If you haven’t rented a car in the past, but you will soon be heading to a Galveston vacation, it’s normal to be filled with confusion, fears of apprehension, and concern. And if you have hired rental cars before, you are probably overpaying. Renting a car can be stressful and confusing. For this reason, many people end up paying unnecessarily more than they should.
But don’t worry because it’s why this article is here for you. In this guide, we will be sharing with you the lessons we have learned from renting cars so you can use it for your Galveston to Houston car rental needs. You will learn about the best tips and mistakes that people make when renting cars to help you avoid hidden charges and save money while at it.
Once you have settled on your preferred travel dates, it’s advisable to move in and book your car as soon as possible.
Like in everything else, the forces of supply and demand apply here, too, and if you don’t make a reservation earlier, you risk finding only too few options or only getting the pricier vehicles. Booking early is even more important when you plan to travel to Galveston in the summer when it’s peak season.
Although it’s entirely possible to find last-minute rentals, you are still advised to book weeks ahead.
When it comes to car rental companies, the big boys who operate in most countries might be the first to catch your eye. However, there are also smaller companies that operate locally that you may not have the desire or time to check out especially considering the amount of preparation you have to do for your upcoming trip.
However, you are missing out on lots of cheap, great deals by not considering them. Black Car Service, for instance, is a great option for those willing to move from Galveston to Houston and offers the most unbeatable prices in town. They have professional chauffeur services just like the big guys but offer more personalized service to make your Galveston vacation an unforgettable one.
Read the fine print before booking
Many of us make the mistake of going straight to the cheapest companies and booking those, especially when on a budget. However, spending a little more time comparing quotes will help leave more money in your pockets.
As happens with airlines, some car rental companies will lure you with extremely cheap upfront prices but then try to make up for the difference with stingy allowances for mileage and onerous fuel policies. One example is the Gold Car, which, while it was named the worst car hire company in 2019, attracted customers by its cheap headline rates. However, customers reported paying more per day and also said it had one of the worst customer services. Below are the areas you need to be particularly keen on:
Every company will hold onto your money as a deposit in case of damage. This money is often given back upon safely returning the car. It can be anywhere from $300-$900 depending on the company as well as the length of rental. Also, cheaper companies tend to hold onto a larger amount of deposit on your credit card.
Young Drivers Surcharge
Most rental companies prefer older drivers as these are less accident-prone. Therefore, you should prepare to pay the young driver’s surcharge if you are younger than 25 years of age. This is usually a fixed amount of money and is charged per day of your rental.
Understand 24-Hour Periods
One day for a car rental company is 24 hours. It calls for strategic planning of your drop off and pick-up times. If you return your car by one jour late, you will be charged the rates for that whole day, not one hour. For instance, if you picked up a car at 11 am on 6th October 2020 and return it at noon the next day, you will be charged the rate of two days.
Therefore, always ensure you stick to the drop-off times unless when you cannot avoid it entirely.
Most Galveston transportation services providers give you a full tank of fuel when you pick up the car. They also expect that you will return it full. If the tank isn’t full upon returning the car they will levy a charge on you to fill in the tank. But the problem is that this is usually significantly marked up.
Some car rental companies will try to sweet-talk you into agreeing to the ‘convenience’ if bringing the car back even if it’s not full and charging you a ‘fair’ amount to fill the tank up. This option is not recommended because the rate per litter that they will charge you is considerably higher compared to what you will pay up at any fuel station.
Cleaning /Car Wash
Some companies will also charge you for returning a car without cleaning it. In most cases, they won’t tell you this beforehand, but it’s in their T&C. To save on this money, make sure you return your car when it’s professionally cleaned otherwise, you might be charged as much as $25 for cleaning it.
But on the flip side, most companies don’t charge cleaning as it’s in the rental cost already. However, make sure you ask about this before you sign before the dotted line.
Prepare Your Paperwork and Documents
If you intend to fly into Galveston and then pick up your rented car from the airport, you will need to carry all the necessary items needed to collect the car.
Firstly, you need to come with a valid credit card in the driver’s name. This is where the car rental company will hold a security deposit for the whole time of the rental.
Next up, you also need to bring your driving license. It’s worth noting, however, that some countries require you to have an International Driving License besides the usual driver’s license.
Chances are that you are most likely being charged more for your car rental. Next time you hire a car for your Galveston vacation, adhere to the tips above to help you.
At Lavish Ride, we not only aim to give our customers the ultimate Galveston vacation experience but also do so in a very cost-effective manner. Our pricing is transparent and upfront. We won’t be hitting you with unexplained bills after you return the car. Our vehicles are well-maintained and high-performing to give you a hitch-less ride from Galveston to Houston as you rush to catch your flight. Whether you choose the self-drive option or want to use our professional chauffeur services Houston, we guarantee you will have a great time in our vehicles.