How to Rent a Car: A Complete Guide

how to rent a car

Do you need a rental car to explore a country like Iceland, but you don’t know how to find one?

Deciding on your means of transportation in a new city or town can heavily affect your travel experiences. Though public transport may be accessible, you’ll only be limited to predetermined routes.

Getting around a new place is faster in a rental car than in public transport. You won’t have to carry your luggage around or queue in long lines waiting for public transport. The rental car will also help you save money if it has more safety features, more space, and better gas mileage than your car.

Navigating the car rental market can be pretty tricky for first-timers due to the numerous options available. However, not all of these vehicles for hire can meet your travel needs. Here’s how to rent a car for memorable travel or out-of-town experiences:

Choose Features You Need in a Rental Car

You may need features like car seats for your kids or a GPS in the rental vehicle. Some rental companies charge additional fees to have these features installed in the car. Furthermore, the car model and size will determine the number and type of accessories you can install.

Carry these accessories with you when renting a car if you already have them to cut rental costs. You should also avoid attaching accessories that you don’t need for your travel experiences.

Figure out the type of rental car that will be ideal for your travel and the number of passengers. Choose a vehicle for hire that can accommodate these needs for a comfortable ride.

Compare Car Rental Prices Online

Check popular travel sites for car rental prices and compare their rates to find a good deal. Narrow the options depending on the town you’re exploring, and the time you’ll need the vehicle.

Ask about or look into the additional fees charged by a car for hire company. Compare these fees with the features or perks the company is offering drivers. Some providers charge underage driver fees for drivers below the age of 25.

If you are picking the vehicle from the airport, expect to pay airport surcharges. You may be charged additional fees for exceeding your daily mileage limit and having several drivers using the car.

Book in Advance

Most car rental companies have limited vehicles during peak travel seasons like the summer. Consider prepaying for a rental car for the provider to estimate the fees and prepare the vehicle in advance. Book three to six months before traveling since rental prices are usually competitive during peak travel seasons.

Though renting a vehicle from the airport may be convenient, it’s pretty costly due to the airport surcharges. Take your time to explore the car rental companies in your travel destination that allow reservations. Check whether the agency charges cancellation fees and their terms and conditions for the same.

Check Membership or Reward Programs for Discounts

One of the perks you may get from a membership program is discounted car rental fees. Check whether your membership program has partnered with travel organizations for these discounts. You can find these discounts listed on the program’s website.

You should also subscribe to services or memberships that can save you car rental costs. Some airlines give free coupons to loyal customers that they can use to hire a car.

Enroll in loyalty programs rolled out by a car rental service to earn points every time you hire a car and redeem them for future rides. They may favor your case if you tend to rent a car several times a year.

Bring Your Identifying Documents with You

The car rental firm will ask you to carry your personal identifying documents to process your request. Note that rental agencies have policies that differ from other agencies regarding the documents you should carry for approval. Email or call the company and ask them about the required documents.

A valid driver’s license is one of the important documents you need to rent a vehicle. The license will help prove that you are a legal driver. Depending on your driving experience, this document will also prove that you can return the car in excellent condition.

The car rental company may ask you for an active credit card matching the name on your license. They may not accept debit cards when processing your request. The company will put your card on hold as insurance if you return the vehicle in bad shape or fail to return it.

Consider the Insurance Costs

Though most credit card companies and auto insurers cover rental cars, you may buy additional coverage. Learn about the rental car insurance policy given by your auto insurer before taking one. You should also expect to incur daily charges on other forms of insurance (like collision insurance) when using the rental car.

Check whether your credit card provider offers insurance on cars for hire. You may get a separate cover for the rental vehicle to avoid paying more on your auto insurance coverage if you get into an accident.

Inspect the Car Before Driving it

The rental car company will allow you to inspect the vehicle for cosmetic flaws before using it. Carry your camera with you to record any existing scratches or dents on the car. The photos may help you prove that the vehicle already had flaws when you rented it if they have a time and date stamp.

Inspect the mirrors and windows and look for loose parts and scuffs before driving away. You may also bring a third-party inspector to help with this work if you’re renting the vehicle for several days.

Looking for More Tips on How to Rent a Car?

Your travel experiences are as good as the modes of transport you use to enjoy the scenery. Renting a car may be an ideal option if you’re visiting a new place or your car can’t handle the terrain in the travel destination. Consider the car rental service tips on how to rent a car to make your trip worthwhile.

Are you looking to explore Iceland’s dramatic landscapes with a car rental? Our vehicles at Circle Car Rental boast 24/7 assistance, zero hidden fees, unlimited mileage, and free airport transportation. Book a car rental of your choice now, and we’ll process your request in minutes.

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