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How to Book a One Way Car Rental

Whether you book your one way car rental online or at the car rental office, make sure you carefully read the rental agreement and restrictions. Here are a few tips to help you out.
WheelZine Staff
Booking a one way car rental makes sense if you are taking a one way road trip, and have other or no plans for a return journey. There are plenty of companies that offer this service. Nowadays, researching online is the easiest and quickest way to find and book rentals. Most companies have put online detailed information regarding their rental policies, and they can also be reached via email for more details. Before contacting the rental agency, you should have a clear idea about the following.
  • The destination you are headed for.
  • The route you are planning on taking.
  • If you are going to drive the entire way or if there will be another person taking turns at driving.
  • The number of passengers, if any, in the car.
  • The type of car you want.
  • Your rental budget.
  • The details of your insurance policies, particularly the automobile and liability insurance policies, and if these cover car rentals.
  • Find out if the company has offices and drop off places along the route you are taking or in the cities you will be visiting. Major car rental companies are more likely to have a high percentage of drop off places around the country. It also is reassuring to rent from a company with an established reputation. You stand a better chance of getting a quality car and less chances of being scammed or ripped off.
  • Whether you book your vehicle online or at the car rental office, make sure you carefully read the rental agreement and restrictions, and that you understand all the terms and conditions thoroughly. If you don't comprehend any of the terms, ask the agent to clarify them for you. You don't want to get into a legal bind for overlooking some detail.
  • Find out if there is a penalty for no-shows.
  • If there is going to be another driver that will be driving the car, make sure you have that down on the contract. You may have to pay additional charges for a second driver.
  • Ask beforehand what the drop off charges will be. They can turn out to be quite high, so its good to have an idea beforehand.
  • Ask about other charges like fees for insurance, airport fees, over mileage fees, and taxes. You may have to buy collision damage insurance, personal effect insurance, personal accident insurance, and liability insurance if your insurance policy does not cover rentals. Find out first what your insurance policy or credit card policy covers, so you don't end up buying extra.
  • Ask the rental company if they will provide support in case the rental car breaks down or is involved in an accident. It could be a major problem for you if they don't. If they offer such assistance, make sure you are provided with the contact details.
  • Ask if the company is offering any car rental discounts. Many car companies offer discounts on frequent flier programs, credit card programs, online bookings, and so on. Check if there are any hidden costs involved.
  • Negotiate the price. This may be possible if it's a slow season; the company would rather rent you a car than have it sitting in the lot indefinitely.
  • If you're getting a bargain, make your reservation quickly. Prices tend to fluctuate according to demand.
  • You will have to make a down payment at the time of making the reservation, and pay the rest when you go to pick up the car at the rental lot. Make sure you understand all the charges correctly.
  • Make sure you have the car's registration and insurance papers with you.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the type of car you are renting. This may sound a tad obvious, but it's easy to get carried away, particularly when you are being offered a bargain. And it's really not a smart idea to experiment with a rental car.
  • Check the car thoroughly inside and outside in the lot, in the presence of the agent. If there are any dents or scratches or tears, point them out and make a note of them. You don't want to have to pay for 'damages' later that you didn't do.
If you keep these few points in mind, there is nothing to renting a car for your trip. Drive safe and have fun!