Tips of the Trade

5 Things To Know When Renting A Car

Many times when you travel renting a car is a great option. Having worked for a rental car company and renting numerous cars I have some tips for the next time you rent a car. So here are 5 things to keep in mind when renting a car.

5 Things To Know When Renting A Car ©2015 Holly Dayz

1. Check for dents and scratches everywhere. When renting a car they have you take a look around the car and mark off any dents and scratches you see. Many people only check the grill, bumper, and sides of the car. Remember to also check the roof of the car, the hood, as well as the trunk. It is also important to look and make sure there is a spare in the trunk. You can also take pictures of the scratches and dents you see just in case. It will have the time stamp on it so if the rental company says you did the damage you have proof.

2. Fill the gas tank up yourself. Unless you really don’t want to stop and pump gas before returning the car you should just fill the tank up yourself. If you decide to let the rental company fill up the tank then make sure you use up all of the gas. Or at least as much gas as you can. The rental company is going to charge for a full tank if you used a full tank or not.

3. Check to see if your credit card covers insurance on the car. Typically your credit card company will cover insurance on a rental car. Before taking that chance you should find out more information and call your credit card company. Otherwise out of all the insurances they offer, coverage on the car is the most important. I used to tell people if they brought the car back in pieces and had coverage there was nothing we could do to them. Not sure if that is still true, but it was certainly true when I said it.

4. Bring the car back the way you got it. I remember someone rented a car and brought it back to the rental company with rims and tints. Yes, they got charged for that. Crazy, I know, but true story!

5. Check how much the holds are. Different rental car companies require different holds on your credit card. Just because you see a rental for a cheaper price than another rental company, you may end up having a higher priced hold. I rented a car to drive to Las Vegas once and one particular car company required a $400 hold. Luckily I had a reservation somewhere else that only required a $200 hold.

Next time you decide to rent a car keep these things in mind! If you have any tips or tricks when it comes to renting cars leave them below in the comments section!

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October 28, 2014
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17 Comments

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  • PATRICE M FOSTER

    Great advice about 5 things to know about rental car. Number 5 alot of people is unawared of the different hold the rental car company can tight up your credit card and you explain it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks. Yea, sometimes the rental will be cheaper, but he hold is way higher. I like to have backup plans.

  • ntbrewer

    Yeah, so true. I used to work PT at enterprise rent a car as an intern a loooong time ago and that’s how they make most of their money (more than renting) is in insuarance.

    • Holly Dayz

      That is so funny, I did too! Yes, very true

  • Bree

    These are some great tips! I didn’t realize that they charge you for a full tank of gas. I know that gas prices dropped, but that could still be money in my pockets! lol

    Quirky, Brown Love

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks, yea they do. If you didn’t use the entire tank, it is cheaper to fill it up yourself. Keep that extra money for something else!

  • Ariana Queenan

    These are awesome tips! I would like to add that if any type of light comes on the dashboard take the car right back to the company. I had a terrible experience with a light flashing on the dashboard. When I informed the company of the light warning they told me not to worry about it, because the car had just been checked out that morning. Later that day the car had a flat tire.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you! Good tip to add! That is also why #1 is important, check and make sure you have a spare in the trunk. That would just make the situation worse if you didn’t.

  • Elaine J. Masters

    One other very important thing – make sure that you have a spare tire! I was once left with a flat tire kit and out of cell phone range for hours on a dark mountain pass. Honda Elantra is the model to watch out for.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yes, that is why I said it is very important to check the car to see if there is one. That is crazy that, that happened to you.

  • Rani Robinson

    Great tips. I’m not a fan of renting cars. I always get nervous that something is going to happen. Being prepared always helps. 🙂

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks. I have rented a bunch, it can be nerve wrecking. That is why it is good to have coverage on the car.

  • Patricia

    Thanks for the amazing tips. I will definitely use these tips in the future.

    • Holly Dayz

      Very welcome. I hope they work out for you.

  • Tony Jones

    The difference in prices due to the date/day is also very important. I rented a Buick Verano the day after Christmas and it pushed the rate up a couple hundred dollars

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, that is definitely true and a given. Holidays and events cause prices to rise or car not to be available.

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