Mistakes to Avoid When Renting a Car

Renting a vehicle is a very common part of the travel experience. Because of this, a lot of people think that the process of renting a car will be transparent and straightforward. Unfortunately, that is not the case. A lot of travelers are not certain how to rent a car without making several mistakes. Do you need all the extras the rental company provides? Can you drive to another country? Do you know how to inspect the car? Should you refuel the car? Do you have to purchase extra insurance?  


These questions come up quite often each time someone rents a car. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Here are some mistakes you should avoid when you’re planning an exotic car rental. 

Neglecting Possible Offers for Upgrades 

Experts suggest that you reserve a cheap car and ask about upgrades at the rental desk. Ideally, this works during peak season when the company is running low on its low-priced cars. They might provide you free or extremely cheap upgrades to a bigger car class because of inventory management problems.  

On almost every occasion, the desk agent has huge discretion in setting upgrade rates. Thus, if the agent asks if you’re interested in a bigger car, make sure you respond by saying “it varies on the rate”. You may find yourself in a better and bigger vehicle at minimal extra cost.  

Failing to Check a Place to Refuel on Your Way Back 

The ideal time to look for a place to refuel your car is after you pick it up. As you’re driving away from the rental company or airport, you should take note of the local gas stations. At the end of the rental, you can return to the best-priced station. If you’re new to the area, the neighborhoods around the airport can be unfamiliar and confusing. Thus, you do not want to drive in circles searching for a gas station as you catch your flight. You should do this when you arrive at the area. Typically, you aren’t pressed for time during this part.  

Prepaying for Gas 

Prepaid gas charges appeal to the need for convenience while traveling. It’s also ideal if you’re worried about getting late for flights. Almost every rental company nowadays offers car refueling options. They’ll typically offer this at the rental desk when you book your car.  

However, you should not fall for this one unless you’re totally certain you’ll return the tank empty. Always keep in mind that the cost of having the company refuel the car is always higher than the cost of doing it on your own.  

Crossing International Borders 

Almost every rental car company in the United States does not allow you to drive the car across international borders. Furthermore, your car insurance rarely covers international car rentals. Thus, you’ll probably want to buy insurance from the rental company at the time of rental.  

Policies on border crossing differ by car rental agency and destination. On several occasions, driving into another country is allowed if you pay an additional fee.