How to get the best deal when renting a car
(NC)-Thinking about renting a car? Summer is peak travel season in Canada, and with a little planning it's easy to avoid the lineups, get a great deal and have an enjoyable experience when you rent a car.
Book in advance
One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting for the last minute to rent a car. Making a reservation two weeks in advance will improve your chance of getting a better rate.
Compare rental car rates by visiting the Web sites of the companies in your community. Most agencies take reservations over the Internet - and many offer preferred rates. It's also a good idea to make a few calls before you rent. Sometimes the best deals are offered at certain locations only. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers weekend discounts - sometimes up to 50% off - at participating locations across the country.
Important questions to ask are: how quickly can I obtain my rental car? What are the hours of operation and availability of emergency road service? Can you pick me up?
" The level of service is very important when you are renting a car - and can even end up saving you money," says Tony Moise, senior vice president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Canadian operations. " At Enterprise, we will pick you up and drop you off for free - which saves our customers the extra cab fare, and hassle of getting to and from the rental office."
Confirm your insurance coverage
An educated consumer is the best consumer - check out the insurance coverage on your credit card as it may cover you when renting a vehicle. Car rental companies almost always offer collision damage waiver, supplemental liability protection, personal accident insurance and, in some locations, personal effects coverage.
Inspect the vehicle
Make sure to check the vehicle before you leave the lot. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car employees always walk customers around the car to carefully document any damage before handing over the keys. Make sure you insist on the same inspection, wherever you go.
Fill ' er up
Your best option to save money on gas is to fill up the tank yourself before returning it. Rental car companies will charge a premium to fill up the tank if returned with less fuel than you started with.