Our Tips For A Good Car Rental Experience (PDF)
1. When you Book your Vehicle on the Internet
Simply, by educating yourself about how car rentals work, you can avoid any unpleasantness associated with renting a car. Please check out our 3-part advice column on how to have a good car rental experience. We are your booking agent and are not personally associated with the car company you’ll rent with. We pride ourselves in negotiating great rates with them for our customers, offered through a simple and informative website. We hope you’ll take advantage of our services.
Will I receive a Quote or Reservation?
While we use the terms interchangeably, remember that we asked for no personal payment information from you. You will receive a Guaranteed and No-Obligation Reservation from us, but are never bound or restricted by it. Why will you receive a Reservation? It is our intention to obligate the car company to rent to you at the original listed price-- even if you book months before you travel. If you like the price you receive from us, keep your Guaranteed Reservation. If you were just curious about rental car prices, or prefer to look elsewhere, simply cancel or ignore our emailed reservation.
Base Rate vs. All-Inclusive Rate
The prices you see on our website are Fixed, Base Rates that we have negotiated with our individual rental car partners. When you receive your All-Inclusive Quote/Reservation from our reservations specialist, it will include your requests (such as a GPS unit), fees, with airport, state and local taxes. Each airport and area in the Hawaiian Islands has unique fees, so your quote includes those charged at your vehicle pick-up location. Set by the local municipalities, these are non-negotiable charges that are said to benefit island life.
Insurance for your Rental Vehicle
Purchasing rental company Insurance, or using what you have, is a personal choice. If your credit card company or auto insurance company includes rental car insurance, then you may wish to use that. We suggest you read your policies or contact your credit card or insurance company before deciding. this. Know your coverage, in case of an accident.
For foreign travelers, your homeland driver’s license will usually suffice in the US. You will be asked to show your passport when you pick up your rental vehicle.
Read your Rental Agreement Before Traveling
With your Quote/Reservation, you will receive “fine print” information in your rental agreement. We know it’s boring. Read it while you are at home. Understand it. Our car rental partners, understandably, want to protect themselves. Educating yourself is your best protection from future misunderstandings.
Print your Paperwork
In email, we’ll send you your Guaranteed Reservation. Your name and information you gave us will be on that Quote. Once you’ve determined that everything is correct, print your Reservation and pack it so that it is easily accessible when you arrive to pick-up your car.
2. At the Rental Desk
Arrive on Time
Vehicles are rented in 24-hour blocks of time. When you requested your Reservation/Quote from us, we asked you for your flight number and arrival time. As you can see, your arrival and departure times affect the price of your rental. There is a grace period for picking up a rental car, but it varies from company to company. Generally, you can be early or late by 3 hours. But, it is always wise to contact your rental car company if your arrival time changes by more than an hour.
Have your Paperwork in Your Hand
To avoid hassles or mistakes at the car rental reservation desk, have the quote you’ve printed in your hand when you arrive to pick up your car. Your reservation will also have the 800 number for the rental car company head office. Should a problem arise, we suggest you call that 800 number, rather than argue with the counter help.
When you arrive to pick up your vehicle, you may be asked if you’d like to upgrade the quality of your rental. Car rental companies are obligated to provide your requested vehicle, or on that is better. You are not obligated to take an upgrade and, if your requested vehicle is unavailable, you cannot be charged extra fees when the company provides an upgraded vehicle without your asking for it. (You may have to remind the counter help of this)
Check your Vehicle Inside and Out
Just don’t hop in your rental and drive off. Take time to check for outside and inside damage. Look in the trunk for rips or stains, too. If you’ll be getting your car at night, you might want to carry a key-chain flashlight for this, as your rental car may be parked in a dimly-lit area. If you find damage of any kind, be sure that the attendant notes it in your rental paperwork.
3. Returning your Vehicle
Fill the Gas Tank
You’ll have an option of returning your vehicle with a full tank of gas or paying the rental company to fill it for you, after you’ve departed. You’ll save money when you return your rental vehicle with a full tank. Be mindful of the gasoline octane rating your vehicle requires whenever you fill its tank. Keep the receipts.
Return on Time
’t arrive too early or very late. Most car companies honor a grace period of 30 to 60 minutes. If you return much earlier or later than you originally stated, they may add charges to your rental. Check with your rental company so that you’ll know what additional charges may apply if you pick up your car early or drop it off late.
Don’t Rush Off
Of course you want your vacation to continue until the last possible minute. Rushing off from your rental can cost you if the rental car company discovers you’ve damaged the vehicle. And, once you’ve departed you have little recourse. We suggest you stay long enough for the attendant to sign off on your agreement. That one or two minutes can save you grief later.
Keep all Paperwork
Once you’ve arrived home, file your rental car paperwork and receipts. It may take as much as 6 months for a rental car company to alert you to damage that you, most likely, know nothing about. Keeping all paperwork, agreements and gas receipts will quickly alleviate any questions that could arise.
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