One of the most important things to do is to check the contents of your rental package, including your insurance, roadside assistance, baby seats, GPS, free miles and much more. These are not always included as standard, so it is wise to check exactly what is included before you rent a vehicle from any car hire agency.
Once you have been provided with this information from the company, make sure that it is all written down clearly in a contract so you are sure of what you are getting before you part with your money. Verify these details well before you set off on your vacation so that you are completely sure of what to expect.
The next thing to do when holidaying abroad and using a car hire company is to ensure that you are aware of the driving laws in that particular country. Many countries will drive on different sides of the road, have varied signage, have different kinds of driving culture and so on. These will all affect your experiences on the road on your vacation.
A good car hire company will inform you of all of this, ranging from what to expect from other drivers on the road to how to read signs well so that you do not get lost or take a wrong turn. Information from an insider in the country can be extremely helpful, so make sure to check with natives as well as other people who have already celebrated in that particular country.
It is also a wise idea to check how you are collecting your vehicle before you embark on your plane, train or ferry. Many companies offer airport car hire, where you can simply arrive at the airport and someone will be waiting to hand over the keys to your car. This is a very simple and convenient option that many people choose.
However, do not assume that all companies offer this. It is essential to check and double check the arrangements for picking up your vehicle, whether you have opted for airport car hire pick-up or instead have chosen to collect the vehicle from the agency itself. Having all details in order will ensure that everything goes without a hitch when you disembark from your plane in the country.
Finally, check that you have chosen a vehicle that is perfectly suited to your needs. You may be traveling with a large family, and therefore will need plenty of seats plus ample room for luggage; others may be traveling with an elderly person and therefore need a vehicle that is easy to get in and out of.
Make a thorough list of your requirements beforehand and make sure that your car hire agency is aware of them.
It is not unheard of for agencies to 'swap' your car with another in the same category at the last minute due to demands of other customers or other issues. However, if you have some very specific requirements, you should absolutely ensure that they are respected as part of your contract.
These four pieces of advice can ensure that you vacation abroad goes without a hitch, regardless of where you are traveling to and who with. Make sure that your package includes everything you need, that your airport car hire pick-up is in place, that you have booked the right vehicle for you and that you are aware of driving customs, and you can look forward to a great trip in your rental vehicle.
What is a recreation vehicle? Do I need to insure it?
The first questions to answer would be, what is a recreation vehicle and why would you choose to insure it.
A recreation vehicle is one that you would normally use to fun/relaxation. For example if you normally use your car to commute but on week-end drive a motorcycle then the motorcycle is considered to be a recreation vehicle. But on the other hand you use your motorcycle to go to work on hot days then the bike is no longer considered to be a recreation vehicle.
Some of the more common recreation vehicles are:
* Moto-cross bikes/trail bikes/Quad bikes
* ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles) sometimes used for trail rides or hunting
* Travel Trailers
* Personal Watercraft (jet-skis, Inflatable and so on)
Do you need to get a recreation vehicle insurance?
In almost every case the answer is yes, the most common reason is because most good insurance company will not charge you a premium for using a vehicle from time to time. You are usually not penalised for having a recreation vehicle. In most cases a recreation vehicles is well looked after, and because, by definition, it is only used once in a while, most insurance company will offer some very low quotes.
But the other important reason is because most recreation vehicles are not used as often so the likelihood of something happening increases.
You must accept that you are not as familiar with that vehicle as you are with your everyday one. So the likelihood off an accident increases.
You should always check with your insurance company that your insurance is up to date; it is often easy to assume that a vehicle is covered for, say, 12 months when in fact it is only covered for 6 months.
You must also ensure that you are carefully following the policy, if your recreational vehicle is an RV, (Motor home or Caravan), does your license allow you to drive it?
Is the vehicle itself ‘legal’, (can it legally be used for the purpose you are insuring it for?)
Remember that is almost all cases, breaking the local laws will null and void the insurance policy.
Car problems will usually occur at the most inconvenient time. With so many vehicles on road, every driver should think about what they would do if their car suddenly broke down and they were stranded on the side of the road. There was a time when the only resource a driver had was a local towing company. Local towing services are not always open and their location may be far away from where the car is located. Once a towing service arrives, people will usually have to get their car towed to the closest garage. Individual towing expenses can be expensive and you may end up paying more for a repair, especially if you are not familiar with the car repair shop. Fortunately, there are many companies that offer roadside assistant memberships that include towing fees with their service.
Depending on which road side plan and company you choose, they can provide a number of added benefits over the service of a regular towing company:
– Roadside plans will cover a variety of vehicles such as passenger cars, trucks, company cars, SUVs, and RVs.
– Roadside assistance plans will usually cover you whether you are the driver or a passenger
– Many roadside assistance plans will reimburse for costs of repairs if you arrange for your own repair when the plan can’t find anyone to help you in a reasonable amount of time.
