If you are planning to visit another city or another country, it may be more practical to rent a car rather than brave the public transportation system of the place you are going to. Just relying on the public transportation system can limit your mobility, especially when there are places where you want to go that are not covered by the public transport. Depending on the public transport so you can get around can also put undue time pressure on your gallivanting and eats away a little at the element of fun that you are supposed to have when exploring an unfamiliar place.
Moreover, when you are traveling with a group and that group includes children, herding the group around through the public transport system can become a nightmare.
It is possible to arrange for rental cars before you actually leave for your journey. You can do this through telephone or the Internet. But before you make your reservation with a rental car company, there may be a few things that you will need to consider before you actually reserve a car for your trip.
Here are a tips for renting a car:
Transmission. Do you go manual or automatic? In some countries, manual transmission is the norm, and if you are someone who relies on automatic transmission, you may need to make an early reservation.
Fuel efficiency. While most rental car companies hire out fuel-efficient cars, it is best to make sure that the car you will be using is indeed fuel efficient. Otherwise, you may find your travel budget being sucked dry by fuel prices.
Interior space. The interior space, the size of the seats and the legroom of some cars are not always what you think they are. In Europe, for instance, the inside of the car is often smaller than what Americans are probably used to. Therefore, always check out the size of the car you are thinking of renting before actually booking it.
Storage space. What goes for interior space also goes for storage space. If you are going to bring stuff with you while you drive around the place you are visiting, choose a car with ample trunk space suitable to your needs.
Extras. Never assume that the car you are renting automatically has air conditioning or stereo or GPS tracker, or whatever accessories and features you would expect from a car. Specify what features you would need if you have to.
Smoking or non-smoking. Always ask for a non-smoking car. It is highly likely that the non-smoking car hired out by rental car companies are a lot newer and cleaner than smoking cars.
If you travel frequently, you may want to become more loyal to one particular rental car company, although it is always best to patronize another company as backup. Just like with airlines and hotels, rental car companies always have something special to offer exclusively to their loyal customers, whether in the form of discounts or other perks.