If your business travel requires renting a car, there's much more to consider outside of your playlist for the road. From make and model all the way down to which side the petrol tank is on, here are 10 things to keep in mind when renting a car ...
1. Consider your destination
When you find out you need to rent a car for business travel, your first thought may be to get the swankiest drive your budget allows. Though when it comes to deciding what kind of car to get, it's best to consider your destination first. For example, if your diving will mostly be within the inner city, a small and compact vehicle that's easy to park should be at the top of your list. If you're going to be driving long distances, petrol efficiency should play a large factor.
2. Your credit card or travel insurance may cover your insurance
Drivers are always presented with the option of buying extra insurance. In order to avoid needless spending, do a bit of research before you get to the counter to pick up your car. Many credit cards will offer insurance coverage on rental cars as well travel insurance companies. Do a little digging to see what existing coverage you have. Just make sure you read the fine print to ensure you're adequately covered.
3. Minimum age requirements apply
Did you know in the USA you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car without additional surcharges? In London, you must be 21. It's the same here in Australia. It's well worth looking into age requirements, particularly if you're a younger business traveller and you're heading overseas. This helps avoid any shock additional charges when you pick up your car.
4. You'll pay less if you fill the tank yourself
Most (if not all) car rental companies require the car to have a full tank on return. However, you do get the option of doing it yourself of having them do it. You should always opt to do it yourself because it's a huge savings. It is imperative to keep your petrol receipt though. The rental company is likely to ask for it when you return the car.
5. You may have to pay more for other drivers
If you're heading out on the road with your colleagues, keep in mind that adding additional drivers can come at an additional cost. It usually comes at a cost of around $10 to $15AUD per day. If it's important to add a second or even third driver, it's important to look into this additional fee ahead of renting your car.
6. There's no off-roading allowed
There are plenty of policies to consider when renting a car, but one that many people don't consider is driving on unsealed roads. Major car rental companies forbid drivers to take their cars on unsealed roads. If you're travelling through remote areas, this may be something to consider as if you run into an emergency, damage the car or run into a problem, your insurance may not cover the costs.
7. Check the car before driving off
In all of the rush to get out on the road, it's easy to overlook giving the vehicle a thorough check. You may even rely on the rental company doing one themselves. Don't make this mistake. You should always give the car a good once over to inspect for small dings and dents. Compare it to the notes that have been provided to you by the rental company and take photos. If you don't, when you return the car you could be held responsible for anything that was not noted when you took the car.
8. Be on time or late fees apply
Another way to rack up fees that's easy to overlook is not returning your rental car at the allocated time. While some major rental car companies will offer a grace period of around a half an hour, if you're more than an hour late you could be looking at another full day's charge.
9. Which side is the petrol on?
Driving an unfamiliar car comes with a certain amount of getting used to, but every driver has faced the dilemma of pulling into a petrol station and realising they have no clue which side the tank is on. Luckily, you don't have to get out of the car to find out. Simply look at the petrol gauge. There will be a small arrow on either side of the petrol pump icon. This arrow indicates which side the tank is on.
10. FCBT can help you get more out of your rental
FCBT can help you book all aspects of your business travel, including rental cars. Not only can your dedicated Travel Manager help you find a rental car that meets all of your budget and destination requirements, but with exclusive programs such as SmartDRIVE, they can help you get even more out of your booking. This includes taking advantage of frequent flyer opportunities. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable Business Development Managers on 1300 797 826.