An airport sign directing travellers to the customs desk as well as where to go to pick up their rental vehicle.

Are you renting a car soon? If you're planning a big road trip or adventure, you might want to add another driver to share in the driving. That way you can enjoy the scenery and unwind during the ride. When renting a car, however, a few steps can help you at the rental car counter and on the road that will ensure a safe trip. Here are a few tips.

Only Add Responsible Drivers

For smaller road trips, you might want to drive your own vehicle and ensure you have full auto insurance coverage that may include comprehensive and collision. But, if you're going on a big road trip, you might want to take a rental vehicle so you don't add more wear and tear to your personal vehicle.

When renting a vehicle, only add people to the rental agreement that are responsible drivers. It won't help you to fall asleep in the passenger side only to wake up and realize your vehicle has been pulled over by the police. You and your other driver(s) are all liable if anything happens on the road so you need to drive responsibly.

The rental car agency may have specific requirements about who can be added as a driver. But from your standpoint, make sure the person you're sharing driving duties with has:

  • A valid licence with them
  • A clean driving record (or relatively so)

Stay Sober and Alert While Driving

Staying alert on the roads can help to save lives. You want to ensure that all drivers refrain from drinking or taking any kind of drugs or medications before getting behind the wheel. And, no one should drive while drowsy. Drowsiness, driver fatigue, and impairment are some of the leading causes of accidents.

Know the Costs for Adding Drivers

When adding drivers, the amount of money you pay can depend on the rental company's contract. Some companies will let you add any licensed driver for a small fee. Hence, you might want to shop around for rental car prices when there are going to be multiple drivers on your rental agreement.

Here are a few tips:

  • Some rental car agencies will include an extra driver if it's your spouse, domestic partner or a co-worker, while others may charge for each additional driver.
  • You might also benefit from booking your rental vehicle when the rental car agency is running a promotion.
  • Check around major holidays to lock in deals during your specific travel dates.

Consider the Type of Trip You're Taking

Other factors that can affect whether or not you want to add additional drivers when renting a vehicle include if you're taking a recreational road trip and there's a lot of driving. Or, if you're moving and want to bring people to help with the move.

When Adding Drivers for a Move

If it's a move, factor in the size of the vehicle you'll be renting because you may have limited space in a moving van or truck. Ensure the drivers know how to drive that particular type, and size, of vehicle. Not everyone knows how to drive a truck.

When Adding Drivers for a Road Trip

If it's a road trip, you may want to rent a roomier vehicle to give you more room to stretch out. If cost is a factor, check with other rental companies and shop around.

Safeguard Your Journey

Renting a vehicle can be exciting especially if you're going on a road trip with friends and/or family. Only add responsible drivers to the rental agreement and make sure they are comfortable driving that type of vehicle. For longer trips, factor in the type of vehicle as a larger car or truck might give you more room. If you're moving, consider how many people you want to take versus how much space you have so you won't be cramped. And, then shop around for rental car prices to lock in the best deals.

Whether you're travelling out of your province, heading to the U.S. or elsewhere, it's a good idea to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance includes coverage for medical costs should something unexpected happen during your road trip. And, you won't have to worry about unexpected medical bills as medical care can be costly no matter where you go. If you're flying to your destination and then booking a rental, you may also want to look at travel insurance that includes flight interruption coverage and baggage protection.  You'll have added insurance protection so you can sit back and enjoy the ride!

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