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5 Tips for Renting a Car When Going on a Road Trip

How to rent a car for travel.

Rental car

Numerous individuals harbor fears about renting a car, often due to the perceived hassle and apprehension associated with driving in unfamiliar territories. However, such a mindset can be limiting as many locations are not adequately serviced by public transportation. Consequently, the only viable option to explore these places thoroughly or even access them could be through renting a car. Here are 5 tips for renting a car for a road trip.

Consider the Dimensions of Your Car

When driving in the city, a subcompact car might be all you need, and they’re generally more fuel-efficient. However, for a lengthy road trip, factors like luggage storage and extended driving hours should be considered.

Always ensure you’re comfortable. Think about the smallest car size that can accommodate all your passengers and luggage without compromising comfort. While the idea of traveling down the Pacific Coast in a high-end convertible may be appealing, it may not be the most feasible or cost-effective option for your planned route.

Maintain a Safe Gap from the Vehicle Ahead

Driving a vehicle in rainy conditions necessitates the careful handling of all primary control points, including the steering wheel, clutch, brakes, and accelerator, and also calls for a larger safety gap to allow for any potential mishaps or emergencies.

When it’s wet, the required distance to brake safely is three times longer than on dry surfaces. It’s crucial to maintain an increased distance between your car and the one ahead compared to when driving in dry conditions.

Understand the Age-Related Limitations and Charges

Initially, for those who are younger drivers, it’s crucial to review the age limitation policies of the rental company. A majority of car rental Chicago firms have specific regulations for drivers who are below 21 or 25 years of age.

Some might not allow rentals to drivers younger than their specified age, while others might include an additional “young driver fee” to your invoice. Even though this can appear annoying, it’s a common practice in the industry due to the increased risk associated with younger drivers. However, don’t lose hope! Some companies do not impose this fee. Doing a bit of research can be very beneficial, so make sure to compare different options to find the best deal.

Use Map Applications to Navigate While You Drive

Even when you map out your travel routes in advance, navigation tools such as Google Maps can provide invaluable assistance with their audible instructions during your drive. In case of a misstep or wrong turn, these apps are typically equipped to recalculate and guide you back to your intended route, eliminating the need for constant map consultation or reliance on a passenger for directions. Additionally, these apps frequently update their guidance to accommodate real-time events like construction activities, road blockages, or traffic accidents.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Insurance Choices

Upon reaching the car rental agency, it’s common to be asked if you wish to buy insurance. This might seem complex. If an existing vehicle insurance policy covers you, then additional insurance may not be necessary. Many personal car insurance policies extend their coverage to rental cars, with identical deductibles and coverage limits.

Certain credit card companies provide coverage if the car is rented using their card. However, this typically excludes damages to other people, vehicles, or properties. Coverage may also exclude luxury vehicles. It’s recommended to gather all the required information by getting in touch with your insurance provider and credit card company before visiting the car rental agency.

If you lack personal car insurance, you’ll be obligated to buy liability insurance from the rental car agency. There will also be an option to include additional coverage for scenarios like collision and tire damage.


The goal of hiring a car is to relish the adventure, not to worry about expenses or complications. The liberty that comes with driving a rental vehicle is significant. Yet, circumstances may not always align with your expectations when you rent a car. By following these five suggestions, you can avoid unexpected hitches.


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