Top Ten Tips

A rental car offers excellent value for money and the freedom to see your destination and everything it has to offer. To help renters get the most from their car rental experience, Budget Lebanon Rent-a-Car has put together a list of top ten tips for you.

1. Consider your vehicle requirements. The smallest available car may not suit your purposes. Consider the number of people and luggage to be carried. Comfort and safety are important considerations. You may also be grateful for having chosen an air-conditioned car in a hot country.

2. Check what the rate includes. Make sure you know exactly what the rate includes. Some prices quoted by our competitors may be unbelievably cheap but there may be hidden extras.

3. Take out proper insurance cover. In Europe, car rental companies normally offer Third Party Liability (TPL) cover and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). Theft Protection (TP) may be an optional extra. It is worth making sure you are covered or you will be liable for the full value of the vehicle if it is stolen. Theft Protection is mandatory in Italy. In most countries, a daily Excess Reduction (EXR) cover can be taken out to reduce the CDW and TP excess. In the USA, you are strongly advised to top up the state minimum third party cover to $1m with Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI). Some state minimum levels are as low as only $10,000.

4. Pre-book in Lebanon. If you are going abroad, a pre-booked programme at a guaranteed rate is likely to be cheaper and will help with budgeting. You will also be guaranteed vehicle availability.

5. Rent from an internationally recognised brand. It is advisable to rent from a reputable international car rental company, especially abroad. They offer the latest model cars, operate the widest network of locations, prepare vehicles to the highest standards and offer emergency roadside assistance.

6. Check for bodywork damage. Before you drive off, make sure that any damage, even a small dent or scratch, is noted on the pre-rental inspection form. Otherwise, you may be charged for damage, which was not your fault. At the same time, make sure you have as much fuel as indicated on the paperwork.

7. Check the tyres. It is very important to check that tyres are in good condition, have sufficient tread depth and appear properly inflated. Some customers breach the standard terms and conditions and drive their rental vehicles off-road. This can result in a cut or bulge in the sidewall.

8. Familiarise yourself with the controls. Make sure you are familiar with all controls and that the lights, wipers and horn work properly. Ask a member of staff if you are unsure and request a copy of the handbook. Before you drive off, check fluid and oil levels and carry out a static brake check.

9. Ensure peace of mind with roadside assistance service in the event of an accident or breakdown. Check you have the necessary cover and a contact telephone number.

10. Check the fuel type and return with a full tank. Make sure you know what type of fuel the vehicle uses as you will be liable for the costs involved if you fill up with the wrong type. Return the car with a full tank of fuel, or topped up to the same level as supplied, to avoid paying a refuelling service charge or a premium price per litre.