Separating the Fact From the Fiction About Renting Cars When Travelling

Posted on: 11 July 2017

While renting a car while travelling is very common, it's not unusual for someone to make assumptions about what's involved with such a rental. These wrong assumptions can cause delays at the rental counter or rental office, and result in fines or added fees at the end of the rental period. Note a few considerations to keep in mind if you're thinking of renting a car while travelling, so you can separate the fact from the fiction about such rentals, and are sure to ask all the right questions when making your vehicle selection.

Reserving a specific make and model of car

If you're travelling for business, you may need to choose a certain make and model of car, or avoid certain brands; for example, if you're visiting an automaker or dealer, you don't want to arrive in a competitor's car! Note that most rental agencies will simply classify their rentals as economy, mid-size, luxury, and the like. They may offer a certain selections of makes and models of cars, but don't assume that you'll get a specific car, even if that make and model is pictured online. Very often, you'll simply get a car that offers all the features listed for that classification, such as leather interior, a certain stereo system, and so on. A rental agency will usually have many cars that offer these same features, so if it's important for you to get a specific make or model, call ahead of time and ensure they can set that aside for you, even if it means an added fee.

Driving a rental car

Never assume that anyone with a license can drive a rental car; many agencies will have age limits, or require an international driver's license for those coming from overseas. If they don't require an international license, they may need to see a license in their native language. A person's name may also need to be on the rental form to drive the car, so don't assume you can turn the keys over to just anyone with whom you're travelling.

Smoking, eating

Always ask a rental agency if you're permitted to smoke or eat in a rental car. A rental agency may have some cars set aside specifically for smokers, or may allow eating in compact and mid-size cars but not their luxury models. Ensure you ask about this so you don't lose a deposit on the car when you return it to the rental counter.


Automotive Action: A Guide

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