Monthly Archives: November 2010

Always Ask for an Extra Key with Your Car Rental

Whether you are on a vacation or a business trip, you want to do whatever you can to minimize the chances of unexpected headaches or problems. One easy way to do that is to always ask for an extra key when you pick up your rental car. Although this isn’t always an option depending on the location and rental car company, it’s always a good idea to at least ask. Even if you are not the kind of person that locks their keys in the car or misplaces them easily, either of those situations are far more likely to happen when you are driving an unfamiliar car.

If you are traveling with someone else, it’s a good idea to let them hang on to the extra key, or if you are traveling alone, tuck the extra key somewhere that’s easy to access, like in your carry-on luggage. Even though you are not likely to ever need it, you’ll be glad you have it if you do somehow lock yourself out of the car. It’s also handy to have an extra set if there’s going to be more than one driver during the rental period, so that you don’t get into the classic case of “I thought you had the keys.” We hope this little tip gives you some extra peace of mind when you rent a car from RentACarNow.com.

Always Ask for an Extra Key with Your Car Rental

Whether you are on a vacation or a business trip, you want to do whatever you can to minimize the chances of unexpected headaches or problems. One easy way to do that is to always ask for an extra key when you pick up your rental car. Although this isn’t always an option depending on the location and rental car company, it’s always a good idea to at least ask. Even if you are not the kind of person that locks their keys in the car or misplaces them easily, either of those situations are far more likely to happen when you are driving an unfamiliar car.

If you are traveling with someone else, it’s a good idea to let them hang on to the extra key, or if you are traveling alone, tuck the extra key somewhere that’s easy to access, like in your carry-on luggage. Even though you are not likely to ever need it, you’ll be glad you have it if you do somehow lock yourself out of the car. It’s also handy to have an extra set if there’s going to be more than one driver during the rental period, so that you don’t get into the classic case of “I thought you had the keys.” We hope this little tip gives you some extra peace of mind when you rent a car from RentACarNow.com.

It Pays to Read the Fine Print on Your Rental Car Contract

It seems like we are bombarded with so much paperwork these days that it’s become a habit to sign contracts without even reading what they say. And while that’s not a big deal in many situations, you should at least glance through a rental car contract so that you know the rules you are agreeing to adhere to. Now if there’s a huge line behind you at the counter, you can probably go ahead and sign the contract and read it in the rental car lot, since they are not going to let you rent without signing the contract anyway. So let’s take a look at a few lesser known items that are part of many contracts, and that could be expensive if you violate them, even unknowingly.

One common prohibition is driving off-road or on unpaved roads. While that might not be an option if you are renting a Toyota Corolla, just because you have an SUV doesn’t mean you can test out the four-while drive in the back country. And while it might be difficult for the rental car company to know if you take a car off-road, they will surely find out if the vehicle breaks down or is damaged while not on a paved road.

Another common one is additional drivers. Generally speaking, you need to inform the rental car company (and sometimes pay an additional fee) if there are going to be other drivers other than the person who signed the rental agreement. This even applies to spouses. Again, there’s a chance the rental company will never find out about an unauthorized driver, but if there’s an accident or other incident then they are going to know and could charge you extra or void any insurance coverage you have with the vehicle.

Finally, make sure you read the fine print to see if there are limitations to the unlimited mileage that you will probably get with your car. Sometimes there are exceptions and extra fees if you drive the car outside of the state or states listed in the contract. This can also apply to Canada. In this situation, the rental car companies can often find out by the GPS system on the car (regardless of whether you paid extra for the GPS navigation) or if you go through any automated toll booths. The extra fees for this can be steep, so ask questions and read the contract. These are just a few more ways to help you save money when you rent a car at RentACarNow.com.

It Pays to Read the Fine Print on Your Rental Car Contract

It seems like we are bombarded with so much paperwork these days that it’s become a habit to sign contracts without even reading what they say. And while that’s not a big deal in many situations, you should at least glance through a rental car contract so that you know the rules you are agreeing to adhere to. Now if there’s a huge line behind you at the counter, you can probably go ahead and sign the contract and read it in the rental car lot, since they are not going to let you rent without signing the contract anyway. So let’s take a look at a few lesser known items that are part of many contracts, and that could be expensive if you violate them, even unknowingly.

One common prohibition is driving off-road or on unpaved roads. While that might not be an option if you are renting a Toyota Corolla, just because you have an SUV doesn’t mean you can test out the four-while drive in the back country. And while it might be difficult for the rental car company to know if you take a car off-road, they will surely find out if the vehicle breaks down or is damaged while not on a paved road.

