Car Rentals – The Skinny
If you are like me, you do not like to travel to most cities and be dependent on the local taxi or transit systems. I want to be able to go where I want when I want to. More importantly, I want to be able to leave when I want to. Welcome to the world of car rentals. This is not going to be a commercial for any particular car rental company as I have no allegiance to any of them. This is going to be about the do’s and don’t’s of renting a car.
First off, I never wait until I get to a city to rent a car. I get online and make reservations before hand. And I do not go to the individual car rental companies; I go to places like Travelocity, Xpedia or Orbitz to check pricing and make reservations. These outlets save a lot of time and the rental costs are extremely competitive. In fact, you will find deals on free upgrades and price breaks on different styles of cars.
Here is where I make my reservation. It costs me nothing; and if, for some reason I change my mind about the rental, I am not liable for any charges. Perfect for the person whose whims guide him or her. Flash forward to the car rental depot. Be prepared to show your valid driver’s license and a valid credit card (MC or Visa) as it is mandatory. Next, they are going to present you with all kinds of different options. Listen to them and affirm or deny each dependent on your current needs. The one option I always deny is the insurance. It is expensive, and both my automobile insurance company and my credit card company provide this auxillary coverage. Once you get out to the car, check for damages, scratches, or anything that they could bill you for later.
Make notes on their pre-damage check list for your protection. Check the fuel level and all of the gauges on the dash to ensure all is okay. Next, check the air, the windows and even the radio if you are dependent on niceties. Have fun on your stay. Only two things to do on your return. First, make sure you top off your fuel within 10-15 miles of the drop-off point so you pay no costly fuel surcharges. Second and most important, make sure you get everything out of the car that is yours.
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