Are you planning on renting a car? If you’re traveling it can be a convenient to have your own car to get around waiting for you when you arrive. That being said before you actually do rent a car, there are a couple of things that you should do so that you’re able to choose the right option right from the start.

In particular, you should:

  • Check with your insurance provider to find out your coverage

Many car rental companies will ask if you want to purchase insurance, but often you may not need to if your existing insurance already covers you. Typically if you have ‘full coverage’ then you’ll be covered even when you’re driving rental cars and so you won’t have to purchase any additional insurance.

  • Figure out the right model of car to rent

Take your time when selecting a car and don’t just choose one because you think it looks good. Try to account for the conditions that you’re likely to be driving in, fuel economy, and other factors before arriving at a decision. Also don’t be too eager to accept offers for an upgrade before you do your research and figure out whether the additional cost is worth it.

  • Ask lots of questions

When you’re talking to one of the car rental companies’ representatives, try to ask questions and get as many details as you need. If possible you should find out when its last maintenance was, what needs to be done if you encounter any issues, and clear up any details about the rental terms that you may be unsure of.

  • Check the car with the representative

Before you agree to take the rental car, be sure to check it thoroughly with the representative. Make sure that they note down any damage, including scratches, bumps, dents, or even chipped paint. On top of that you may want to pop the hood and check the fluid levels, make sure there’s a spare tire, and also ensure the existing tires are well-inflated.

  • Ask to test drive the car

Aside from the inspection, you should ask to be allowed to take the car for a quick spin around the block so that you can test it out on the road. Be sure to accelerate, turn, brake and see how the car performs. If you notice any strange noises, or performance issues you should raise it immediately and may want to consider a different car.

Assuming you cover all these areas when you rent a car you should be in a good position. Not only are you more likely to end up with a good car that has few issues, but you also may end up saving some cash in the process by avoiding paying for insurance or upgrades that you don’t need. At the end of the day however the most important thing is that you’ll be better protected – and much safer while you’re driving around in your rental car.