Yes, car rental can be a thrill.

There: I said it, and I can back it up. There are a few ways in which renting a car can be very interesting and engaging.

The Drama of Anticipation

When making a reservation, you specify what type of car you need, or (more accurately) are willing to pay for. The type chosen might only say something like “Model ZP3 (or similar).” It doesn’t tell you exactly what you’ll be driving.

Then the plane lands, you get your luggage, and the shuttle arrives at the car rental center. With baited breath, you walk towards spot A34. Maybe it’s something special this time.

Usually it isn’t. But that’s ok. That anticipation was exciting, wasn’t it?

Going for the Upgrade

Another way car rental can be a thrill: Upgrades. If you treat the rental counter attendant with some charm, you can sometimes score an upgrade to a better class of car. If you play your cards right, you might end up with a slightly-larger small sedan, or even a convertible. It’s worth a shot.

The Thrill of Loyalty

Car rental companies reward loyalty. They’d like you to rent from the same company (theirs) all the time. It can pay to join the frequent-renter club. You earn points towards discounts or even free days. You might find the loyalty card also points you up as a customer worthy of special treatment (see the section on upgrades above).

The Insurance Hustle

Most rental companies offer a variety of insurance plans ranging from bare minimum to “if you bring it back in two pieces, we won’t even ask why.”

Insurance on rentals is profitable. A full damage waiver a typical car runs $15 or more per day. It’s is major cash-cow for the rental industry.

However, you might not need extra coverage. The policy covering your own private car might cover rental cars as well. Also, some credit card companies insure rentals paid for with their card. Validate these details before you rent, and you might save a few bucks.

The Rewards of Non-Ownership

There are ways of making the experience of renting a car more interesting and economical: though perhaps not “thrilling.” Keep your eyes out for upgrades, confirm your real needs for insurance, and look forward to confidently walking towards something a little bit nicer than a small, white sedan. Hey, maybe it will be a green one this time! You can always learn more at the Discount Car & Truck Rentals website.

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