Renting a car can be a great way to get around when you’re on vacation or need a vehicle for a specific purpose. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when using a rental car to ensure that your experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing seven tips for using a rental car that will help you stay safe and avoid any unexpected costs.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Car’s Features

Before you hit the road, take some time to familiarize yourself with the car’s features. This includes things like the location of the gas tank, how to adjust the mirrors, and how to use the audio system. This will help you feel more comfortable behind the wheel and will also make it easier to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

2. Avoid Drinking and Driving

In Massachusetts, there were 8,280 DUI arrests made in 2018 alone, according to National Drunk Driving Statistics. With this in mind, it’s important to avoid drinking and driving when using a rental car. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also extremely dangerous. If you plan on drinking, make sure to have a designated driver or take a taxi or ride-sharing service.

3. Be Prepared for Roadside Emergencies

The average person uses a tow service about once every three years. While you may not think you’ll need it, it’s always best to be prepared for a roadside emergency. Make sure you have a spare tire, a jack, and a set of tools in the car. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit with things like a flashlight, first aid supplies, and a phone charger.

4. Know Your Insurance Coverage

Before you rent a car, it’s important to understand your insurance coverage. Most rental car companies offer various insurance options, but you may already have coverage through your personal auto insurance or credit card. Be sure to check with your insurance provider and credit card company to see what coverage you have before you rent a car.

5. Keep Your Rental Car Clean

When you’re on vacation, it can be easy to let things like eating and drinking in the car slide. However, it’s important to keep your rental car clean to avoid any additional charges. Most rental car companies charge a cleaning fee if the car is returned in a dirty condition. To avoid this fee, make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs before returning the car.

6. Watch Out for Hidden Fees

When you rent a car, be aware of any hidden fees that may be included in the rental agreement. Some common hidden fees include charges for additional drivers, GPS rentals, and tolls. Be sure to read the fine print and ask about any fees that you’re unsure about before you sign the rental agreement.

7. Return the Car in Good Condition

The average national repair cost for a car is $356.04. To avoid any unexpected charges, make sure to return the car in the same condition as when you received it. This includes things like refilling the gas tank, cleaning the interior, and checking for any damage. If you do notice any damage, be sure to report it to the rental car company before you return the car.

In conclusion, renting a car can be a great way to get around, but it’s important to be prepared and aware of potential issues. By following these seven tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your rental car experience without any unexpected costs or headaches. Remember to familiarize yourself with the car’s features, avoid drinking and driving, be prepared for roadside emergencies, know your insurance coverage, keep your rental car clean, watch out for hidden fees, and return the car in good condition. By taking these precautions, you’ll be able to have a safe and enjoyable travel experience while using a rental car.