Despite the seeming ubiquity of Uber and Lyft, there are certain destinations where you simply must rent a car. When you’re traveling on the company dime, take a minute to consider these tips before you get to the rental counter.
Understand Your Coverage
Check with your Travel Manager to see if insurance is included in your negotiated contract. Don’t assume you should decline all coverage like you would if you’re renting a car on vacation. Different rules may apply for business travel as opposed to personal use. It’s also a good idea to contact your personal road service provider to see if the coverage you have with your own vehicle extends to a rental car.
Check the Vehicle
Before you take the keys and drive away, do a visual check of the tires to make sure they’re well-inflated and there’s no significant wear in the tread. Check for a spare tire in the trunk. Even though the rental agency’s customer service representative will do a visual inspection, take a few photos of your own so that you have proof of the car’s condition.
Savvy business travelers know it’s important to learn where everything is located in a new car before they leave the lot. A few minutes in a stationery car under the lights can make your travel experience smooth and stress-free. Find the emergency brake, adjust the seat and side mirrors, try the door locks and window controls, and test the windshield wipers, turn signals and headlights. Listen for any troubling sounds as you exit the rental facility.
If you’re regularly renting cars for your business trips, then it’s a good idea to get an extra car charger and mount for your smartphone and leave them in your suitcase. While the rental car will most likely have a USB port, a dedicated device will do a better job of keeping your phone charged and providing enough power for a GPS app.
Business Travel Programs
Hertz Business Rewards offers small and medium-sized companies discounts of up to 30% off regular rates. Other benefits include: credits toward free rental days for your company, Hertz Gold membership, and customized billing options. When you make your reservations using your company's Business Rewards number, Hertz will automatically track your rentals and mail your earned Free Rental Day certificates on a monthly basis. Your company's frequent travelers may be enrolled in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and keep the points for personal use. Check out their new Fast Pass lanes for CLEAR members. Contact your travel advisor to enroll your company in Hertz Business Rewards.
Save Money for Your CompanyCheck your company’s travel policy on refueling your rental. Some companies will not reimburse a refueling charge as it is considered ‘extra fees’. Bypass the fees for GPS devices by using your cell phone apps for directions. In addition to booking with a preferred rental car agency for business travel, you may be able to save your company some money by booking at an off-airport location. Pay close attention to the rate structure. By extending your rental for an extra day, you may be able to take advantage of a lower weekend rate. Unless you are 110% sure that your trip will not be cancelled, do not pre-pay the rental car. Most major rental car companies let you cancel your reservation without any type of penalty or fee.
Want to know more about finding discounts on corporate rates with travel suppliers? Check out Tips for Negotiating Discounted Corporate Rates.