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What to Expect When Renting a Car

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Getting behind the wheel of a rental car can be exciting and intimidating. Make sure you know what to expect before you seal the deal. Upon pick up, thoroughly inspect the vehicle and take photos of any existing damage, advises Million Mile Secrets. Also, be choosy about pricey add-ons, like GPS systems and baby car seats, says USA Today.

Checking the Vehicle

Before you rent a car, read the fine print carefully to make sure that you are aware of all fees and charges. Some car rental companies impose extras like a mileage restriction, caution deposit or fuel charges.

Some companies may only let you drive if you are over 21 and have a clean driving record. Also, check with your auto insurance provider about their coverage of rental cars.

You must also inspect the vehicle before you leave the lot. Take photos of the car to record any marks, dents or scratches that you might find. If you see a problem, talk to a representative and have it noted before you sign the rental agreement.

It is also important to return the car on time to avoid incurring late fees. It is best to return it to the same location where it was picked up. Changing locations can cause delays and extra costs. Also, keep in mind that if you are not careful, the company can charge you for returning the vehicle dirty.

Picking Up the Car

Renting a car can be both exciting and scary. Before you head over to the rental location, do some research. Shop around on comparison sites like Kayak, Priceline and Auto slash, and take advantage of prepaid rates if possible.

Ensure that you have a valid driver’s license, an open credit card and proof of insurance coverage (either through your employer’s car insurance or your own). Some rental companies may also check your driving record to make sure you aren’t a risk.

When you pick up your car, carefully inspect it for damage. While most agencies ignore normal wear and tear and dings smaller than a quarter, you should make note of any issues you see. It’s a good idea to take photos for documentation purposes, particularly if you are returning the car outside of business hours. Also, don’t forget to return the car with a full tank of gas. If you don’t, the rental company will charge you a fee.

Driving the Car

If you get into an accident while driving a rental, it’s important to follow the steps for reporting and documenting damage. The process will differ slightly depending on which company provides your car rental. I recommend this website for more Rent a Car Tirana Airport.

Make sure to pay attention to additional fees and requirements, which can include airport surcharges, underage driver fees and mileage charges. To avoid these extras, compare prices online before reserving your vehicle. You can filter by size — small, mid-size, large or SUV — and category, such as economy, luxury or pickup truck, to find the best options for your trip.

Consider purchasing a no excess full damage waiver insurance to limit your liability for damages to the rental vehicle. This type of coverage is usually available from credit card companies and auto clubs, as well as some rental car providers. Having a video of the vehicle as you check it back in can help prove that you did not cause any damage, should the need arise.

Returning the Car

Most rental car companies require that you return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. If you don’t, you’ll be charged for the rental company’s price on gas, which is usually more expensive than what you’d pay at a local station.

You also need to return the car reasonably clean. This includes not only washing the exterior but also ensuring that the interior is free of any dirt, pet hair or cigarette smoke. Failure to do so may result in a cleaning or valeting charge, which can add up quickly.

Most rental car companies will provide you with a receipt when you drop off the vehicle. This should include the date and time of return, as well as the odometer reading and fuel level. Be sure to keep this receipt somewhere safe! It will be important to reference it if you have any issues or damage with the company.