How Does Car Renting Work? Ultimate Guide

Last updated on July 10th, 2023 at 07:06 am

Renting a car for your journey is a fantastic option for many drivers, hence why it’s such a popular form of travel.

If you’re looking for a car rental for your journey(s) to come, then it will benefit you to learn a little more about how the process works.

In this article, we’ll take you through the essentials of car renting, so you know exactly how it works, and why it’s a brilliant option for you.

How Does Car Renting Work?

Here are some of the basic yet crucial steps to renting a car for your travels:

1. Find the best car rental insurance

The first step when renting a car, and arguably the most important, is to find the best car rental insurance.

As with any car, you need to have the state’s minimum coverage requirement for your car to be road-legal.

If you already have an expert insurance provider, like Lemonade Car, and include liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance on your policy, your personal coverage could cover you while you’re renting a car.

This can be liability coverage – that covers you for damages to other people’s vehicles as well as injury to someone who wasn’t a passenger in your car – or comprehensive or collision coverage, which also covers you for damages to your own rental car. 

When renting a car from a company, it’s likely they might offer you a collision damage waiver (CDW), which protects you against any damages made to your rental car.

Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what coverage you need for your rental. If your personal insurance already provides sufficient coverage, then you won’t need a CDW.

2. Choose your ideal car for your trip

The next important thing to do is decide on the type of vehicle you want to rent. This will all depend on the purpose of the vehicle, as well as where you intend on travelling.

For instance, you might be embarking on a family vacation across to another state – or several. This is where you might want something like an SUV, or some form of big, four-wheel drive car, to accommodate the whole group.

Alternatively, you might be touching down in a new city for a couple of days, on business. You might want a nice, easy to manoeuvre car to get you from A to B as efficiently as possible.

Whatever you want for your trip, there are endless car rental companies available to provide you with the right car.

If are you looking to rent a Toronto party bus for your next event? Read our ultimate guide on how car renting works to make the most of your experience.

3. Select your dates for the car

When renting a car, you also need to specify the dates you’ll need the car for, so the car rental company knows how long it will be out of use.

Nowadays, you have much more flexibility on how long you can rent a car for.

You may only need to rent a car for something as short as one day, for a quick visit to a new state or city, for instance. Or, you may need a more long-term car rental, in which case, you can have the car for up to six months from some providers.

4. Pick up your vehicle

Once you’ve got everything in order, and you’re happy with your selection, you can then complete your booking.

If you’re booking your rental car in advance, you’ll simply need to pick up the car from the designated spot, at the date and time you selected.

Or, if you’ve walked into a rental car company in-person, you can usually sign off on the car and drive away with it right there and then.

5. Drop off your vehicle

After you’ve finished with the rental car, it’s often a case of simply returning it to the place specified, at the correct time, and that’s that!

It’s best if you return your car in the exact condition you got it, as this makes the drop-off process much simpler.

If, however, there have been any damages made to the car, or any instances of an accident, then this is why insurance is your best friend, as it will cover you for any damages incurred, and protect you from having to pay any expensive repairs or replacements.

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