5 things you need to know before hiring a car

Hiring a car when you are out of town is a convenient and flexible way of getting around. It allows you to move about at your own pace and your schedule. After doing a quick search of the different car rental companies and deciding on the car you want based on your budget, the make, color and so on, it is important to consider a couple of other factors before hiring the car.


While some rental companies such as http://www.carhiremaltagroup.com/ offer fully insured vehicles, several others require that you purchase insurance coverage from the car hire agency. The good news is that your personal auto insurance may extend to rental cars. If you have comprehensive or full coverage, it is almost certain that the insurance covers the rental car because it is considered a replacement vehicle under the policy. Be sure to check with your insurer.

If you pay for the car rental using your credit card, it is also important to check just what auto insurance your credit card offers. Sometimes, the credit card coverage is as good as or even better than your car insurance.

Avoid renting from the airport

If you rent a car from the local counter at the airport terminal, you are more likely to pay higher than if you hire a car outside the airport premises.  This is because the rental car companies are required to pay extra fees for operating from the airport. Where possible, grab a shuttle or public transportation to a non-airport area and rent the car from there. You can pick up a taxi from the airtport, there are a lot of taxi startup companies hungry for new business.

Rental companies charge more for additional and youthful drivers

If you were planning on sharing driving duties, it is prudent that you designate and register just one or two drivers for the duration of the trip to avoid incurring the extra fee that car hire companies to charge for any additional drivers. Remember, that your insurance company (or even the rental agency’s insurance) may not cover any accident or incident in which a driver not on the registration form is involved.

Also, note that drivers under the age of 25 are charged higher by rental companies because of the risk associated with young drivers.

Save on gas

Most car hire companies charge more for petrol than the average service station. Since you are required to return the vehicle at full tank, make a note of the various service stations and how much they charge for gas as you drive away from the car rental agency.  This will make it easier for you to select a cost effective one on the return leg.

Bring your extras

It is more than likely that the car rental company will entice you to hiring extras such as a GPS system or a car radio or a child seat to make the car more comfortable. You can save on the cost of renting extras by bringing your own from home. GPS will not be applicable if you have Google maps. Be sure to have the rental company remove theirs from the car before you drive off the parking lot to avoid billing.

Apart from the above tips, always make sure that you carefully check inside and outside the vehicle for any potential damage before driving out with the vehicle. Look out for any scratches, loose parts, working windows and mirrors and bring them to the attention of the car hire staff to avoid being held liable when you return the vehicle. If possible, take photos or a video as you do a car walk around.

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