Renting a car is about more than just price
Price is important — but it's not the only factor. Knowing your needs saves time and money.
Price is an important factor when choosing a rental car but it's not the only one. Knowing precisely what you need when you go to the rental agency can help you find a temporary vehicle that's ready for safe, comfortable travels.
Check the safety ratings of the rental
Before committing to a car, request the specific make and model information and research it. Find safety ratings online from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Select the right size of rental car for you
How many people are traveling with you, and how much luggage room will you need? You'll want to have enough space to see clearly out of each window and to keep passengers comfortable.
Remember, middle seats are often small for adults, but typically fine for children. If you need room for more than four adults, pick a vehicle with a third row.
Request additional accessories
Many rental companies offer add-ons such as child safety seats, GPS systems, disability products, roadside assistance, and electronic toll payment devices. Because these extras can be pricey, pack your own if you have them. You might also consider requesting a vehicle with electronic access for added convenience.
Inspect the rental car
Give the car a once-over before driving off. Don't miss checking these essentials:
- Tire pressure and condition
- Seat belts
- Climate control (if you're travelling in extreme cold or heat)
- Windshield wiper condition and wiper fluid level
Also double-check that the car is equipped with important safety features, and verify that the add-ons you agreed to are accounted for and functioning appropriately.
Make sure you're protected
Car companies typically offer the option to purchase rental insurance, but your personal auto policy may cover it. Determine whether your situation merits additional coverage.