So you have finally made the decision to go visit mom in Florida. She is getting up there in age and you haven't been there in a while. You are excited about the trip but as you look out the window towards the garage and see "old faithful" parked there, you start thinking about your semi-bald tires, and that the air conditioning has been acting funny lately. Then you think about Florida and no air conditioning and it occurs to you that this may be the time to check out car rental companies and prices.
Choosing The Best Car Rental
One thing you should keep in mind when checking out car rental agencies is that the biggest may not always be the best for your needs. Check out some smaller or local companies in your area and get some quotes from them to consider before making your decision. Enterprise, Avis and Hertz own 95% of the domestic car rental industry according to Abrams. The other 5% may not have the capability of saving and holding vehicles like the big car companies, but may have lower rental prices.
Checking Insurance Rates
One of your biggest expenses may be car insurance. The rental company is going to really try to talk you into their insurance, which, on average, costs $25.00 per day added to your vehicle rental cost. The latest addition to their spiel is called 'loss of use" which means that if the car is damaged and has to be put in a shop for repairs and they can't rent it out, the cost comes out of your pocket for the time it is out of use. They may tell you that your insurance, even though you have full coverage, will not cover this situation. Don't wait until you are at the parking lot of the rental agency to find out about insurance-their rates are the highest you will pay. Check rates online where you have several options and don't forget to call your own insurance company personally to find out your coverage in a rental vehicle.
While making your decision on where to rent your car, decide on what type of vehicle you have to have to fulfil your needs-to visit mom in Florida you probably are just taking some changes of clothing so do not need a roomy vehicle, but if you plan to camp along the way you may need a larger, roomier vehicle to accommodate all of your camping gear. Have a concept of what you are going to need to be comfortable on your trip. Another good tip is to check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's listings on Recalls.gov for any recalls on the vehicle you are planning on renting.
If an Accident Occurs
Now you have done all your homework, are driving the vehicle you are happy with and are on your trip. Out of nowhere a car sideswipes you! No one is hurt, thank goodness, but you don't know what you should do next. Between your automobile insurance, and additional coverage if you paid with a credit card, you should come out of this alright, but don't be afraid to seek legal advice to make sure that everything is taken care of as it should be and you don't suffer out of pocket expenses.