Renting a car can be a lot of fun, just plain fun. Car rentals offer the renter the opportunity to drive a car, truck or SUV that they normally would not or could not buy. Renting a car is for a weekend get away, to impress someone or just to have something different to drive for a couple of days are some of the most popular reasons to visit a rental company. However, as fun as it is to rent cars, there are some not so fun things that must happen before you drive it off the lot.
1- Keep in mind that most rental companies will not rent to any driver under the age of 25. If you fall under that magic number, you more than likely will need to get an older relative or friend to sign the actual contract for you.
2- You will of course, need a valid drivers license to rent the car. If you do not have a license, they will not rent to you under any circumstances. Most companies will also require you to reserve your car with the use of a major credit card, however, you can pay in cash if you would prefer.
3- You do not need to have personal auto insurance to rent a car; they will ask you if you would like to purchase their insurance for the duration of the rental contract. If, however, you have your own insurance policy, be sure to call your agent to see if you are covered during your use of a rental car. If your personal auto policy covers you, there is no need to purchase a policy from the rental company.
4- It is wise to call several car rental companies to inquire about prices, car availability and specials. Ask about options such as upgrades, pick up and drop off services, unlimited mileage and weekend versus weekly rental prices. Many companies will also offer special deals to customers who are members of other organizations (i.e. credit unions, warehouse clubs, etc).
5- After you have called around, found the best deal and reserved your choice car; it is time to pick it up. Be sure to have all of your personal paperwork with you, including your auto policy if you will not be buying theirs. Before you sign the contract, read through it and ask any questions you may have.