– Auto clubs provide 24-hour assistance and towing practically anywhere in the U.S. The service will cover any accessible road. Most auto clubs allow a certain numbers of roadside assistance tows each year. This service is a good investment because you will end up saving more money than if you used a regular towing company.
– Roadside assistance packages normally include: battery boost, tire change, parts delivery, towing or wrecker service, winching services, freeing a locked key, replacing lost keys, unfreezing “frozen” locks, replacing broken keys, delivery of emergency gasoline or other fluids, spare-tire installation, and accident or breakdown reimbursement.
– Manufacturer supported roadside assistance generally requires a tow to the nearest car dealership. This may not be helpful if the problem is not covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. For instance, tires are not usually covered. Auto clubs do not mandate what garage you can have your car towed. Your towing fees will be covered under the membership.
– Increased competition among auto clubs has kept costs low. If you have an older car, a membership can be an inexpensive method of protection. As an incentive, some cell phone and credit card companies offer roadside assistance plans.
– Auto club companies also offer members travel services, complimentary maps and guidebooks, and discounts for partner services such as hotels. You can often add bicycle roadside assistance coverage to an auto program You can also receive free road atlases, trip routing, travel assistance, and bereavement assistance. Free custom trip routing can include detailed trip planning, mileage guides, destination brochures, information on road conditions, camping locations, and more.
– If your vehicle is trapped in the mud or a ditch, roadside assistance will have someone come out and pull you out.
– Provide legal fees for speeding or moving traffic law violations.
– Travel assistance to reimburse drivers for vehicle rental and/or travel expenses when the vehicle is stolen or disabled due to an accident. This can include car rental, hotels, meals, and public transportation.
– Provide medical assistance such as doctor referrals and cover costs of a hospital stay.
Roadside assistance service plans are quickly becoming a popular choice for drivers. When traveling late at night or long distances, it will give you peace of mind knowing that help is only a phone call away.
Renting cars does not have to be as expensive as you'd imagine and sometimes you can a great deal just by working with the car rental companies systems to get the best deal you can without compromising on the service you receive.
Car Rental companies have many complex operations and fees that they need to take into account when setting their rental charges so, if you know what these are and how to avoid them, you can get a car rental, very similar to the one you ideally want , at a greatly reduced price.
Follow these simple tips and use as many of them as you can while still getting the rental you need and you should be able to save a lot of money on your next car rental.
– Picking a Car up at the Airport
Car Rental companies have to pay what's called an "Airport Concession Fee" for all the cars they rent from their airport locations. This is basically a charge made by the Airport to the rental company to allow them to rent cars from the Airport. Obviously the rental companies pass this on to their customers, so if there's a rental location close to the Airport you can use, you could save money by booking there instead.
– Book the Most Popular Car Group
Car Rental companies have to manage a complex stock system to make sure they've got the right cars in the right places at the right time. The more popular the car group, the more difficult it is for them to maintain stock. Generally, if they do not have the car you booked they'll give you a free upgrade. This is because the larger, more expensive cars do not get booked as much as the smaller cheaper cars. If you book the smallest car that is acceptable to you, there's always a good chance of getting a free upgrade if you're picking it up at a busy time.
– Book Well in Advance
Because it's much easier to forecast how many cars they need if they've got all their bookings in advance, the car rental companies will very often have their cheapest rates loaded for rates well in advance, so book your car as soon as you know your travel dates and save more.
– Always Get a Discount Code
Apart from during peak periods (Christmas, Easter and the height of Summer), you should always able to get some kind of discount code, although you might have to hunt around a little to find it. Always check the terms of the offers as often, even though an offer might say it's for a weekend rental, you could still use the offer for other times. It's worth searching a little to find one.
– Watch Your Collection and Return Times
Another trick to watch out for is that most rental companies charge daily rates. That means if you pick up a car at 10am and take it back at 11am the next day you'll get charged for 2 days rental. Wherever possible try and ensure that your return time is always the same, or preferably just before your collection time. This way you'll never get charged the extra day.
– Where Possible, Book When They've Got Too Many Cars
If your travel plans are reasonably open try and book when they've got too many cars and you could land yourself an absolute bargain. Book just after Christmas and you could find that all the cars that have just been returned are very cheap to book. In car rental terms, a car sat in their car park is a huge cost and they'd rather let you have it very cheaply than just have it sitting there.
– Always Ask for More
The one golden rule to bear in mind is to always ask for more, the worst they can do is say no. When you get to the counter always ask if they have any free upgrades. Often, this prompt may be all they need to remember that they can not shift that big Mercedes out the back, and if you had it, they would not have to worry about it anymore!
Each one of these tips should save you some money the next time you rent a car. If you can combine all 7 of them into one rental, you'll be amazed by how little you need to pay to drive a very nice car for your rental!