Another common one is additional drivers. Generally speaking, you need to inform the rental car company (and sometimes pay an additional fee) if there are going to be other drivers other than the person who signed the rental agreement. This even applies to spouses. Again, there’s a chance the rental company will never find out about an unauthorized driver, but if there’s an accident or other incident then they are going to know and could charge you extra or void any insurance coverage you have with the vehicle.

Finally, make sure you read the fine print to see if there are limitations to the unlimited mileage that you will probably get with your car. Sometimes there are exceptions and extra fees if you drive the car outside of the state or states listed in the contract. This can also apply to Canada. In this situation, the rental car companies can often find out by the GPS system on the car (regardless of whether you paid extra for the GPS navigation) or if you go through any automated toll booths. The extra fees for this can be steep, so ask questions and read the contract. These are just a few more ways to help you save money when you rent a car at RentACarNow.com.

Should You Take the Insurance Coverage with a Rental Car?

Perhaps the most common question about renting a car is whether or not it’s a good idea to pay extra for the insurance coverage offered by the rental car companies. There’s really no easy answer, other than “maybe.” First, let’s take a look at the different types of coverage that are generally offered. The most common has a few different names, like CDW (collision damage waiver), PDW (physical damage waiver) or LDW (loss damage waiver). Technically this is not insurance coverage, but rather a waiver that says that the insurance company will not charge you for damages to the car during the rental (although there are exceptions for reckless driving or if you violate the terms of the rental agreement). Generally speaking, if you have insurance on your personal car then you should be OK to decline this coverage as your policy will cover it, although it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent to be sure.

Some of the other coverage that might be offered includes personal liability or LIS (liability insurance supplement), PAI (personal accident insurance) or personal property insurance. These cover things like damage you cause to another vehicle, items that are lost or stolen from the rental car, and medical costs/death coverage for you and/or your passengers in case of an accident. Again, many of these will be covered by your own personal policy, and sometimes by your credit card (however, you need to use that specific credit card to reserve and pay for the rental).

Whether or not to pay the extra fees to the rental car companies is a matter of personal choice. If you have comprehensive auto insurance and have a credit card that includes rental car coverage, then you are probably OK to decline all coverage. On the other hand, if you don’t have personal car insurance, then it makes sense to take the coverage. One other thing to consider is that even if you have coverage through your own car insurance policy, that doesn’t mean you won’t be responsible for deductibles and the potential for increased rates by filing a claim for a rental car. So if the cost of the coverage gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip, then it’s not a bad idea to pay the additional cost, especially since you are going to save money by renting through RentACarNow.com.

Should You Take the Insurance Coverage with a Rental Car?

Perhaps the most common question about renting a car is whether or not it’s a good idea to pay extra for the insurance coverage offered by the rental car companies. There’s really no easy answer, other than “maybe.” First, let’s take a look at the different types of coverage that are generally offered. The most common has a few different names, like CDW (collision damage waiver), PDW (physical damage waiver) or LDW (loss damage waiver). Technically this is not insurance coverage, but rather a waiver that says that the insurance company will not charge you for damages to the car during the rental (although there are exceptions for reckless driving or if you violate the terms of the rental agreement). Generally speaking, if you have insurance on your personal car then you should be OK to decline this coverage as your policy will cover it, although it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent to be sure.

Some of the other coverage that might be offered includes personal liability or LIS (liability insurance supplement), PAI (personal accident insurance) or personal property insurance. These cover things like damage you cause to another vehicle, items that are lost or stolen from the rental car, and medical costs/death coverage for you and/or your passengers in case of an accident. Again, many of these will be covered by your own personal policy, and sometimes by your credit card (however, you need to use that specific credit card to reserve and pay for the rental).

Whether or not to pay the extra fees to the rental car companies is a matter of personal choice. If you have comprehensive auto insurance and have a credit card that includes rental car coverage, then you are probably OK to decline all coverage. On the other hand, if you don’t have personal car insurance, then it makes sense to take the coverage. One other thing to consider is that even if you have coverage through your own car insurance policy, that doesn’t mean you won’t be responsible for deductibles and the potential for increased rates by filing a claim for a rental car. So if the cost of the coverage gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip, then it’s not a bad idea to pay the additional cost, especially since you are going to save money by renting through RentACarNow.com.

Make Sure to Pay Your Tolls with a Rental Car

There are a lot of ways to get “nickeled and dimed” by extra rental car charges when you travel, but most of them can be avoided with a little planning and knowledge. One of the less common but sometimes expensive one is unpaid tolls and traffic violations. With state and local governments struggling to rein in spending, tolls roads have been popping up all over the country and that trend doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon. So if you are driving your rental car on a toll road, it can be tempting to just cruise through the EZ-Pass lane (it might be called something different depending on the state) and just let the rental car company take care any charges. After all, can the rental car company really track down who was driving the car when the toll was incurred? Well, the answer is often yes.

