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How to Rent a Car at the Airport? 3 Steps to the Best Trip

A car is the best way to travel wherever you go. You are not tied to the bus schedule, you are free to choose the route and you can see many more interesting places. This is why many travelers rent a car for their trip. 

A large selection of companies and locations make it easy to rent a car. However, where is it better to do it? According to many, renting a car at the airport is the best way to start your journey. You arrive at your destination, take a rental car, and you’re free to choose where to go and what to see. 

Pick up a spacious 9 passenger van rental for your family trip, or take advantage of a cheap compact car as soon as you land. This will allow you to forget about the crowds on buses or trains, and fully enjoy your trip. 

Of course, car rental at the airport has its own features. For your convenience, we have prepared a small but informative guide. Follow it and your next road trip promises to be easy and hassle-free.

  • Car Reservation

If you want to rent a car at the airport of arrival, it’s better to book it in advance. Firstly, it guarantees you a lower price, secondly, you will get a wider choice of cars, and thirdly, you will save yourself the headaches associated with finding a suitable transport option. The optimal time is 2-4 weeks before the start of your trip. 

Car rental points at airports are the most popular and if you don’t take care of booking in advance, then you risk that there will be no cars available at all, or only the most expensive options will remain. The easiest way to book a car is via the Internet – on the websites of car rental companies or the search aggregator websites. Another option is to use car rental applications

Regardless of the chosen booking method, you need to do the following to rent a car: 

  • Find the required airport in the booking form and enter the car pick-up and return dates. 
  • Choose the most suitable model from the offered list of cars. Keep in mind that you can get not the car you see on the booking page, but a similar vehicle. 
  • Fill in your personal data and payment details. Usually, a small deposit is taken from the card at the time of booking, and the final amount you pay upon picking up the car at the airport. 
  • Print out the voucher with the booking number and the address of the pick-up point. You’ll find it in the e-mail indicated during the booking. 

Usually, when booking a rental car at the airport, you must indicate the flight number and date of arrival. This information enables the car rental company to better plan the providing of their vehicles.

  • Car Pick-Up

Upon arrival at the airport, you must contact the office of the car rental company whose car you have booked. If your flight arrives faster than expected, you won’t need to wait for the time indicated on the voucher.  It’s possible to pick up your rental car early

In most airports, companies’ offices are located directly in the arrivals halls in the terminal building. Also, such offices can be located away from the airport terminal – near the parking lots. At some US airports, car rental offices are available quite far from the airport terminal and you can reach them by special free shuttle buses. 

In order to pick up a rental car, you must present a valid driver’s license, passport, and a credit card. Sometimes, you also need an international driving permit (IDP) if your original document doesn’t meet the requirements.  Upon receipt, ask a company representative the basic conditions of car rental – what is included in your insurance plan, what additional fees or fines may be charged, what are the speed limits, and how much does it cost to travel on toll roads. 

Also, don’t forget to clarify the conditions for returning the car, including the exact date, time, and location.

  • Car Drop-Off

Airport car rental companies often provide an opportunity to return the car to a different location. This option is called a one-way rental and may include additional fees.

 As a renter, you have several ways to return the car: 

  • In special drop-off car rental centers. This is typical for major international airports. 
  • In the company’s parking areas near the airport. 
  • In dedicated parking lots or public parking areas, with leaving keys in a special dropbox. This option is used to return a car after hours. 

Before returning your rental vehicle, be sure to refuel it according to the selected fuel policy. The blocked security deposit on the credit card will be available again a few days after the return of the car.

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