amount of time available. This is what a rental car is perfect for, what it is made for, and what you should use it for. Although I am not against taking a train from one place to another (especially after a long drive) I am constantly finding myself looking out the window wondering “Hey what’s over there?”

Of course, the destination is a factor when choosing our itinerary. Equally important is the starting point. Not only can the beginning and end of your car rental save you money, but chosen poorly, it can be the beginning and end of your vacation as well.

First and foremost, if at all possible, try and pick up your rental car in town. In some countries, this can be the difference between fifty to five hundred dollars or more. In some places, it’s just not worth it as the airport can be 20 kilometers or more from downtown with little to no public transportation. In other places, such as Rome’s Fiumicino (or Leonardo da Vinci) airport, there is a train between the airport and main station in town. And in some places the airport is practically in town. The common places where you will find a flat fee for airport pick ups are France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and the United Kingdom. In Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria it is usually a percentage, anywhere from 10% to 17%. In Holland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe it can go either way. Please be advised that this is for the major car rental suppliers and does not cover every one. Always make sure to ask if the airport surcharge is included and if it is a percentage or a flat fee, and if it is waived if you pick up in town. Also, it is good to note that if you pick up in town to avoid a fee, you can usually still drop off at an airport without having to pay the surcharge.

Picking up downtown won’t always save you from a fee, though it usually reduces it if anything. Railstations sometimes have a surcharge (Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium) and if you pick up at a “Premium Location” such as Russel Square in London or Haddington Way in Dublin, you will have to pay a fee as well. Also, some port offices require payment too, either as stand-alone or for a “meet and greet” situation, where the office is outside walking distance so the agents wait for you at the pier. Once again, make sure you ask if there is a fee if you are picking up at a station of any kind.

Aside from saving money, convenience is always a sticking point when deciding where to pick up your rental car. If you are hesitant to drive in a big city, but you want to save money, then you have a couple of options. For one, you can always pick up outside of a busy area but still “downtown” but this alternative comes with the price of having to get there, which is okay if you already have your hotel nearby. You can also find a rental location that is near a highway on-ramp, which is particularly good if you need the rental car not for the city you’ll be in, but for the one you need to get to. A mapping program using the internet is of course invaluable in this search. Get the addresses for your hotel and available pick up locations, and choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Finally, it is important to know what locations are available along the way to your destination. If you need to add an additional driver in the middle of your trip, or you need to swap out your car for any reason, then knowing where you can choose from will help optimize your time and money. There’s no point in going back if you can do the same moving forward right? It’s a good idea to have the phone numbers to the locations you’ll be dealing with, as well as a headquarters number for additional inquiries. Try to use a service that has 24 hour support. The locations may not always be open, but at least you can get through to someone who can let you know your options. Oh, and try not to involve yourself with a rental location that is part of a gas-station, restaurant, barber shop or any other strip mall business that is not car rental. Although many of the major suppliers have locations like this with their name on them, they are licensee, independently owned subsidiaries and you will find the shadiest clerks and the worst service here. This is really just common sense though.

In conclusion, we all know that getting there is half the fun. But the other 50% depends on the start and finish. If you know where that is before you try to move on, you’ll get there just fine.