While it’s certainly possible you will get off scot-free, you need to consider whether it’s really worth taking that chance to save a few dollars. The reason is that the rental car companies will often tack on a hefty charge in addition to the toll – sometimes as much as $25 or $50 as an “administrative fee” for each toll. The same problem applies to running through a red light at an intersection that is patrolled by cameras. Chances are that the violation will eventually catch up to you, and that it won’t be cheap. So the best advice is to stop and pay the tolls and to not run through red lights, and if you do suspect that the rental car company will be receiving a bill for anything that happened while you had the car, you should at least inform them when you return the vehicle and see what can be done to eliminate any extra fees. Hopefully that will help you hang on to the money you saved by reserving your car at RentACarNow.com.

Make Sure to Pay Your Tolls with a Rental Car

There are a lot of ways to get “nickeled and dimed” by extra rental car charges when you travel, but most of them can be avoided with a little planning and knowledge. One of the less common but sometimes expensive one is unpaid tolls and traffic violations. With state and local governments struggling to rein in spending, tolls roads have been popping up all over the country and that trend doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon. So if you are driving your rental car on a toll road, it can be tempting to just cruise through the EZ-Pass lane (it might be called something different depending on the state) and just let the rental car company take care any charges. After all, can the rental car company really track down who was driving the car when the toll was incurred? Well, the answer is often yes.

While it’s certainly possible you will get off scot-free, you need to consider whether it’s really worth taking that chance to save a few dollars. The reason is that the rental car companies will often tack on a hefty charge in addition to the toll – sometimes as much as $25 or $50 as an “administrative fee” for each toll. The same problem applies to running through a red light at an intersection that is patrolled by cameras. Chances are that the violation will eventually catch up to you, and that it won’t be cheap. So the best advice is to stop and pay the tolls and to not run through red lights, and if you do suspect that the rental car company will be receiving a bill for anything that happened while you had the car, you should at least inform them when you return the vehicle and see what can be done to eliminate any extra fees. Hopefully that will help you hang on to the money you saved by reserving your car at RentACarNow.com.

When to Get an Unlimited Mileage Rental Car

Even though most rental cars companies now provide unlimited mileage as part of the standard rental agreement, that hasn’t always been the case and it’s still far from being a universal rule. It wasn’t all that long ago when unlimited mileage was not offered or came at a steep price. And even though most cars reserved through RentACarNow.com will include unlimited mileage, it still pays to read through all the details of your rental confirmation just to make sure. Especially with some of the smaller rental companies, there might be limits to the number of miles you can drive without having to pay a hefty fee, sometimes as much as .25 per mile for overages.

One other aspect of unlimited mileage to check is whether there are any restrictions. In some cases, the unlimited mileage doesn’t apply if you take the car into another state, although that is fairly rare (and hard for the rental car company to know about). There are often restrictions on bringing the car into another country, especially if you are considering crossing into Mexico. A good rule of thumb is to always ask about the mileage policy when you pick up the car so that there are no surprises when you return it. And in the case when you have a choice of rates between an unlimited mileage rental and limited mileage rental, some simple math will help you find the best rate. If the limited mileage rental is cheaper and you only plan on driving around town, then that’s probably the way to go. But if you are going to do any long distance driving, then opt for the unlimited mileage rental.

When to Get an Unlimited Mileage Rental Car

Even though most rental cars companies now provide unlimited mileage as part of the standard rental agreement, that hasn’t always been the case and it’s still far from being a universal rule. It wasn’t all that long ago when unlimited mileage was not offered or came at a steep price. And even though most cars reserved through RentACarNow.com will include unlimited mileage, it still pays to read through all the details of your rental confirmation just to make sure. Especially with some of the smaller rental companies, there might be limits to the number of miles you can drive without having to pay a hefty fee, sometimes as much as .25 per mile for overages.

One other aspect of unlimited mileage to check is whether there are any restrictions. In some cases, the unlimited mileage doesn’t apply if you take the car into another state, although that is fairly rare (and hard for the rental car company to know about). There are often restrictions on bringing the car into another country, especially if you are considering crossing into Mexico. A good rule of thumb is to always ask about the mileage policy when you pick up the car so that there are no surprises when you return it. And in the case when you have a choice of rates between an unlimited mileage rental and limited mileage rental, some simple math will help you find the best rate. If the limited mileage rental is cheaper and you only plan on driving around town, then that’s probably the way to go. But if you are going to do any long distance driving, then opt for the unlimited mileage rental.