The popularity of car-sharing companies is on the rise. The growth of these services has left many travelers wondering how they can use them, whether they will need special cars or permits to drive outside their home country and what that might cost.
When choosing car-sharing companies for vacation travel within your destination’s borders, consider these factors:
1. What Type of Vehicle Is Available?
The first consideration should be what you can rent or book. If your destination offers a variety of vehicles, such as full-sized sedans and hybrids, SUVs, and cargo vans, you will have more choices when selecting accommodations for your car. Depending on the company you use, their rates may vary based on whether they offer amenities like GPS navigation, free miles, child seats, or other add -ons to make your trip easier.
2. Can You Drive to Your Destination Country?
Suppose you opt for one of these services while traveling abroad. In that case, it’s important to research whether you’ll need permits (and if so, how much), special insurance (check with your insurer first to determine if your policy will cover car rentals abroad), or other factors that might affect you on your trip.
Before hitting the road, contact the authorities at your destination for specific laws about renting cars. Car rental companies such as Avail car sharing can also tell you how their insurance deductibles work in different countries. Ask what types of incidents are covered, whether they require a deposit, etc.
Some of these companies offer short-term plans that cover you while at your destination, but an additional fee may be involved. If having a vehicle while traveling is integral to your plans, it’s best to talk with all possible providers before getting behind the wheel.
3. How Will You Get the Car?
When deciding which company to use, consider how you will access your rental. Companies using a fleet of vehicles can give you options for delivery, allowing travelers more time to plan their trip and neighborhood preferences. This flexibility may be especially important if you are traveling at a busy time of year or if it is difficult to get around where you stay.
4. How Will You Return the Car?
Many car subscription services offer one-way rentals, but some companies require that you return the vehicle to its original location, which might not match your airfare route. If renting cars and driving them back and forth is part of your trip, research whether this figures into the cost and what other fees might apply for transporting cars between locations.
5. Are There Additional Fees?
When comparing car-sharing companies, ask about any possible insurance deductibles, which are subtracted from your account after an accident or loss. If renting a specialty vehicle, you may need to pay extra for equipment or child seats.
6. Will You Have Trouble with Communication?
It’s important to check the company’s website before traveling to see if it is available in English and your destination language. If service staff provides customer support during your trip, find out how much they speak of common languages in your country.
7. What Does the Cancellation Policy Look Like?
What happens if you need to cancel your rental? Before taking off on vacation, consider canceling your car rental if you aren’t confident that your plans will work out. If you cancel a car-sharing service, there may be a penalty.
Car sharing services make it much easier for travelers to take short-term trips by providing the vehicle and eliminating some of the logistical difficulties. By knowing what they offer and how to use them, along with the price and terms, you can better plan your accommodations during your next trip.