When you go on vacation, you likely will need to purchase a rental car in order to get around the city you’re visiting. Especially if the area you’re visiting doesn’t have great public transportation, or you just prefer to travel on your own, a rental car is essentially a necessity. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up getting a car that hasn’t been well maintained or doesn’t end up meeting your needs. So to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here are three tips for picking a rental car.
Be Honest About Your Needs
In order to ensure that you get the best possible car for your situation, you’re probably going to want to reserve the car before you get to the airport or the rental car location. But to effectively do this, you’re going to need to know what type of rental car you’ll be wanting. And while you might want to splurge on your trip by getting a convertible sports car, Jonathan Strickland, a contributor to How Stuff Works, recommends being honest with yourself about your needs. If you have a young child you’re traveling with or a lot of luggage, a compact car likely won’t work for you. Or if you plan to go on rough terrain, make sure you pick a car that has considerable clearance. By knowing what you plan to use your car for, you’ll be able to pick the right one for your trip.
Double-Check The Transmission
If you plan to travel outside of the country, it’s extra important that you check the transmission type of the vehicle you plan to rent. According to Smarter Travel, renting a car with a manual transmission is often the norm. Therefore, if you don’t know how to drive a stick shift, or if you simply prefer to drive an automatic, make sure the car you reserve has automatic transmission. And before you try to drive off in the rental, make sure the car with the automatic transmission is the one they’ve actually loaned out to you from their rental lot.
Try To Get There Earlier In The Day
For those looking to potentially get an upgrade on their rental car, or get a rental car without a prior reservation, Bark M. of Road and Track, suggests that you try to get to the rental agency earlier in the day, especially if you’re renting from a kiosk in the airport. By the end of the day, the inventory for a rental agency can be very depleted, meaning you may just have to take whatever you can get. So if you want to get a specific car, do what you can to pick up your rental as early in the day as you can manage.
If you have a trip coming up, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you get the best possible rental car for your travels.