Before you drive away from the pickup station, inspect the car carefully for body damage. Be sure the lights and turn signals are working properly, and check the mileage odometer. Report any defects at once.
Familiarize yourself with the workings of the car before you leave the lot. Check which side your gas tank is on, and learn how to use the headlights, windshield wipers and turn signal. It may seem obvious, but you’ll also want to memorize the make, model and color of your car – that way you won’t lose it the first time you park in a crowded lot! For more tips, see The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental.
If you can, pick up your rental downtown instead of at the airport.
This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but in general, rental rates at airports are more expensive than rates a little bit further away. Try looking for rates from pick-up spots closer to your hotel, or even in the city center.
Make sure to always compare those to rates from airport agencies, though – sometimes, the price difference will be negligible, or the airport might even be cheaper. Also remember that you’ll need to arrange transportation to the rental agency, whether you can take a hotel shuttle, or you have to pay for mass transit or a taxi into the city. More details about rent a 9 seater
Get the Right Card
Bringing me to my next point – credit cards with primary rental insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite travel credit card for many reasons, but the primary rental insurance is one of its best perks (including Priority Pass membership). When you put your rental car on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card you get primary coverage around the world up to $75,000. That works out great for us since we are nomadic and don’t have a car or home.
Prepay to save upwards of 20 percent.
If you’re checking out your options online, you’ll notice that most car rental companies offer two different rates: one for prepaying customers, and a higher one for customers who wish to pay when they pick up the car. My boyfriend and I are headed to Michigan the weekend before Christmas to see his family, and looking at rental cars on Hertz, prepaying is definitely our best option. We could get a Ford Focus for $28/day if we prepay, but if we wait to pay in person, we’ll be spending $34/day. For a three-day rental, prepaying will save us $20, and these savings get bigger the better the car you rent. More info about car hire in Bangkok
Some car rental deals come with limited mileage. The limit might be shown as a number of miles/kilometres per day or per trip. If your deal has a mileage limit, you’ll have to pay an additional fee for every mile or kilometre you drive above that limit.
Tips for avoiding mileage limit trickery
It’s obvious, but it all depends on how far you’re planning to drive. Deals with unlimited mileage tend to be a bit more expensive, while deals with limited mileage can be cheaper, although the limit can be as low as 15 miles per day on some cars.
If you’re using the car for a few journeys such as going from an airport to your hotel, or you’re visiting a small island, a deal with limited mileage might work for you.