What You Should Know About Renting a Car on Your Vacation

The beginning and end to many vacations take place at an airport. A place where people travel thousands of miles in just a few hours, but in this hustling and bustling hub of transportation, it is easy to get frazzled by the overload of information of what you should and should not do, what you can and cannot bring and all of the planning involved to make your trip remarkable.

Most airports are the home to rental car facilities that promise to get you from place to place in style. But renting a car may not be as black and white as it appears in the fine print.


Here are a few need to knows when renting a car:

  1. While there seem to be a lot of options to choose from when renting a car, there are three major companies that make up most of the car rental market. Enterprise is the parent company of both National and Alamo. Avis purchased Budget, Payless and Zipcar. Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty.
  2. “Young” drivers cost more to hit the road with rental cars. While sixteen is the legal age to obtain a driver’s license, according to the rental car companies, you are a young driver until you turn 25 years old. And until that quarter of a century birthday, you can expect additional fees for renting a car if you want them to be able to drive it.
  3. Keep the drivers to a minimum. While you may want to keep the young drivers off the authorized drivers list, it is also a good idea to limit how many drivers are allowed to operate the vehicle. We recommend this because you’ll end up paying a fee for each additional driver.
  4. Who is going to insure your rental car? Before you get to your vacation spot, it is good to plan ahead with your insurance. There are lots of options of how you can have your new rental vehicle insured during the trip.

They include: your trusted insurance agency, through the rental car company, or your credit card company. Buying insurance through a car rental shop comes with a premium price. Credit card companies also have the ability to extend you coverage for your rental car, however, be careful to read up on the exclusions and limitations they may put in the fine print. What you may find is that damage to a rental car is already covered under your existing auto policy, for no additional premium. Don’t forget to contact your agent to verify where your coverage may apply or fall short.

  1. When renting a car you often have the option of returning the car with a full tank of gas or paying extra to avoid this requirement. The convenience of not having to fill the tank will come with a price, but agreeing to return it full and NOT doing so can really cost you.
  2. You will also want to be sure to get the vehicle back on time. Some rental companies will allow a grace period, but once that time expires, you could end up paying for an entire extra day.

While renting a car may be more complicated than you ever imagined, getting the insurance you need does not have to be, especially if you put your faith in Ross Insurance Agency. Their personal lines team of professionals will help you be smarter about your insurance so you can be comfortable with your coverage and make more intelligent decisions.