Car Rental Tips
Going on a road trip? Whether you are leaving from home or flying to your destination, a rental car is a great transportation choice for your trip. We've compiled a list of considerations you should examine before your next trip.
Need wheels on your next trip? Renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility when you’re traveling, and in some parts of the world it’s the only feasible way to get around. But a rental car can also add complications to your trip — like trying to find the best deal or sorting out exactly which insurance options you need. Read on for our practical tips on saving money, understanding your rental agreement and avoiding problems with your car rental.
After days of deliberation, you finally decide on a destination for your family road trip. The location and activities are certain to be fun, but that’s only half the story. You want to reach your destination with a smile on your face, but hours or possibly even days in the car make that a challenge. The vehicle you drive just might make or break your road trip so you think: can you rent a car for a road trip? The answer is – you sure can. In fact, many times, renting a car on a long distance trip can be better than taking your own car.
Make sure your next road trip is one the entire family will enjoy - even if you're planning a road trip during COVID-19. Keep the car running smoothly and everyone entertained from destination to destination with these helpful considerations. Once you look these over, check out our list of road trip essentials to guarantee you've got everything needed for a memorable journey.
If the driver's license is in a language other than English, and the rental is in the United States, an International Driver's Permit is recommended. You will not be allowed to rent an Advantage vehicle with only an International Driver's Permit. Note that a third form of I. D. may be required on some vehicles.
Choosing a Vehicle
Think carefully about what kind of vehicle you’ll need. If you’re traveling with children or with a lot of gear, you may want a large sedan or SUV. If you’re simply looking to save money on rental rates and gas, you’ll want to reserve the smallest available model.
But size isn’t the only factor. Looking for something environmentally friendly? Many car rental companies now offer hybrid vehicles. Can’t drive a stick shift? Be sure to reserve a car with automatic transmission
Booking Your Car
You’ll find major international car rental agencies all over the world — think Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty. But depending on where you’re traveling, locally owned companies could offer lower rates; before booking, read reviews to be sure their companies are up to the standards of the majors. Always shop around.
One-way rentals are ideal if you are planning to fly out of a different city from the one you arrive in. They are a convenient way to take a longer, more extensive road trip and not have to back-track. On the flip side, some trips may make more sense to do as a round-trip drive. Compare availability and rates between various options and see what works best with your plans.
There may be some restrictions on one-way rentals and/or mileage depending on the car class you select. Start a rental car reservation and see location-specific policies.To lower your rate, ask about discounts for any major national organizations, frequent flier programs and credit card programs to which you may belong. They’ll frequently offer deals on car rentals.
Do you have young kids coming along on the trip? Simplify the logistics of your trip and rent a car seat directly from your Enterprise airport branch. No need to lug it from your car, to the parking shuttle, and through the airport check-in and security lines. Car seats can be reserved when you book your car online.
You’ll probably want to switch drivers at some point during your road trip, especially if you have some long stretches of highway between stops. Enterprise does allow additional drivers on the rental agreement. Visit our additional driver page for more information.
Customers are asked to refuel their rental vehicle to the same fuel level as when it was picked up. We do offer several other fueling options as well.
Returning Your Car
Be wary of prepaid gasoline plans. Always fill the tank yourself before returning the vehicle so that you’re only paying for the amount of gas you actually used. Try to avoid the gas stations right near the airport where you’re dropping off your car — the prices tend to be highest there. Instead, fill up a few miles away.
It may seem counterintuitive, but returning your car early may actually cost you money. You might have to pay an early return fee, but even worse, your rate structure might change, leaving you responsible for the difference.
Before leaving the vehicle, check to be sure you haven’t left any personal belongings. Don’t forget to check the trunk! The most common lost articles include cell phones, sunglasses and umbrellas. Be sure that the check-in attendant inspects the car’s body in your presence and that you agree about any damage
Taking the family car on a long trip means missing a golden opportunity to rent something more fun to drive. Vacations are all about fun. Maybe you should start by sliding behind the wheel of a vehicle you would love to buy but can’t afford. Additionally, if you’re thinking about buying a new car, truck, or SUV, renting the vehicle for the weekend gives you the opportunity to enjoy an extended test drive.