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The Ultimate Guide to Renting Cars

The Ultimate Guide to Renting Cars: Tips, Benefits, and How to Make the Most of Your Experience

Renting carsAre you planning a trip and considering renting a car? Look no further! In this ultimate guide to renting cars, we will provide you with essential tips, highlight the benefits, and show you how to make the most of your experience.

Renting a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore new destinations at your own pace. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, having a car at your disposal can make your journey more convenient and enjoyable.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know before renting a car. From choosing the right vehicle for your needs to understanding the rental process, we’ve got you covered. We will also discuss the benefits of renting a car, such as cost savings, convenience, and the ability to visit off-the-beaten-path locations.

Additionally, we will share valuable tips to help you optimise your car rental experience. We’ll provide advice on selecting the right rental company, understanding insurance options, and maximising fuel efficiency.

Stay tuned to discover the ultimate guide to renting cars and make your next trip a memorable one.

Benefits of renting cars

Renting a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore new destinations at your own pace. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, having a car at your disposal can make your journey more convenient and enjoyable.

Firstly, renting a car can save you money. If you are traveling with a group or have a packed itinerary, renting a car can be more cost-effective than relying on public transportation or hailing taxis. With a rental car, you have the ability to split the costs with your travel companions, making it a more budget-friendly option.

Secondly, renting a car gives you the flexibility to visit off-the-beaten-path locations. Public transportation often has limited routes and schedules, which can restrict your ability to explore hidden gems. With a rental car, you have the freedom to take spontaneous detours, discover hidden beaches, or visit charming villages that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation.

Lastly, renting a car provides convenience and comfort. You don’t have to worry about lugging around heavy luggage or navigating through crowded public transportation with your belongings. With a rental car, you can easily store your bags in the trunk and enjoy a comfortable ride to your destination. Plus, you can control the temperature, play your favorite music, and stop for breaks whenever you please.

Factors to consider when renting a car

Before renting a car, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

First and foremost, you must determine the size and type of vehicle that best suits your needs. Consider the number of passengers, amount of luggage, and the type of terrain you will be driving on. If you are planning to explore mountainous areas, for example, a sturdy SUV might be a better option than a compact car.

Next, you should research different rental car companies and compare their prices, policies, and customer reviews. Look for reputable companies that offer reliable vehicles and excellent customer service. It’s also important to consider the location and availability of rental car offices, especially if you are flying into a different city or country.

Another crucial factor to consider is the rental duration and mileage limitations. Some rental companies charge additional fees for exceeding the mileage limit, so it’s important to estimate your driving distance and choose a rental plan that suits your needs.

Tips for renting a car

To make the most of your car rental experience, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

1. Book in advance: To secure the best rates and ensure vehicle availability, it’s advisable to book your rental car in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

2. Check for discounts and promotions: Many rental car companies offer discounts for loyalty members, frequent travelers, or through partnerships with airlines or hotels. Take advantage of these deals to save money on your rental.

3. Inspect the vehicle: Before driving off, thoroughly inspect the rental car for any existing damages or issues. Take photos or videos as evidence in case you are wrongly held responsible for any damages upon return.

4. Read the rental agreement: It’s crucial to carefully read and understand the rental agreement, including the terms and conditions, insurance coverage, and any additional fees. This will help you avoid surprises and ensure that you are fully aware of your responsibilities as a renter.

5. Return the car with a full tank: Most rental car companies require you to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. Be sure to refuel before returning the car to avoid hefty refueling charges.

6. Drive safely and responsibly: Adhere to traffic rules, drive within the speed limits, and park the car securely to avoid any fines or penalties. Safe driving not only protects you and your passengers but also helps maintain the rental car in good condition.

How to choose the right rental car company

Choosing the right rental car company is crucial for a smooth and stress-free experience. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

1. Reputation and reviews: Research the reputation of different rental car companies by reading customer reviews and testimonials. Look for companies that consistently provide excellent service and reliable vehicles.

2. Availability and location: Consider the availability and location of rental car offices. Ensure that there is a rental office conveniently located near your arrival destination, such as an airport or train station.

3. Vehicle selection: Check the variety of vehicles offered by different rental car companies. Make sure they have the type of vehicle you need, whether it’s a compact car, SUV, or luxury sedan.

4. Price and transparency: Compare prices from different rental car companies and look for transparency in their pricing structure. Avoid companies that have hidden fees or excessive charges.

