What to Look for When Choosing the Self Drive Car Rental Service

We need to rent a car most of the time for several reasons. The choice of renting a car has expanded with the self drive option. This is really comfortable and cost effective. You get the flexibility to plan your journey. There were only few service providers earlier, but now choices are many. Therefore, it becomes important to make a good selection of the company.

The market has become competitive due to the presence of so many companies. Everybody would like to draw your attention with lucrative offers and promotions, however, not necessarily to facilitate them. Some companies cut the prices beyond the regular rates, but providing a reliable and safe vehicle is also important.

Things you must look for:

Most of the good companies have their website. Try to find most information from the website of the company before approaching them. Apart from fair pricing, here are some things that you must check.

Choice of Cars

The car company should have good variety and models of several brands of cars. This will help you to choose a car according to your need. Some companies try to stick you with expensive cars they have. Do not rent a sedan or SUV, if a compact car will do the job. The brands of cars are also important determinants.

Insurance Coverage

You must check, whether their vehicles are covered by insurance. If the vehicle is not covered by insurance, this can attract penalty when caught by traffic inspector. The car should also be protected by breakdown insurance and accident insurance. This is very important both in case of self drive as well as in case of chauffeur service. Take a car with insurance coverage.

Fuel Usage

Check the fuel tank before taking the car. Some cars have the tank completely filled, while some have partially filled. Return the car with the same amount of fuel, so that the company do not add extra charges.

Liability Clause

It is important to check who will be liable, if something happens to the car during the service period. If all the liabilities are with you, it is advisable to rent car from a different company. Read the terms and conditions carefully.

Read Customer Review

Always go through some customer review to get a fair idea about the service provider. You can see the ratings and the remarks given before going for the service. You can refer to some good online customer review sites for more help.

If you take care of the above aspects, you can find a better service provider. This will also help you save money spent on your travel. You will not only remain stress free, but also enjoy your journey.

Best Car Rental Tips – Savings and Great Rental Service Guaranteed

Many of us think that renting a car is quite expensive. Well, you do not really get a rented car for free but you can shave off a few dollars from the rent amount if you know how to get cars rental discounts. Aside from that, you can always maximize the amount of money you pay by getting the best car rental service around. Here are some of the best cars rental tips that you can use the next time you book yourself a car for personal or business reasons:

1. Book online.

If you want to have both convenience and savings at the same time, then you might want to book and reserve online. The best car rental companies often have websites where you can get not only useful rental information but also a means to book and make a reservation. Bigger companies even have online car galleries where you can choose your preferred rental car. Booking online gives you this convenience plus savings on the amount or rental money you have to pay. By booking online, you can make use of coupon codes and discounts. You can shave off 5% to 15% of the rental charge instantly if you enter a valid coupon code upon booking.

2. Book early but return the rented car on time.

Some of the best car rental companies often offer the early bird or early booking promo to all customers. If you book well in advance then you can shave off a neat amount from the car rental fee. However, it is also important to know that you must return the car on time to avoid late return charges. Booking your reservation early can also help you choose the car you prefer. This is applicable especially to smaller rental companies which often have limited car options. Booking early can also help you avoid the rental rush during peak seasons.

3. Avail of Loyalty or VIP memberships.

Car rental agencies usually offer loyalty programs as well as VIP memberships. These are meant to encourage return customers. If you are the type of person who rents cars often then it would be more practical to avail of these promos. As a loyalty program member, you can get discounts upon cars rental bookings. Also, some companies which often get the services of cars rental agencies are given automatic VIP membership for their employees. Check with your company so you can get the best car rental price or package for business or personal use.

4. Understand the rental terms.

Reading the terms and conditions of cars rental agreements seem to be pretty obvious but not all of us take the time to actually understand them. Sometimes, we are surprised by hidden costs or surprise charges. The best way to avoid them is to carefully understand the agreement or cars rental contract. That way, you will never have to pay more than what you expect and get the best car rental experience in return.

