Renting a Car – Getting the Most Out of Your Rental

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,956
    AAA discusses their top tips for renting a car the smart way.

    Bruce Ream: Hi, I am Bruce Ream, Managing Director of AAA Partnership Programs. Today I'm going to provide tips of getting the most out of your rental car. For the best rates and vehicle availability book as far in advance as possible. Particularly in areas with heavy tourist business, compare rates, rental policies in each companies products and services. Consider prepaying for your rental for additional savings.

    You may also be eligible for discounts as a member of an organization, government employee, member of the military, or employee of certain corporations. Rentals can also earn points for frequent traveler partnerships with airlines, credit card companies, hotels, and other companies. While making your reservation, be sure to select a vehicle with room for all of your passengers and their luggage.

    If you'll be traveling a long distances, consider renting a fuel efficient vehicle to help mange fuel cost. Check the availability of any equipment you require such as hand controls for physically challenged motors. If you have young children, find out if the rental car company offers child safety seats and if there is fee. For airport rentals give the customer service representative your flight number, airline carrier, and scheduled arrival time. This can protect your reservation if the flight is delayed.

    Make sure you understand the rental conditions, check if there are late fees, penalties for no shows, or fees and restrictions for additional drivers. Nowhere you're going, your rental car agent maybe able to provide maps and directions but also consider running a GPS navigation device. If you have smartphone their apps available to help you plan your way.

    If you'll be traveling a long distance try to do most of your traveling during daylight hours when the visibility is best. Take stretch breaks and rotate drivers to stay alert. A good rule of thumb is to make a rest stop every two hours or 100 miles, especially if you are traveling with children and pets. Keep children interested and involve in your road trip with a ready selection of cards, maps, family games, sing-along CDs, and activity books.

    So those are the basics of getting the most out of your rental car. Happy travels!