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10 Tips with Renting a Car | Top Things to Know Before Your Next Trip!

10 Tips with Renting a Car | Top Things to Know Before Your Next Trip!

Hey, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this
video, I want to share our top 10 tips when renting a car during your trip. (light chiming music) Renting a car, like many other travel
experiences, can be both easy and complicated. It’s easy to reserve a car
but then you’re often presented with a bunch of choices that can be a bit
confusing. Things like GPS, insurance, and refueling. All these things seem
important, but they come at a fairly high premium. So today, I want to review some
things that I recommend when renting a car, especially here in the US. But first,
if you’re new here, I want to welcome you to our channel. Trip Astute is a travel
channel that is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and
more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we’re looking
for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points
and miles, and innovative gear. If that sounds interesting to you,
please consider subscribing. So, let’s jump into our top tips. Some of these
things might seem obvious especially if you’re a savvy and experienced traveler.
But I’m hoping that there are a few tips in this list that are still helpful to
you. Number 1: Sign up for a car rental rewards program. Some of you might have
access to a car rental rewards program through work or your credit card. If so,
you’re going to want to make sure to register for the loyalty program. I think
the biggest perk is that some of these programs will have your car ready for
you when you get to the airport so you don’t have to waste time checking in to
the counter. You just pull up your reservation on your app or look for your
name on the board in the lot, which should indicate your car. If you have a
premium travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you have access
to some of the higher status levels with certain rental car companies. If you need
more information, check out our video on how to maximize these benefits on the
Chase Sapphire Reserve. Number 2: Inspect your car. A lot of times, we just want to
get on the road as quick as possible. However, I suggest doing a quick
visual inspection of your car’s exterior and making sure that any damage,
especially any big scratches or dents, are recorded when you were checking out
of the rental car lot. You definitely don’t want to be held liable for any
damages to the car, especially if it was there when you picked up the vehicle.
This is especially important if you don’t have some kind of primary
insurance coverage for your rental car through a credit card. That brings me to
number 3: Know your insurance options. Many premium travel credit cards offer
primary insurance coverage for rental cars. This allows you to decline the
expensive and limited insurance coverage when renting a vehicle. We did a video a
while back on how it works and different scenarios for coverage, so definitely
check it out. It’s a bit complicated, but definitely worth understanding before
your next car rental. Number 4: Don’t use points to book your car rental. This
one’s a bit controversial. I haven’t seen anything official about this, but I
noticed a few folks on FlyerTalk who said that car insurance coverage from a
credit card only applies if you pay for your car rental in full with your credit
card. I heard this advice a few years ago as well, so I generally pay for car
rentals out of pocket instead of using points. Though if you have any experience
or first-hand knowledge with the situation, let me know below in the
comment section. Number 5: Avoid underage rental fees. Most rental car
companies will charge you extra if you’re under the age of 25 and want to
rent a car. While this charge is hard to avoid if you’re under 25, there are some
potential ways to get around it if you happen to be a AAA member, you can
get the fee waived with Hertz. And if you’re a USAA member, you can do the same
with Enterprise. Number 6: Avoid refueling options. Rental car
companies will often pitch refueling options which seem convenient, but are
generally a bad deal. One option is to refill your car to the necessary level
but at three or four times the normal cost of fuel. I think that on our last trip,
the signs at the Las Vegas Avis desk said that they were charging
$9 per gallon for a refuel. Also, another option is to pay for a full
tank refill. The per gallon rate is generally a little bit higher than the
normal market rate, but the catch is that they will charge you for a full tank
regardless of your fuel level when you return the car. In general, it’s a better
deal to just fill up your gas tank before returning your car. And with all
the tools and apps available, it’s easier than ever to find a gas station near
your location. Number 7: Pack a phone charger, cable, and cradle. If I plan
to rent a car, I always pack a car charger, two charging cables, and a cheap vent
clip cradle for my phone. It’s so much cheaper than renting a GPS
from the rental car company. Plus, I can use the apps that I’m already comfortable
with and familiar with. Number 8: Turn on speed limit indicators. Several
navigation apps offer the ability to show speed limits in certain areas.
I find this feature to be so useful when driving in new areas, especially when the
speed limit isn’t visible or know. I use Waze most times when driving and you can
enable this feature under settings in the speedometer section. Also, if you’re
an Android user, you can enable this feature in Google Maps. Sadly, this
feature is not available in the iOS version of Google Maps. Number 9: Enable eco mode. I’ve noticed a lot of cars I rent have the option to enable
an eco mode. As some of you know, I drive a Prius, so I tend to be a bit more
conscious when it comes to my fuel consumption. What I found though is that
the eco mode setting on a lot of rental cars seems to be disabled by default.
So if you’re trying to conserve fuel and lower your consumption, it might be worth
enabling the eco mode in your car. It usually makes the throttle and cooling
system a little bit less responsive, but it can help to save money at the pump.
And finally, number 10: Carry an emergency kit. This might seem like overkill, but I
think it’s very valuable. I actually use a special case just for this purpose. If
I know that I’ll be renting a car, I’ll pack my important documents like a copy
of my insurance, along with backup maps in the case. I’ll
also throw in a mini flashlight that pulses, pen, tissues, and a basic tire
pressure gauge. This makes it easy when dropping off the car too since I have
everything in one place, and I’ll even put my chargers and cables in there so I
don’t forget them. We’re actually going to do a review of the travel case that we
use, so stay tuned for it. Though I honestly think it’s always a good idea
to be prepared especially since you never know when you might encounter a
problem while on the road. Do you have any tips for renting a car? If so, please
share them below in the comment section. I’m always curious to hear about other
tips and tricks that people use to save money and improve their travel
experience. I’ve included Amazon links in the video description. Trip Astute does
get a percentage if you use our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra,
but it does help us to continue building content for this channel. If you enjoyed
this video or found it useful, please give us a thumbs up and consider
sharing it with others who might also benefit from our content. Until next
time, travel safe and travel smart.