5. Customer service: Good customer service is essential when renting a car. Choose a rental car company that is known for providing excellent customer support and assistance whenever needed.

Making the most of your rental car experience

Now that you have rented a car, it’s time to make the most of your experience. Here are some tips to enhance your journey:

1. Plan your itinerary: Take the time to plan your route and itinerary in advance. Research the attractions and landmarks you want to visit, and map out the most efficient routes to save time and fuel.

2. Maximize fuel efficiency: To save money on fuel expenses, drive efficiently by avoiding aggressive acceleration or braking. Also, consider using cruise control on highways and keeping the windows closed to reduce drag.

3. Pack essentials for a road trip: Be sure to pack essential items for your road trip, such as a GPS or navigation system, a phone charger, a first aid kit, snacks, and water.

4. Take care of the rental car: Treat the rental car as if it were your own. Keep it clean and tidy, avoid smoking inside the vehicle, and return it in the same condition you received it.

5. Enjoy the journey: Remember to take breaks, enjoy the scenic views, and make lasting memories during your road trip. The freedom of having a rental car allows you to explore at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way.

Essential items to pack for a road trip

While renting a car can enhance your travel experience, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to unnecessary expenses or inconveniences. Here are some mistakes to watch out for:

1. Not checking the rental car for damages: Before driving off, thoroughly inspect the rental car for any existing damages and report them to the rental company. Failure to do so may result in you being held responsible for those damages upon return.

2. Not understanding the rental agreement: Take the time to read and understand the rental agreement, including the terms and conditions, insurance coverage, mileage limitations, and any additional fees. This will help you avoid surprises and disputes later on.

3. Ignoring fuel policies: Understand the rental company’s fuel policies and return the car with a full tank to avoid refueling charges. Some companies may offer the option to prepay for a full tank of fuel, which can be more convenient if you know you’ll be using a lot of fuel.

4. Not familiarizing yourself with local driving laws: Before driving in a foreign country or unfamiliar location, familiarize yourself with the local driving laws, road signs, and parking regulations. This will help you avoid fines and penalties.

5. Returning the car late: Be mindful of the rental car’s return time to avoid incurring additional charges. Plan your journey accordingly to ensure you have enough time to return the car on schedule.

Common mistakes to avoid when renting a car

Renting a car can greatly enhance your travel experience by providing you with the freedom and flexibility to explore new destinations. By following the tips, understanding the rental process, and making informed decisions, you can make the most of your car rental experience. Whether you are embarking on a road trip or need a convenient mode of transportation during your travels, renting a car can make your journey more convenient, enjoyable, and memorable. So, go ahead and book your rental car for your next adventure and enjoy the open road!


When it comes to renting a car, one of the first steps is choosing the right vehicle for your needs. Consider the number of passengers, the amount of luggage, and the type of terrain you’ll be driving on. If you’re traveling with a group or have a lot of luggage, a spacious SUV or minivan may be the best option. If you’re planning on driving long distances or exploring off-road locations, a sturdy 4×4 vehicle might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you’re traveling solo or with a partner and only need a small car for city driving, a compact or economy car would be a cost-effective choice.

Once you’ve determined the type of vehicle you need, it’s time to consider the features and options. Some rental cars come equipped with GPS navigation systems, Bluetooth connectivity, and advanced safety features like lane departure warnings and blind-spot monitoring. While these features can enhance your driving experience, they may also come at an additional cost. Evaluate your needs and budget accordingly to make an informed decision.

Lastly, don’t forget to check the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Inspecting your Rental Vehicle – What to look for?

Inspecting rental car

When you enter into a car rental agreement you are signing a contract that will make you liable for payment when a car is damaged. Whenever you are renting a car you should definitely inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Most reputable rental companies will provide you with a damage report to fill in. If a rental company does not provide this, you should be very cautious about renting from them. So what should you mark on your damage report? We hope the following list is of assistance.

The Exterior:

Check for dents and scratches and mark them in the corresponding area of your damage report. Good practice is to circle the area on the damage report where there is a dent. Place an ‘X’ where there are stone chips and scratches. Use lines to indicate long marks or scratches. It is also good practice to put notes on the damage report explaining what you have marked. It also helps to take a video or photos of what you find. If you do this try and get a shot that shows the  position on the car, not just a close up of the damage. Be thorough with your inspection and ask questions of a company representative if you are not sure what fair wear and tear is.

