Renting a car for your travel needs in Malaysia is a popular option for many tourists, business travellers and even some locals. This is because of the convenience and its affordability. However, there are times when renting a car can be expensive, especially if you are not familiar with the process.
Below are 9 tips to consider when you need to rent a car in Malaysia.
1. Go for Local or Regional Agencies
Instead of going for the bigger international companies, it might be wise to check out local or regional agencies. Local agencies are more likely to offer better rates for their rentals. Pacific, for instance, offers great deals for their daily (8.00am-8.00 pm) and weekend packages. An important point to consider when choosing a car rental company is to always make sure it is a licensed car company. Licensed car companies will usually display a sticker (above the road tax sticker) as proof that it is a licensed company. More information can be obtained from visiting SPAD and CRAM.
2. Avoid Renting Cars from the airport
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid renting a car at airport counters. It may be more convenient to rent a car from the airport, but it may also cost you more. This is because car companies at the airport have to pay taxes and fees. The price to rent a car at the airport may be higher to cover some of the cost of taxes and fees. To avoid paying a higher price, it is best to check out nearby neighborhood branches for cheaper rates.
3. Search Online and Compare Prices
Always do your research before renting a car, by browsing online for the best deals. The internet saves you the hassle of having to physically shop around from one car rental outlet to another, in order to get the best rates. Also, with websites such as Rhino, expedia, opodo, and rentalcars.com, shopping for the best rates is even easier. With these websites, you can compare car rentals between hundreds of local as well as international car rental companies. Some of these websites, like opodo and rhino, even show you customer ratings on the rental cars and services offered by each company.
4. Get the Most Out of Your Rental
Some companies provide special offers for members of frequent flyer programmes. For example, Avis offers special discounts for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) frequent flyers. You just have to provide your frequent flyer membership number when making reservations. Also, if you frequently hire cars from one company, you can check if said company has a reward or loyalty programme for their frequent customers. For instance, Europcar has a Privilege loyalty programme whereby you can gain free weekend rentals, frequent traveller miles and other privileges by signing up for it.
5. Avoid the Prepaid Petrol Option
When it comes to fuel, customers will usually be asked if they prefer to prepay for a full tank of petrol, or fill it up themselves before returning the car. When given this choice, it is important to consider how much of petrol you will be using on your trip. If you’re going on a long trip and are likely to consume a full tank of petrol, then go ahead and choose the prepaid option as you will be paying for what you consume. However, if you are less likely to use up the whole tank, it is best to opt to fill up fuel on your own, before returning the car.
6. Bring Your Own GPS
These days, almost everyone relies on their GPS to locate and search for the fastest route to their destination. If you have your own GPS, bring it along with you instead of renting one. This will help save on some of the cost.
7. Book Early
Booking early is another way to get lower rates for your rental. Prices usually depend on the number of vehicles available on the lot at the time the rental is made. Therefore, the earlier you book, the better your chances are of getting cheaper prices. It is best to book your car at least one week in advance. If your travel date happens to fall on a local peak season, however, reserve your car two to three months in advance (if possible) to ensure that you get the car you need at the lowest rates.
8. Rent a Smaller Car
Although renting a huge and comfortable car might feel like the ideal thing to do during a vacation, it is definitely going to cost you more in terms of the rental rate and petrol consumption. So, if you’re on a restricted budget and have no real need for the extra space, a smaller car would be the cheaper option.
9. Think Twice about Optional Insurance
There are many kinds of insurance offered by car rental agencies. For instance, collision damage waiver (CDW), loss damage waiver, personal accident insurance and so on. For many companies, one or more of these insurance are usually included in the car rental rates. However, if the insurance coverage you need is not included, do not rush into signing up for it with the rental company, as it may already be included in your own personal insurance policy. Some insurance policies cover damage on rental cars via comprehensive and collision coverage. Therefore, it is good to double check with your insurance agent whether this is included in your policy before signing up for any insurance with the car rental company. Besides that, your credit card company may also have insurance coverage for rental car damages associated with accidents. So, if you’re using your credit card to pay for your rental, contact your credit card provider to confirm this.
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