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21 thoughts on “10 Tips with Renting a Car | Top Things to Know Before Your Next Trip!

  1. Just double checked with Chase. If you use UR Points, make sure the card* is on file when you rent the car. Should be good to go.

  2. So when I go to Mexico they tell me third party liability is mandatory to every car agency that I go to. Do you know if that is true?

  3. Thanks so much for this. I just burned some chase points for a rental and I'll be cancelling that. Didn't think of the car insurance copy either.

  4. I'm a fast break member with budget I never had any problems with them until 1 day I return the car a day ahead and instead of getting refund I got charge 25 dollars more. Which carrental company do you recommend? I never rented a car with no other company I was thinking Hertz because I have aaa but is way more expensive then budget.

  5. I found out about the Hertz AAA Young Driver Fee waiver and it’s saved me so much money. It’s usually a win-win since AAA typically has the lowest daily rate also. Being a car buff helps, but I usually tell people to do a little research before picking a car. For example when grabbing an economy or compact, the Nissans typically have more cargo room than other options. I also look at tires.. you won’t believe how many cars have mix matched tires with different brands on the front and rear.

  6. I think a first aid kit is very important. Not only for the car, but for traveling in general. I keep a few bandaids, neosporn , antiseptic wipes, a razor with the handle cut in half to remove hair for better bandaid adhesion , and tweezers in a small tin. A small roll of toilet paper is also good policy to keep with you in general.

  7. I’ve only rented once with Enterprise and it was smooth .. We rented the car from Austin Texas to Colorado and it was a nice 2018 Camry … I always carry extra batteries for my cell phone , water , some food . I took pictures of the car and mileage and recorded what the car looked like before hitting the road .

  8. You could even possibly find that you can't rent at all if you're under 25. This is very common in the UK.

    While we're at it on renting abroad, if you do it in the UK, remember we drive on the LEFT! That's not so hard to remember as going the wrong way will be obvious, but possibly harder is that the car will seem the wrong way round. Drivers sit on the right and everything you normally do with your right hand, you'll have to do with your left. (To confuse yourself even more, take the car across the Channel to France if that's permitted and you're driving on the right in a right-hand drive car – believe me, having done this in my own car, it becomes really obvious why you want the driver to be towards the middle of the road!)

    Cars in the UK are far more often manual (stick shift) than in the USA so if you're American and used to automatics, specifically ask for one. I don't know how this applies with foreign driving licences but with a British one, it's illegal to drive a manual if you passed the test in an automatic.

    Americans will find fuel in the UK to be horrendously expensive. It might not look too bad but remember it's priced in LITRES, and a litre is only just over 2 US pints. You might like at this point to give up on the whole idea and use public transport! Getting around by train is far more fun.

  9. spent $90 on a one day rental (with the "autoshop discount") when my car had to go to the shop last month. the following week i found out about AAA's pricing and realized i could have got the same rental for about $30 a day. this is such important information! thank you for this video! learned a lot and about to watch the other two videos you recommended!

  10. Take as much video and as many photos of the car as you can before driving it off the lot. And make sure you can show as many angles of the car as possible.

  11. Hey!
    I just got my first Chase Freedom unlimited card with a credit line of $8k.I have an available credit limit of $23k.How do I get saphire preferred/reserve with a credit line of $50k?

  12. Don't smoke in the car. That includes weed. The rental will charge you from $100 to $350 to clean the car. Detailing the car cost the rental company time and money. Car can't be rented. In car air filter change. Carpet seats , headliner need to be cleaned. Even when your return the car and the contract ends. They will still charge you. Don't try and hide damage you caused. You will still be charged if you try and hide damage. If you want to exchange your car during the rental period. Most companies will do this only if something is wrong with the car. Most new cars have a TPMS . That lets you know when a tire is low. If you want to exchange the car. Drive the car near the rental return place and remove air until TPMS sensor alerts a low tire. Then take it back and show the low tire pressure light. They will exchange the car due to the light. No one in the return area will question you,

  13. I got a rental & tried drifting in it. Empty parking lot, it went pretty well. I tried a burnout too though the car was underpowered 1.6L inline 4 GDI. So I did loose traction though couldn't do anything spectacular. That was the first & only time I'll be drifting in my life, so at least I got it out of me during my teenage years.

    Otherwise I'm a pretty reasonable driver.

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