The Windscreen:

It is important to check the windscreen carefully. Most rental companies deem small stone chips as fair wear and tear. Always make sure you mark any windscreen chips on the damage report using and ‘X’.

The Interior:

Sometimes you might come across damaged interiors in rental cars.  If there is no room on the damage report to mark this, then writing a comment about the interior damage is acceptable. You may want to note things like rips and tears and stains so that you avoid cleaning fees.

Drivability of your vehicle.

Rental cars come in various types, ages and condition. If you have elected to drive an older model car then there may be some things that you have to accept. Things like faded paint and interiors are inevitable on older model rental cars. However, they should always be maintained to roadworthy standards. Things like lights, windscreen wipers, tyres and brakes should be serviceable. So if you notice issues with these, bring them to the attention of your rental company.

Fuel and Kilometres travelled:

Make sure you note the amount of fuel in the car and how many kilometres the car has travelled. This is important where you opt for deals that have limited kilometre usage so that you do not pay for kilometres you did not use. Checking the fuel in the car is important as you do not want to be charged for fuel you did not use.

At Low Cost Car Rentals, we understand that accidents happen which is why we give you a damage report to fill in. We always recommend you take your time with filling in the damage report and take a video or photos of your rental vehicle.

Avoid extra charges on cheap Car Rentals Deals

Sales and discounts

The rate of car rentals might look reasonable, but once you get the final bill for your rental car, the bottom line can be a shocker. Taxes, fees and charges for everything from an additional driver to satellite radio, concession charges at airport locations and refilling the gas tank – all this can quickly add up to a big surprise if you have not navigated the confusing world of rental car contracts before renting. Read the fine print before you go. And don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Q 1 – Insurance

Enquiry your car rentals company about the insurance included in the quotation. You need to know who and what is covered.

Questions to ask:

  • What is the excess in case of an accident?
  • Any additional excess in case of a single vehicle accident?
  • What if the accident is not at your fault?
  • What if there is a dispute in liability?
  • What if the repairs are less than the excess amount?

Q 2 – Roadside assistance

It is something you definitely need while on holidays. Unfortunately bad things happen – tyre puncture, empty fuel tank, broken or lost car key, etcetera. You don’t want to ruin the day of your precious holidays dealing with some towing service or booking a hotel in the area where the car broken down.

All the prices of Low Cost Car Rentals include 24/7 premium roadside assistance. It means a help is just 10-60 minutes away from where you are, depends on your location and type of the issue.

Q 3 – Location fares

If you found the best price, don’t often assume it includes the taxes and GST. Even though it is not entirely legal to hide surcharges and GST, some companies find legal ways to work around it. Do not hesitate to ask the rental company if the price is final. Ask if it includes the car delivery (if applicable), airport fares or any other fees when picking up the car.

Check the company’s drop-off policies, which may include hefty charges for one-way rentals or drop-offs at a different location.

All quotations issued by Low Cost Car Rentals are final and include all the taxes, fares, delivery fees (if applicable) and refundable bond.

Q 4 – Membership points

If you own some credit card that has an awesome points system. Don’t use it just yet. Ask the rental company if there is any charges apply when paying with the credit card. Some companies charge it daily, most of the time it is one-off fee.

Low Cost Car Rentals does not charge any fees for any of the accepted payments methods.

Q 5 – Car Rentals fuel policy

Most of the companies follow the “full tank out – full tank in” policy. It is worth confirming though. You don’t want to get a car with 10% of fuel in and then being asked to return it with a full tank.

Also, sometimes you can be in a rush when returning a car and will not have a chance to re-fill the tank. Ask the rental cars company if there is any charge apply in this case.

If you happened to return a car to Low Cost Car Rentals with less than 100% in the tank. We would refill the car for you and only charge you the amount we pay at the petrol station. This is only valid if you return the car to our CBD location in Alexandria or Sydney Airport. Please ask our staff for any extra charges if you return the car into a different location.

Q 6 – Fines and toll payments

Obviously during the rental period you are liable for any toll payments, fines or parking tickets. If you know you would be travelling through the paid roads, be careful. With some car rentals, they would charge you a fee for each of those fines you receive. Additionally they might charge you an administration fee for each day you use the paid roads.

More tips on using the toll roads here.

