Renting a car? Consider this.



Whether it’s for a long road-trip or a short jaunt out of the city for the weekend, chances are you’ve rented a car before. You were probably bombarded with a bunch of questions you didn’t know the answers to.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions, along with what you should consider in your response.

Do you have a reservation?

Despite what 90’s sitcoms say on the matter, having a reservation often simplifies the pick-up process. Shopping online beforehand means you can choose the type of car that will work best for you, as well as pre-pay which can help you save time and money.

Would you like to add a GPS system?

With a smartphone, the answer is probably no. If you’re renting within Canada and your phone is equipped with data, it’s simple to punch in directions on your favourite map application and follow along. If you’re travelling outside of Canada, check to see how much your provider’s roaming prices are. Just be sure to bring along a hands-free holder for your phone so you can follow along with the map easily.

Would you like to add insurance?

If you are looking to your own car policy to provide coverage, it’s important to know that some car insurance policies only provide liability coverage on a rental vehicle and not if the rental vehicle has been damaged or stolen.  Further, some will only provide coverage for  you and your spouse. It doesn’t provide any coverage to the rental vehicle if it’s damaged or stolen, or to any other drivers that are not under your policy.

If you’ve purchased travel insurance, your policy may include rental car coverage.

If you’re paying by credit card, check to see the benefits of your specific card. Many credit cards will cover you for rental vehicle damage or theft. Knowing how much coverage you have and what you’re covered for prior to pick up will help you make a safe and informed decision. Make sure to read the rental vehicle policy very carefully and remember, if you have any questions you can always give them a call.

If you’re a Johnson Insurance customer you can purchase car insurance with liability for damage to non-owned vehicles. It provides coverage for rental periods up to 30 days. For full details, contact one of our friendly sales representatives.

How far will you be travelling?

Most car rentals include unlimited mileage, but every rental company is different. If you are travelling for more than a few days or know you will be travelling a longer distance, make sure unlimited mileage is part of your plan to avoid any surprise fees.

It’s also important to consider where you’ll be driving. Some rental companies may charge additional fees if you plan to drive out of the country or even to another province. Disclose this information to the car company before finalizing your plans. 

Will you return with a full tank of gas?

Your answer should always be yes. We can all lose track of time and end up rushing to return a rental car to catch a flight home but, carving out a few minutes to fill up is worth it. Many rental companies have pre-set gasoline prices that often come with a convenience premium.

When you know what you’re doing before you reach the rental counter, the pick-up process should be a breeze and you can focus on what matters most: enjoying the drive.

Canadian Residents

If you are relying on your automobile insurance policy for any coverage on the rental vehicle, it may only provide coverage within Canada and the United States.

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