Need wheels on your next trip? Whether it is for business or pleasure, renting a car will give you the freedom and flexibility to go where you desire. However, choosing the right rental car can be tricky - you certainly do not want to add complications and stress to your trip. We’ve compiled four tips on choosing your next rental car to help you get the most out of it:
4 Tips for Choosing a Rental Car
What are your needs?
A supercar would be a great way to enjoy the German autobahns, but what if you’re hauling the kids along? You will be needing that large sedan or minivan instead. A super-compact car would be a terrific option for adventures around the city but no so much if you are going to be on the expressway a lot. Traveling with a lot of gear? You will need a car with extra boot space. And who wouldn’t love cruising in a convertible, but if the weather calls for rainstorms?
It sounds obvious, but an honest examination of what you’ll need will help you choose a practical rental car.
What size car works for you?
Rental cars are typically categorized by size: mini, small, medium, SUV, family and so forth, with rental prices increasing as the car gets bigger. The first consideration is how many people do you need to fit into the rental car, and how comfortably do you want everyone to be while in the car. Say, a family of 5 would fit into a large sedan, but if 3 of those family members are children who can’t be sat next to each other, then you would want to go for the 7-passenger minivan. But also keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better - they tend to consume more fuel and are more difficult to maneuver, particularly in cities that have narrow winding roads or limited parking, like on many of the Greek islands.
Do you need an automatic?
This is definitely a personal choice, but also something worth looking out for when choosing your rental car. If you are used to driving with automatic transmission, you might want to stick with what you’re familiar with. Perhaps you are sharing the rental car with another person - you will need to take their preferences into consideration, too. Always check with the rental company what the transmission is available for the model of the vehicle you are renting.
Don’t just assume all rental cars are auto, manual is the norm in many parts of the world.
Are you allowed to hook up a dash cam?
The most stressful thing about renting a car is that you have to bring it back in pristine condition. You can be on your best driving behavior but there are still plenty of factors that are beyond your control. It is bad enough being in an accident when you’re at home but it’s even worse when you are far away.
Statistics have shown that you’re more likely to get in an accident when driving in Europe, perhaps that’s why the entire EU continent is working towards the target of reducing deaths on the road by 50%. Well, let’s not get all stressed out before your cross-Europe road-trip. Why not bring a portable dash cam along? A dash cam is beneficial when things go wrong, especially when there’s a language barrier. Video footage transcends language barriers and will back you up in tricky situations. Of course, dash cams also come in handy when capturing your mile-upon-mile adventures. You don’t need a high-end one, a simple budget-friendly dash cam that comes with a suction mount would do, just make sure it’s small enough that it would easily fit onto the windshield without being a distraction or hazard.
At the end of the day, you may not have much choice in your rental car, but knowing your needs and your preferences ahead of time makes it easier to pick out the most suitable car for a more enjoyable driving experience.