Q 7 – Return date and time

Sometimes the trip doesn’t go as planned. Whether you are running late or one of your travel companions gets sick. You have no choice but extend the car rental. Most of the companies would start charging you a non-discounted daily rate. You will not be entitled for any discounts or specials you might of had before. Be careful, it is no uncommon the rental company would start charging you hourly rates. So a day of the extended rental can cost you an air ticket to LA and back 🙂

Here, at Low Cost Car Rentals, we are very flexible. As long as the car you have is available for the dates you need, you will have it for the same price. We are easy on 2-3 hours late returns as well and will not charge you any extra fees. The only condition, you have to contact one of our staff members in advance and make sure they are aware of the extended rental.


Examine both the exterior and interior of the car carefully before leaving the rental lot, making a note of any damages. A quick time-stamped photo on your cellphone is a good idea. Point out any defects out to the rental agent to avoid being charged for damage that was already there when you picked up the car.


Follow the rules and conditions of your contract. Do not smoke in a non-smoking car. Never let an unauthorized driver operate the car, even a valet. Never drink and drive. Violations can void the contract and result in hefty charges. Treat the car as you would your own, keeping it clean, parking it in safe locations and always locking the doors and trunk.

Cheap car rentals – 5 myths busted

True or false - cheap car rentals

1. Car rental near airport is very expensive.

It is true, the space within the airport car park and a kiosk right next to the arrivals are costly. So companies who you normally see there, would have higher rates than normal car rentals. They need to cover up for all the expenses.

But it does not mean that you should avoid all the near-airport car rentals altogether.

Usually the airports are located in non prestige suburbs or in industrial zones. An office only a kilometre away from the arrival gate is much cheaper. There must be some car hire agencies who are located there.

For instance, one of the Low Cost Car Rentals depots is located only 2.7km away from the Sydney Domestic and 3.2km from International airports.

We offer free airport pick-up and drop-off on all long term rentals (7+ days). And it is as cheap as 30 dollars both ways for short term hires.

In reality, we love Sydney visitors so much, we often offer free unlimited kms package and GPS on long term rentals. All of those are worth more than 25 dollars per day.

I personally believe, the car rental agencies near airports are the most professional ones. They have to deal with a lot of customers from overseas therefore their standards are much higher.

2. Shared cars schema is cheaper than usual car rental companies.

There was a lot of excitement when we first saw our neighbours offering their cars for rent for cheap prices.

It was good at first until those car owners faced first troubles. Cars often were left in prohibited areas. Parking fines, tolls notices, light scratches and dirty interior that nobody will ever pay for.

It all led to the new restrictions. You must be an approved member to rent the car. Usually it involves an annual fee regardless of whether you would even need a car that year.

The price might still look cheap, however you will understand later that it is not final. You will have to pay each kilometre you travel. You will need to have your own GPS or baby seats if you need them.

To conclude, the shared car can be cheaper than a cab if you just need to travel short distance then back. Nothing else seem to be worth it.

3.GPS is too expensive, i will use my phone.

Firstly, lets assume you have the phone holder to secure your phone in the car. So now you are able to follow the directions without the need to juggle the phone in your or your passenger hands.

Secondly, we would assume, you have unlimited mobile data and all-around country mobile coverage.

I already doubt you have all the above.

Now, how about the reception? Do you have it while at the car park in the shopping centre? How often it is getting lost in the tunnels and how long it takes for the signal to recover?

You still think 5 dollars a day or free GPS on long term rentals is not an option?

4. I can get away with not registering the additional driver.

This is a very dangerous myth. It is not up to the car rentals companies to decide who is guilty in the accident. It is not them who is charging you when you have an incident.

Touch wood, if anything happens and it is the additional drivers fault. Just because they were not registered as the driver of the vehicle, the insurance company would decline the claim. You will end up loosing the excess and would have to pay for both car repairs and any hospital expenses anyone incurred due to the crash.

The insurance company used by Low Cost Car Rentals only charges a one-off fee to register the driver. It only costs 11 dollars for the whole rental period. Touch wood, but it is a piece of mind.

5. Companies use foreign language for rental agreements.

I can’t say for all companies, but Low Cost Car Rentals contract is written in English and you do not require any form of translation.

If you really unsure about anything in there, you are free to ask questions. Our staff is also fluent in English and therefore easy to communicate with.