Is your summer road trip starting at home, or will you fly somewhere and hit the road with a friend or family member?
No matter how you take your tour out on the road, you might want to leave your car at home and keep the miles off of it. This means you might need to rent a car for this trip and head out for some fun and adventure in a different vehicle from what you drive every day. You should consider many things when you want to take this type of vacation; here are ten of them.
When Are the Rental Company Hours?
Before you fly to your starting point or pack your bags, you should know the hours of the location you’ll visit to rent your car. Some sites, especially at airports, are open every day and 24 hours a day, but that’s not the case with every rental company. Some locations don’t have an after-hours drop box for the keys if you return after they close. You need to know the hours of operation when you’re planning your trip.
Are There Any Mileage Restrictions?
Some rental car companies limit the number of miles you can drive per day, while others offer unlimited miles. This is important to know when you’re planning your summer road trip. If you’re going to take your rental car across the country, a daily restriction on miles isn’t something you need to deal with during your time out on the open road.
What Payment Methods Are Accepted?
Does the rental car company accept debit card payments, or do you need a major credit card? Are there some cards that are accepted and others that are not? If you don’t have the right card, you’ll find yourself stranded at the counter without the car you want to drive. This could significantly damage your experience, which is a problem. Find out ahead of time what payments are allowed and whether or not there’s a deposit that goes along with the amount you might get back when you return the vehicle.
Will You Need Room for Car Seats?
Are you taking any young kids on your summer road trip? If so, you’ll want to make sure you have a vehicle that fits the car seats you need to take with you. If you’re flying in and enjoy a car seat in the car you pick up at the airport, ask your rental car company if you can rent this item from them. Some companies, such as Enterprise, offer this additional feature for the rental car you’ll enjoy driving during your time on the road.
Can You Add More Drivers to the Contract?
Most rental car companies allow you and your spouse to drive, but if the other passengers are not your spouse, you might need to put them on the contract. This is an essential item to ask about before you rent a car. If you head out on your vacation and can’t ever be the person in the passenger seat watching the world go by, you might not enjoy your time out on the road nearly as much.
Does the Rental Company Offer a Tolls Program?
Do you know where all the toll roads are? Will you have cash for the tolls during your summer road trip? If not, you’ll be glad to have the benefits of a toll program offered by the rental car company you select. Some companies make it easy and use a transponder to help you cover the tolls while on the road. The credit card used will automatically be used to pay for the tolls you incur during your vacation across the country.
How Much Fuel Does the Car Require?
You want to know the fuel mileage you’ll enjoy during your time on the road, but you also want to know how much fuel the car must have when you return it. Your summer road trip is much more enjoyable when you can pay a little less for gas. Most likely, you’ll have to return the car with the same amount of fuel as when you left with it, but if you pay for the gas already in the car, you won’t need to worry about this issue.
What Happens When You Have an Issue?
Will the rental car company help you when you run into an issue while out on the road? Most of these companies offer roadside assistance, insurance, and other ways to protect you when you’re driving. You can usually call a phone number to get help anytime, day or night, making it easy for you to deal with the problem and get back on the road.
Where Are You Returning the Rental Car?
If you’re planning a one-way trip with a flight at the other end, you’ll want to ensure the rental car company allows this to take place. Some companies don’t charge extra for one-way rentals, but others expect you to return the car to the same place you rented it. This is undoubtedly a factor in the summer road trip planning that you want to consider. Check into it to know where the car needs to be when it’s time to return it after your vacation.
What’s the Best Car for Your Road Trip?
Are you taking several bags with you during your road trip? If so, you might want a midsize or full-size SUV as the vehicle you want to use while riding across the country. On the other hand, you might want to enjoy a convertible, sports car, or luxury vehicle that will offer you a high-class driving experience to where you want to go. Picking the right vehicle is an essential part of enjoying the open road. Imagine pulling up to a restaurant in a new town while driving a high-class sports car.
Consider these ten factors when renting a car for your summer road trip, and get ready to enjoy your time on the open road while the weather is warm and the sun is bright.
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