When renting a car, there are some precautions you have to keep in mind. You have to consider getting insurance, taking care of the fuel, and ensuring that you're returning the vehicle in the same condition that you got it in.

But there are some important tips you should keep before you rent a car that can make a difference in whether you accept the car you're given. Here are ten important things you should do before renting a vehicle. 

1. Avoid Airport Locations

Renting a vehicle - Car rental airport

It can be tempting to do a one-way car rental from an airport because it's super convenient. However, this may not be the best choice.

Some rental agencies at airports add supplemental fees because they know they can make more money from those who are desperate to get transportation from the airport.

Look for rental agencies that don't add these extra fees, or you can take a cab to rent a vehicle from a different location.

2. Don't Be Afraid to Compare Prices

Compare car rentals

Compare car rentals – credit: Tuscan Mum

You are under no obligation to rent and pay for a vehicle that is presented to you right that minute. You should shop around to see which rental company can offer you the best prices for what you're asking for.

There are websites out there that can help you with this process, and even be able to provide you with coupons to make your deal even better.

Then once you've found one that fits inside your budget, it's time to see what you're really getting.

3. Checking Out The Details

When looking over the details of your rental, there are specific terms being used that you need to keep in mind.

For example, vehicles can be described as Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-Size, Premium, Luxury, Small SUV, Large SUV, and Extra Capacity SUV, just to name a few.

To find the right vehicle, you should take into account how many passengers you're travelling with, how many bags you have if you want certain features like power windows and entertainment systems, and whether it has a standard or automatic transmission.

4. Earning Discounts

Many companies are partnered with other companies so that members can benefit from loyalty programs to earn bonuses.

For example, being a member of AAA can help you to save on car rentals as well as booking hotels.

If you're a frequent flyer, you could see which airline memberships allow you to spend your points on car rentals so that you can save even more in the long run.

5. Consider Credit Card Bonuses

If you have a credit card that awards you certain bonuses, you should see if they also reward travel purchases and car rentals as well.

Any credit card that also provides bonuses for gas purchases would be beneficial for rental cars since you'll likely be refuelling quite often. You can end up saving even more money in the long run.

6. Make Sure You're Insured

Getting insured on a car rental may be one of the most confusing and expensive parts of renting a car.

Check to see if the home or auto insurance you already have also covers car rentals, which can save you a lot of headaches. Another option is to see if your credit cards have what is called secondary car rental insurance.

This covers their and damages to the rental up to a certain dollar amount, depending on the policy. However, this only kicks in after you've exhausted any other applicable insurance.

7. Consider Getting Roadside Assistance

Some credit cards provide you with roadside assistance if you're even in need of a tow or changing a flat tire.

Keep in mind, however, that these services are not offered for free and you will have to pay for any assistance you get.

The benefit of this service is that you don't have to scramble to look up the nearest roadside assistance company in the area.

8. Getting A Status Update

If you are a frequent traveller, then it might not hurt to consider a premium travel credit card dedicated entirely to your travelling purchases.

You might be able to enrol for complimentary elite status with a rental agency, providing you with discounted rates on premium classes of vehicles, earning free rental days, and access to guaranteed upgrades.

You'll also have access to a dedicated customer service line to help you with any concerns you might have. 

9. BYO Extras

Car rentals are going to try and upsell you specific features, such as navigation systems and child car seats.

You can avoid these costs by bringing your own devices that can be connected to the vehicle, as long as they are compatible.

Not only will you save more money on longer rentals, but you also won't have to worry about disinfecting these items before putting them in your rental.

Phone car mount

Bring your own phone car mount so to use it as a GPS.

10. Kicking The Tires

This might be the strangest tip yet, but it's more than what it sounds like. It is merely recommended that you thoroughly inspect your vehicle before you drive it away from the rental company.

Look for any scratches or dings and make note of them. Take pictures of them if you have to.

You just need documentation to prove that you're returning the vehicle in the condition it was provided to you.

That way, the rental agency can't assign blame to you for the damages and seek out more money.

Inspecting rental car

Getting a car rental can be a time-consuming and stressful process, but if you're adequately prepared, you can make it as stress-free as possible.

By thinking and planning ahead accordingly, you'll not only be able to obtain the vehicle you're looking for, but you'll also be able to save a lot of money along the way.

And who doesn't want to have more spending money during their vacation?

If you're in the market for a car rental, contact your nearest rental agency to see what kind of deals they are offering. They just might have exactly what you're looking for.