Things to Remember When Renting a Car

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Oct 07, 2011 / 0 comments

Whether you're spending the week at a beach destination with your family, driving across country with friends, or traveling for business, we rent cars for various reasons to help make our driving more convenient.  Here are things to remember to help make your car rental experience as smooth as can be. 

Things to Remember When Renting a Car

Look it Over

When you get the car, it is important to take note of any existing dents, scratches or any damaged parts of your car, such as windshield wipers or the radio and mark it down on the paperwork. If you notice any scratches later after you leave with your car, it might be wise to photograph it, and note down the damage to avoid any unwarranted extra charges. You might want to bring your own extras, like child car seats or a GPS device as a way to save a little money - but if you have ordered a child car seat, remember to make sure for safety purposes that it securely fits inside the vehicle. If you are picking up your children after you get the car, you don't want to find out that their seats are too loose.

Personal Safety

One of the most important things to remember to make your driving experience safer is to get a good night's sleep so that you don't end up with the "head bobs" before being shocked back to consciousness by scraping the side of a tunnel during a long drive. It's best to plan to take scheduled breaks on a long drive to highway rest stops to refuel your body and stretch your legs. 

I recommend bringing your own music that you and your passengers can agree on, so you don't have to rely on the radio stations in local markets. Having a comfortable atmosphere inside your rental car through little things like music or making sure the leg room is sufficient is probably more important than how much of the perception of luxury the vehicle's exterior gives off to the other drivers on the road.


It's also wise to check the operating hours for entertainment destinations you might be travelling to before you start your trip. No one wants to get to "Wally World" and find out from the talking moose that certain amusement park rides or the entire park are closed. Unless you are Chevy Chase that will probably end in disappointment for your family.  Remember, life's a journey that includes many fun destinations along the way. Read the roadside attractions books and websites (and atlas obscura) for cool places to see.


Check to see what insurance is required when renting a car. In Ireland, you just have Super CDW (good idea, since you always bust a hubcap or mirror). Does your credit card cover the insurance wherever you are renting? 

Save Money

This could go under research, but it is worth a stand-alone. Check CarRental8 - and Get a Great Car Rental for Less. Compare Discounts in 125 Countries. With the power of the internet at your fingers, saving money isn't hard. Also, be sure to fill up the gas tank before you return the car. ANY gas station will be cheaper than what the rental place will charge for filling it up.

Road Trip Tips

We've got a whole article on saving money on road trips, and another on interesting things to see on your road trip. But this one on WHY take a road trip is a must-read.


What are your best tips for things to remember when renting a car and taking a road trip?