Think carefully about what kind of vehicle you’ll need. If you’re traveling with children or with a lot of gear, you may want a large sedan or SUV. If you’re simply looking to save money on rental rates and gas, you’ll want to reserve the smallest available model.
But size isn’t the only factor. Looking for something environmentally friendly? Many car rental companies now offer hybrid vehicles. Can’t drive a stick shift? Be sure to reserve a car with automatic transmission. (In many countries, a manual transmission is the norm – so read the fine print before booking. Learn more with our International Car Rental Tips.) Also, be sure that the company from which you’re renting offers any extras you might need or want, such as a ski rack, car seat or GPS system.
Decline the rental insurance – you may already be covered.
Chances are very good that your home auto insurance policy covers rentals that you drive. While the rental agent may try and pressure you into purchasing additional coverage, this is often unnecessary and redundant to your existing coverage. Just make sure to check your policy before assuming that you’re covered.
If you don’t own a car, or if your home policy doesn’t cover rentals, you may still have coverage. More details about rent a car in Cuba
You May Not Need Insurance
Car rental companies love to upsell you on their insurance plans. It starts during the booking process and will continue when you arrive at the office to pick up your car. Sometimes, we politely decline and they don’t press any further. Other times, we have declined insurance and they proceed to scare the stuffing out of you until you give in and buy their ridiculous insurance plan.
For Americans, if you have your own auto insurance policy, it may cover collision damage and even personal liability for a rental car. It’s worth making a call to your insurance provider to check what is covered. Additionally, many travel credit cards provide secondary CDW that will help after your primary insurance. A few notable credit cards provide primary CDW insurance we have this with our Capital One Venture and the Barclays WorldElite Mastercard.
Ask for discounts.
Your first question at the rental counter should be: “Do you offer any discounts?” Whether Military, AAA, senior, corporate or otherwise, many associations get price breaks from car rental companies, and all you have to do is ask. In many cases, mentioning your frequent flyer membership can help you ear miles on your car rental. For example, United Milage Plus members earn 75 miles per day on Hertz rentals, and elite members earn an additional 50 miles per rental day, which means you could easily earn up to 500 extra frequent flyer miles for just a four day rental! Extra info on rent a car in Bangkok
Standard car rental cover won’t include medical treatment following an accident. Rental companies might offer you insurance to cover these costs. This is particularly common when you rent a car in the USA or Canada, where it’s usually called Personal Accident Insurance or PAI.
Insurance for fines
If you get a traffic or parking fine, the rental company will charge you an admin fee on top of the actual fine to cover their expenses. Sometimes they offer insurance to cover that admin fee. If you buy the insurance, you’ll only pay for the traffic fine, without the admin fee on top of it.
Tips for avoiding an insurance hard-sell
Think about what level of insurance you’re comfortable with. Check what cover you have with your car. If you decide to buy extra insurance, comparing prices online can be cheaper and less stressful than making the decision at the rental counter.