Why You Should Actually Put Effort Into Picking The Right Rental Car For Your Trip

Enjoying time on the open road can be a refreshing experience for travelers. Depending on how far your trip takes you, it can be far less of an enjoyable experience in terms of wear and tear on a personal vehicle. Whether a road trip is planned for work or pleasure, renting a car can be a good way to keep your own vehicle protected without having to worry about the added miles.

As more travelers than ever take off on road trip adventures, the rental car industry is reaping the benefits. In 2019, nearly 45 million cars were rented in the U.S. and estimates have the industry topping off at around 47 million rentals by 2024. Car rentals are currently on track to reach over $144 billion globally by 2027 making it an extremely profitable industry and one that many assume is easy to navigate.

With so many people participating in the practice, renting a car understandably seems like it should be simple enough. In reality, taking time to step back and carefully consider the type of car you rent and how the process works could make a huge difference in your on-the-road experience. It can also benefit your travel budget in the long run. Those who are looking to create a comfortable, safe, and budget-friendly road trip for themselves will find a little effort in selection before picking up a rental car goes a long way towards a successful experience.

Consider the benefits and pitfalls before you rent

Having access to so many options when renting a car can cause unforeseen problems. Drivers might lean toward renting a luxury car, extra-small vehicle, or enhanced-sized model simply because it's appealing. In some cases, these decisions are based more on opportunity than practicality.

Renting a massive SUV for a trip can seem fun in the beginning. Issues arise when drivers realize just how different the driving experience can be. Difficulties with unfamiliar vehicle functions, controls, and altered road perspectives in large vehicles aren't always easily discovered until rental contracts are already signed.

Avoid this type of situation by always considering the essential details as well as the appeal when renting a car. For example, renting a luxury car on a whim sounds and looks great, but will also come with an innately higher price tag and added insurance costs to consider. Luxury cars could also present unforeseen safety problems for drivers on extended journeys. Both sports cars and high-end vehicles alike tend to be greater targets for crime.

Other important details to consider when picking the right rental car for your trip include the amount of luggage you're traveling with and how many passengers you'll carry. If you're traveling with multiple suitcases in tow, a small car, even at a better price point, could prove to be spatially problematic. Alternatively, renting a large vehicle when the added space isn't necessary could simply lead to increased costs in gas fuel-ups along the way.

Safety and rental costs are worth researching

Safety is always worth considering when renting a car. In recent years, the United States Department of Transportation has reported a rise in the number of motor vehicle fatalities. This makes it even more important to spend some time researching a vehicle's safety features before signing a rental contract.

Doing your homework is also advisable when it comes to understanding some of the hidden costs of renting a car. Travelers drawn in by low price-per-day rentals can face disappointment when they return their car after a trip and receive a bill that's packed with unexpected added fees. It's important to make sure that the car you decide to rent comes with transparent regulations around unlimited mileage options, liability standards, and any associated insurance costs that might be included too before you drive away.

Picking the right rental car for your trip should also involve some quality consideration about where you pick up or drop off the vehicle. Many travelers simply aren't aware that there are added costs associated with renting a car at the airport. Making the choice to rent a car just down the road from the airport instead could end up leading to significant savings for drivers.

Putting effort into picking the ideal rental vehicle for your trip is definitely worth your while. Take some time to think through your travel needs and preferences before signing. When you do, getting behind the wheel of a rental is much more satisfying.