Once the spring months are upon us, you most probably have already mapped out every second of your upcoming road trip. Whether it is a long drive to visit family or a road trip planned with a friend, a rental car is always a great option.

However, here are five things that we recommend you keep in mind before choosing a rental vehicle for a long trip:

1. Prepare a list of your rental car needs

A good and reputable car rental company in Toronto will offer you a wide variety of rental vehicles to choose from. Although the idea of driving through the GTA countryside in a V8 gas guzzler is tempting, it is important to decide on a rental car that will be more appropriate for all your long-trip needs.

Set your rental car needs – whether you are a solo traveller or going on a family trip. Consider how much boot space you will need and the budget you have fixed for the trip. Are you comfortable with a manual transmission or an automatic one? How far are you planning to travel? And so much more.

Once you have your car rental needs listed, it becomes easier to narrow down a vehicle for your long trip.

2. Choose the most budget-friendly rental plan

Along with a wide selection of vehicles, car rental companies also have different rental plans.

A few of the rental plans offered by car rental agencies in Toronto are:

  • Pay-per-hour plans
  • Pay-per-kilometre plans
  • Daily rental plans
  • Long term rentals
  • Corporate plans

If you are planning to travel for more than a few weeks, a long-term rental plan is the most suitable one for you.

3. Assess the insurance coverage

Check if your car rental plan also includes insurance coverage. Most car rental companies offer either standard insurance or personal accidental insurance at their regular rate, usually at an extra fee.

Also, check whether your personal car insurance covers rentals. If it does not, then it would be sensible to buy some form of insurance, be it from the car rental company or a short-term personal cover, before embarking on your planned trip.

4. Check the kilometre limit for your rental

A rule of thumb for choosing the right car rental is to always check the mileage restrictions for your rental before starting the trip.

Make sure to ask your rental agent what the mileage policy is for your chosen rental car to avoid confusion and extra charges at the time of return.

5. Roadside assistance and additional coverage

It is important to do your homework to determine the extent of additional coverage and roadside assistance you will be getting with your rental car.

Check if extras like emergency roadside assistance, free GPS, music players, drivers, pick-up and drop-off services or child car seats are being offered by the car rental agent.

6. Read all the terms and conditions

Always make sure to read the rental policies and fine print to avoid any confusion and get the best out of your car rental service.

Check the terms about rates and quotations, the liabilities you will be under, kilometre allowance, conditions pertaining to additional drivers, fuel and refuel policy, late fees and penalties, grace periods and things to avoid as a designated driver.

A good car rental company will include all the above and more essentials in their rental policies.