Looking for a Car Rental? – Options to Consider

Rental cars in Bay Area can give you flexibility and freedom and sometimes it’s the only feasible way to get around.

But renting a vehicle can be confusing and challenging at first if you do not know what you are looking for.

For example, you need to know the car rental companies’ policies or you may end up getting into unnecessary hassles later on. While there are some things you cannot amend, such as the damage policies or allowed driver age, you can always argue unnecessary changes or just take your business to another car rental provider.

So, here are five things you should consider before opting for a car rental.

#1 Choose a Vehicle Carefully

Think twice about what kind of vehicle you will require. If you plan to travel with a lot of gear or children, you may consider an SUV or a large sedan. But if you want to save money on gas and rental rates, you may need to consider the smallest available model.

But the vehicle size isn’t the only factor.

Do you want an environmentally friendly car? You can opt for hybrid vehicles.

Don’t you want to drive a stick shift? Go for a vehicle with automatic transmission.

Also, make sure the rental company offers any extras you need want or need, such as a car seat, ski rack, or GPS system. But if you find the car comes with some nonessential extras, request to have them removed, or go for a new car so that you don’t get stuck with a higher bill. However, you can bring your own extras if you want to save money. Make sure the rental company allows you to do that.

#2 Do Not Forget to Inspect the Rental Vehicle

Do not forget the inspect the rental car before driving it off. Look for any dents, scratches, and other signs of damage first.

Also, check for any tears, stains, or marks on the interior. The rental company could already have these damages filed, but you should double-check and ensure they have these dings noted.

Also, when you return the car, do not just hand over the keys and take off. Have someone inspect the vehicle and you assess existing damages to avoid an accidental charge.

#3 Understand What You Are Signing Up For

If you plan to make an online booking, read the terms and conditions thoroughly before confirming your reservation.

And if you plan to make a phone booking, do not forget to ask the agent about restrictions. Make sure you understand the conditions of your reservation.

Do you need to pay a penalty for no-shows?

How long will the vehicle be held if you get stuck in traffic on the way to the pickup station?

Do you need to pay any fee for additional drivers and should their names be listed in the contract?

Make sure you get answers to all these questions.

#4 Figure Out the True Cost of Car Rentals

Beware of the true costs you need to pay for rental cars Bay Area. The rate you see advertised in big print may become so overpriced with airport surcharges, state and local taxes, gasoline bills, additional driver fees, insurance, and drop-off charges that you end up paying almost double what you expected. So, always look for any hidden fees.

Also, the advertised rate may only be valid during the off-season or for a vehicle size that you may find unsuitable.

Some major car rental companies have even adopted “yield management.”. It means that they quickly readjust their prices according to changes in the supply of available rental cars in the Bay Area.

So the renal rates you have been quoted may only be valid at that moment. Unless you reserve instantly, the rate will likely change.

#5 Pump Gas Elsewhere

Do not make the mistake of returning your rental car without a full tank of gas and letting the company add the difference.

Most rental companies may overcharge you if you do not return a fully gassed-up vehicle. Their rates are much higher than what you would pay if you fill-up the car yourself.

So, do you have any questions about rental cars in Bay Area?

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