1. Its almost always cheaper to rent in the city vs. at the airport. Uber or taxi once you find a place.
2. I use rental.com everywhere and got full coverage super cheap. Whoever you use, make sure you know how to file a claim.
3. Hertz is the largest rental company in the world, and becoming a member with them can save you some stress. Some places have long waits in line, like in Iceland, and limited supply. They are American, so dealing with them is more comfortable to me.
4. Always get full coverage. The last thing you want is to risk is having an accident, and the rental company is covered on their car but not the person you hit or that hit you.
5. Always video record a walk-around on the vehicle before you get in. Not all places are honest, nor do they mark all damages. I make sure to focus on the normal things no one covers: rims, windshields, undercarriage (to a degree), and pop the hood if it’s not a newer car.
6. Make sure your car is covered for theft, vandalism, breakdowns scenarios, and towing. Make sure you know how all of this works with the rental company.
7. Not all places are equal. You may think, “Hey it’s their job to change the oil.” But don’t think they want to pin it on you if its a long rental period (two weeks to a month) and you’re negligent.
8. Rent using a credit card, as it offers additional coverage. More is less sometimes, but it’s best to use the rental agency or popular online options for insurance. Also, most major rental places in airports will accept debit cards for renting vehicles, but all will prefer credit cards, although this can vary. Even if you pay in advance online, they may reject you at pickup if you show a debit card. Call them if possible to verify.
9. Never get GPS; just use your phone. Android, Google Maps is awesome and iPhone maps are decent. Connect your phone to cars with Bluetooth before you leave a location. Sometimes the language on these amenities is in that country’s language, and you may need assistance.
10. Never be afraid to ask questions about everything and video record conversations.
Bonus Tip: Never let someone hassle you into getting more or extra if you know you are good. Some rental places use scare tactics to get you to add overpriced insurance. Just remember, when something happens, contact your insurance company. Understand what they are going to need and get it. Know your means of transfer — the information to them is sufficient.
Jonathan Dryer: The Unofficial Traveler.