Things to Know Before Renting a Vehicle - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jul 20, 2020

Things to Know Before Renting a Vehicle



Whether you’re traveling for leisure or are in a situation where you need to rent a vehicle, there are things you need to know before signing the dotted line at the rental desk. Read below to learn some tips when it comes to renting a vehicle:

Where is the best place to rent a vehicle?


There are many travel sites that offer booking assistance when it comes to renting a vehicle. If you can, try to avoid renting from an airport location. Not only can you run into longer wait times, but you’ll probably find there are tacked-on-fees for simply renting at the airport. Do some research ahead of time and find the best rate for the area that you’re visiting and plan to grab a ride via public transportation to an off-airport rental location.

Do you need to purchase insurance?


Ah, the ultimate rental car question. There are a few factors that come into play here. You do not need to have a current auto insurance policy in order to rent a vehicle. This is just one reason why rental companies will offer you their own. If you don’t currently have an auto insurance policy, you will need to purchase insurance. This can be done at the counter or can be something you research and come equipped with ahead of time.

If you do currently have an auto policy...

Know the facts about your current coverages first.


If you’re going to be renting a vehicle, discussing the specifics of what your current auto policy will cover with your local agent is imperative. They can best advise you on what other coverages you may or may not want to purchase at the time of renting.

Also, give your credit card company a call. You may be surprised to learn that some credit card companies offer coverages such as physical damage or theft if you don’t have a personal auto insurance policy. Be sure to ask questions specific to your account to find out what may or may not be covered in the event of an accident in a rental car.

Thoroughly check the car for damages, inside and out, before driving away.


In most cases, the rental company will look over the car with you, pointing out and documenting any pre-existing damages before you drive away. Be extremely thorough during this process. Check every inch of the vehicle; if there is something that is missed, take a photo of it immediately and report it to the rental car company. You don’t want to be charged for any damages you did not cause.

Don’t forget to fill the tank when you’re done!


Most companies will require that you fill the tank to whatever level it was before you left with the vehicle. Take a photo of your gas level before you take it for your first spin. The rental company will likely document it on your paperwork, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own proof of gas level. It’s also important to know what type of fuel you should put in the vehicle beforehand. Additionally, save your gas receipts throughout the duration of driving the car just in case you need them down the road. 

Be mindful of your return time.


You should plan to have the vehicle back to the rental company before the scheduled time. You can run into late fees if returned later than the agreed time and planning for an early return will ease your stress should you run into long lines upon return. This tip can keep you on time and on budget.

Renting a vehicle can be incredibly helpful when you’re travelling or find yourself in need of a car. Follow these tips to stay in-the-know and on budget throughout the rental process.



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