Renting a car? Do this first.

I’m not a very frequent renter of cars, so I didn’t grasp the extreme value of this tip until fairly recently. And yes – it’s such a small tip, but it has such a big impact.

Before you book a rental, sign up with the frequent renter program you’re booking with.

While this sounds like a no-brainer, the two times that I failed to do this, I was sorry. That’s because as a member of most frequent renter programs, you bypass the long line at the rental counter.

rainy louvre

At least the lines aren’t usually as bad as this one – but they can be pretty bad!

This has really saved me a lot of time (and frustration). As a member, you are either treated to a much shorter line, or you can simply head directly to your car.

I’ve had success with this method even when I booked a rental through a third party such as Autoslash. I just bring a copy of my member card (or print out my member info), along with a copy of my reservation.

Here is a handy list of all the different frequent renter programs, It’s free to sign up, so spending half an hour and just signing up for all of them at once might be a good idea! (PS – to keep track of all your various memberships, Award Wallet is a great tool.)

1. Alamo

2. Avis

3. Budget

4. Dollar

5. Enterprise

6. Hertz

7. National

8. Thrifty

Happy renting!

Comments

  1. Chuck Lowenstein says:

    Absolutely, but what about the second thing you should do? I rent all the time and for me, because I belong to all of the relevant “clubs”, the first thing I do is take out my smart phone and walk around the car taking a video. That way, in the event they should try to charge me with any damages that were there before my rental, I have proof to the contrary.

  2. +1 with what chuck said. Photos are even more important in countries like Mexico.
    Oh and a tip for avoiding lines at the Louvre is to go in January or February. You’ll walk right into any site in Paris with no waiting and actually enjoy them 🙂

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