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When it comes to getting a rental car you want to make sure that you get the best deal possible and that you cover yourself in case of any accidents or damages. Here are 4 tips to help your rental car experience be successful:

  1. Prepay for gas- If you are traveling out of state you should do some research and find out what the local gas prices are. When you rent a car you will have to bring it back with a full tank of gas, and sometimes the rental companies offer gas at a lower rate than the gas stations will. If you prepay for a tank of gas then you can bring the vehicle back on empty and save money over going to the pump.
  2. Always do a thorough inspection- When you are renting a car, getting the best price isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. You need to thoroughly inspect the vehicle to make sure that there are no noticeable defects otherwise you could be held responsible when you return it. If you get in the car and notice that a check engine light or other warning light is on then you should speak with a representative immediately before you sign any paperwork and drive off the lot. If they cannot assure you in writing that the defects won’t be held against you, then you should insist on receiving a different car.
  3. Check for bundle discounts- Traveling can get expensive if you aren’t careful, and one of the best ways to find good deal is to go to sites that allow you to bundle services. Many airlines will partner with rental car companies which means that they can offer greater discounts and savings to customers who purchase their rental car at the same time as their plane ticket. If you want to save as much money as possible then you should always check future dates to see if being flexible with your schedule will mean catching a less expensive flight.
  4. Avoid extra insurance- When you go to rent your car on your trip the person helping you will undoubtedly ask you if you would like to purchase the optional insurance that the company offers. Most of the time this is just one more way that they can squeeze money out of you. Before you accept the additional charge and decide to go with the insurance you should speak with your current automobile or homeowners insurance and see whether or not your policy covers it. If it does then you could stand to save a substantial amount of money on your trip.

Whenever you rent a car you want to do all you can to avoid damaging the vehicle for the sake of your personal safety, and for the sake of your wallet. If you aren’t careful with how you fill out the paperwork and how you drive the car you could end up being held responsible for some costly repairs.

Katie is a freelance writer for Phoenix bankruptcy attorney, Benjamin Skinner, who works with ordinary people that were dealt a bad hand financially.