The Vehicle

The Perfect Car

To choose the appropriate car depends primarily on the number of travelers, the quantity of luggage to be transported and of course the planned travel time. Often on such trips  considerable kilometers traveled can be accumulated - on a three weeks roadtrip  3000 - 4000 or more kilometers can batch up. Therefore I recommend to choose a bit more lavish vehicle category  in order to have enough space, certain comfort and last but not least to ensure adequate security standards. These aspects may also be lead to the decision that also for a road trip in your own country or in the near vicinity a rental car is the better alternative to your own small city car. By the way - also enthusiastic advocates of a car with manual transmission in everyday life may come to appreciate the convenience of a car with automatic gearbox if the unknown driving territory perhaps providing unfamiliar traffic signs or maybe driving on the left demands increased concentration - maybe you should just consider renting a car with automatic transmission as an option for such cases.

Services Included

With rare exceptions, you only can book a certain vehicle category with car rental companies, not a specific type of vehicle, information about vehicle types just stay for an example. An important aspect when renting a car are the services included in the rate booked, in particular become aware of the insurance coverage included. I only recommend to book rates including liability insurance with a coverage of at least one million euros and collision damage waiver / theft loss waiver insurance withou excess. Pay great attention to which damage is covered, often damage to the underbody, oil pan and roof damage as well as damage to tires and glass is not covered by a standard insurance package. In the USA e.g.  an Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) i.e. an insurance against uninsured or underinsured party in the accident definitely should be included. protects you if you're in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn't carry liability insurance. This type of coverage is meant to prevent the possibility that a motorist will have to pay for medical expenses and property damage to his vehicle as a result of the accident with the underinsured at-fault motorist.
For sure a navigation system is helpful utensil for successfully finding your way especially in new surroundings. Unfortunately, the fees for renting a GPS device are somtimes out of scale. Many of us own a portable GPS device for everyday use, sometimes it is worthwhile to put your own device in the bag and take it with you. Don't forget to check if you need to buy an additional map in time for your destination. Using your own device also has the advantage that you are familiar with the operation of it and you will not have to deal with new technology when starting to explore unknown destinations.

Which Options are Needed?

Furthermore, consider whether the rental agreement imposes a limitation of kilometers or miles per day, I personally prefer contracts providing unlimited kilometers. If you are on the road with others and not just one driver should chauffeur the whole trip in most cases there is the option to register additional drivers, usually that is at cost, but there are also rates available including a certain number of additional drivers. My personal tip: In the event that the driver should be indisposed, it makes sense to have at least one second driver registered when picking up the vehicle so that in an emergency you don't have to have to look for a car renters station to get the alternative driver(s) to be added. Attention! In case of driving the rental car by someone who is not registered in the contract, nasty problems may occur in case of an insurance claim. Apropos - please note, that there might be age restrictions (both minimum and maximum age!) for renting a vehicle or a specific vehicle category. In USA e.g.  a "young driver surcharge" for drivers under 25 years of age will apply.

Tips from the Pro

To avoid unpleasant surprises carefully read the rental agreement before signing it. Pay attention especially to the  following points:
• Does the scope of services (insurance, additional services, ...) correspond to the booking?
• Are the pick-up and drop-off locations correct? At what times the vehicle can be returned? Avoid returning vehicles outside station opening hours, as there is no record to confirm a damage-free return.
• What refueling arrangements have been agreed?
• How much is the deposit? Even with most "all-in carefree rates" without a deductible, a deposit is required - pre-authorization of a credit card issued in the name of the main driver is customary, in this case the deductible often is covered by an additional excess insurance.
• When picking up the vehicle, pay close attention to any existing damage to the vehicle, which absolutely must be logged in the delivery record. In case of doubt, take pictures.
• Be aware that the car rental staff is trained to sell additional services as  unwanted upgrades, additional insurance, etc., to achive additional earnings, which means unnecessary cost for you. I will be happy to advise you in detail for your specific project.