5. Opt for long term bookings.

You can also get a discounted car rental rate if you book for longer periods. If you know that you will need a rental service for a number of days, then you should already book the desired car for the entire duration. Booking by the day can lead you to a more expensive accumulated car lease amount.

Car Rental Gas Service Option – Is it Wise?

That statement in one form or another has been part of car rentals since the beginning. In the early days, it was a straight out principle issue. You used it, you replace it. At some point between then, and now, someone realized that “there’s a lot of money to be made with the gas tank on rentals.

For those who don’t know, lets explain your refuelling options in car rentals. When you rent a car, the car usually comes with a full tank of gas. In some circumstances, it comes with a partially full tank. In either case, the rental company will give you three options. Bring it back at the same level you got it at, (full) prepay for a full tank of gas (GSO) and bring it back empty, or bring it back empty and pay a refuelling charge (FSO) of a more expensive per gallon rate.

Fuel Service Option (FSO) is almost always the costliest option. Up and down the California Coast, most cities have FSO charges around $5.99 a gallon (and with recent prices, even higher). Around the country, its not much better. While your mileage may vary on the actual price per gallon, the FSO charges are almost always a good Dollar per gallon more expensive than the prevailing GSO (prepaid) rate or the rate of the local gas stations. It may seem that there is no really good reason to use the FSO, but there is. While most FSO users are people with more money than time or people who forgot to fill up the gas tank, there is one segment where it is cheaper to use this service than any other.

If you have a discount code, it may be because of your employer. Some employers, such as Microsoft and Government Contracts like Lockheed Martin have negotiated rates where the same dollar amount for fuel refueling is charged nationwide. Depending on the market, it may not be that bad. In one circumstance, a friend of mine who worked for one of the above mentioned companies went on a trip to Kona, Hawaii. On that trip, the fuel service option refueling price was less than the per gallon prices of all the local gas stations within 5 miles of the airport. In that case, its always best to just bring the car back as it is.

On the other end of the spectrum, the GSO option is a prepaid full tank of gas at a specific rate. In most car rental agencies, the GSO price is the average of the three closest gas stations. With this average, the multiply the tank capacity by that number and offer it as a flat rate to fill up the tank. But let the buyer beware. If the tank is not totally empty when you return it, you do not get a refund on the gas you use. You have effectively paid for a full tank of gas and if your not “empty” on return, you’ve just given the car rental agency free gas to use.

So to recap, when should you use FSO (fuel service option)?

  • Only when you have no other choice
  • Only when your company discount provides you a special rate for the gas refuel
  • For those who have more money than time

And when should you Fuel up with the GSO option?

  • Trips where you know you will have the car for over a week
  • Trips where you know you will be driving more than 400 miles
  • When you know your going to be strapped for time at return

A few final tips. When your leaving the rental area, take note of the closest gas station. If you have time, its often good to drive right in and gas up the car to ensure it was totally full when you got the car. Many of today’s tanks allow for as much as 50-100 miles before the needle drops below full. If the agency stated the tank is full, the nozzle should click practically immediately (3/10 of a gallon). But to be fare, you really need not worry if its less than 3/4 of a gallon unless 85 cents is enough for you to argue and waste 20 minutes. If you put more than that in, take the receipt to the counter when you return the car and get the amount of the gas deducted from the bill.

If you have a GPS unit, lock in the location of the car rental area and the closest gas station to save you time on return. Some of the best made plans are ruined by getting lost trying to get back to the airport. If traveling in a group, assign one person to look for the car rental return signs, the exit off ramp, nearest restaurant among other things that you may need on your way back to the airport.

Under no circumstances are you to buy the most expensive grade of gasoline! Let me repeat that in clearer terms. by the cheap gas. The car rental agencies all buy the cheapest gas the law will allow. Do not feel guilty topping of that car with a more expensive grade of gas. The car will break down and be sold from abuse long before the gas causes issues for the car.