Cheap car rental deals are spread all over the web. But not all are good deals. There’s a few thing you must look out for… or your cheap car rental deal might work out a lot more expensive than you planned !
Here’s some things you mustn’t do :
* Forget to check the car’s condition
When you pickup the car, be sure to check it carefully. Some companies will blame pre-existing scratches & dents on you. They know it needs fixing, and wait for a sucker to pay for it. This is less likely with the big, reputable companies, but can be avoided with these tips.
Check it over with the delivery guy, or when you go to pick it up. If you have a digital camera or camcorder, which you probably do if you’re going on vacation, then give them a quick run over the car. Then you can prove the exact condition of the car when you first took it.
* Don’t use the Internet to check for best deals
Of course you’ll check for deals on the Internet ! That’s probably where you’re reading this article. But there’s still people who don’t check, and just take the first offline offer they see. Check online, and use one of the search engines that scans lots of different car rental offers.
* Don’t check Offline too
Even though the Internet is probably the best place for car rental deals, it’s worth checking offline too. I found when searching for Hotel deals, I often get the best deals by calling ahead and negotiating with the receptionist (it’s hard to negotiate with a web page). Yet, with Airline tickets the best deals are usually online, and the telephone/walk-in prices are higher and can’t be negotiated.
But with car rentals, if you want to cover all your bases, be sure to check online and offline. Your local car rental dealer might have a special offer he’s forgotten to update on the web site, or maybe someone’s just cancelled a booking and you can take it cheap at short notice.
* Don’t carefully check the terms of your car rental deal
Make sure you’ve got unlimited mileage if you want to drive a long way. Some deals have a mileage allowance, after which you get charged high dollar per extra mile. Unlimited works out best most times.
Check the terms to see if you need to return the car gas tank full or nearly empty. I once made the mistake of returning it full when I didn’t need to – the car rental company refused to refund the cost.
* Fail to clean the car if you genuinely do get it dirty
It’s okay to return it dusty from driving a couple hundred miles, but if your kid sicks inside, or someone spills coffee, or drops a burger & fries, then clean it up ! If you don’t the car rental company will add an extra cleaning charge onto your credit card.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a relaxed and stress free car rental experience, all ready to enjoy your vacation or business trip.
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