How to Speed Up the Car Rental Checkout Process
You’re traveling for business and your meeting is over in the next state. You and the family have a flight to catch. There is no time to waste! Here are some ways to speed up your checkout experience to help get you to your destination on time.
Choose the Right Car
For drivers on a tight schedule, we suggest going with a no frills vehicle that will likely be ready-to-go in the lot. Typically, luxury cars are lower in number than basic economy vehicles. By choosing a luxury car you run the risk of waiting for one to be returned, cleaned or made available on pickup day. Save time, pick simple.
Rental companies want your guaranteed business so almost all of them offer a prepay option. This is a great way to cut time in checkout by skipping the car rental contract process. To learn more about the benefits of prepaying, click here.
Prepare for the Credit Card Hold
For security reasons, rental companies will freeze an amount (depending on the reservation details) on your credit card account. If you do not have enough funds to accommodate this credit card hold then you will be financially limited on your trip or unable to rent the car at all. Upon booking, call your branch ahead of time to discuss the credit card hold amount in order to prepare.
Some rental companies, like Hertz and Alamo, offer online check-ins for their drivers. This means that, similar to online airline check-ins, customers can submit their information ahead of time. So, while you’re waiting to get your rental, you can use that time to easily give your info to the vendor. The information needed will be driver’s license details and personal identification questions.
Make an Airport Game Plan
Picking up a rental car when your flight lands? Take a look at the destination airport’s map to know which terminal you will be arriving in, where baggage claim is located and where your rental will be ready for pickup. Knowing in advance where you need to go shaves time off your pickup experience.
Know Your Flight’s Arrival Time
Call your pickup branch and learn the rush hours for rental pickups. If possible, choose a flight that will get you to your rental branch during a slow time. This will save you from waiting in line.
Pre-Select Your Add-Ons
Need a car seat, a GPS, insurance or just about any other add-on? Pre-select these extras in advance so it is already in your rental contract. Doing this will let the vendor know ahead of time what you need and saves the extra step of adding them at the counter.
Join a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs puts you on a higher priority level than the typical customer. Perks include skipping the line to the counter and getting a speedy checkout experience. Examples of loyalty programs are Budget Fastbreak and Dollar Express.
Use YOUR Credit Card for Additional Fees
If you’re using a credit card that is not yours and you intend on adding on extras to your reservations the owner of the card will need to be with you. If they are not with you at pickup and you need to add amenities to your rental then you will need to fill out extra paperwork. This is a common scenario for people who booked with a company credit card. If you have no intentions of adding anything to your rental then put your own credit card information down in the event extra charges are incurred later on. Insisting on using another card for possible additional charges requires paperwork at the counter.
Have Personal Identification Accessible
Upon checkout, your clerk will ask for your driver’s license and credit card. Be organized. Searching your bag for your wallet wastes time! Keep these important cards close to the top of your bag for a quick transaction.
Car rental companies want you to have a happy and efficient transaction experience. They offer a multitude of options to save time and skip steps at the counter. Help them help you!