Helping with the Traveler’s Choice Paralysis: How to Rent a Car

Helping with the Traveler’s Choice Paralysis: How to Rent a Car

This week we bring you another post from our friends at Miles Car Rental.  They have created a fantastic post about the ins and outs of how to rent a car.

Travelers’ choice paralysis is REAL when it comes to trying to rent a car.

When traveling to a city you’re unfamiliar with, one of the best ways to move around is to rent a car. This way you don’t have to depend on expensive taxi cabs or public transport to get to the sites you want to go. Additionally, in places with good road infrastructure such as the United States, renting a car opens the possibility to further travel within your destination. This makes it feasible to do fun activities such as road trips as well.

All of this is nice, but when you get down to renting a car for the first time you might find yourself a bit lost at first. Unlike airlines, in which you can find a few very well-known companies and some other shoddier cheaper ones. There are a lot of car rental companies that can offer all types of cars, ranging from the most luxurious to the humblest of the economic vehicles. And of course, each rental company has different tariffs discounts, and policies. All this can be very confusing for first-time users.  

renting a car is easy


So many options can quickly become overwhelming to first-time renters. But don’t worry; it’s not your fault. What’s happening is that the enormous amount of available options is triggering a weird quirk of the brain that further complicates decision making. 

In this post, we’ll explore not only what this brain glitch entails, but also how to overcome it and get ahead in the world of car rentals. 

Decision paralysis & how to overcome it…

The main issue here is called decision paralysis. It arises when multiple equally desirable options are presented and no one of these options is advantageous over the other. As the brain can’t get to the best possible decision you start to over-analyze each detail. This further complicates the decision processes until forgetting about the whole decision becomes ultimately easier than picking one of the options.

If only a couple of rental companies existed with only two types of vehicles to choose from, then there wouldn’t be a problem. But there are dozens of companies with an almost endless list of cars to choose from. Each with a different price and different features.

Trying to Choose Car Rental

How are we supposed to sort through all this mess? Well, first we must get to know the tools for doing so. Searching for rental companies individually on the web would truly be madness. There are hundreds of them and there is no precise way to know if any of them truly offers what you need. Thankfully, some sites compare the thousands of options, making an impossible chore into a far more comprehensive one. Up next I´ll give you a small top 5 list of the best car rental comparing sites based on Trustpilot, a site that ranks companies based on the user’s opinions. 

Top 5 Places to Rent a Car Online

1. 4.7 / 5

Users qualify this company as excellent. They usually find the best available prices in the market and offer an efficient and friendly and clear customer service. They have deals with many renowned car rentals.    

Happy Renting a Car

2. Miles Car Rental 4.7 / 5

Users often report Miles Car Rental to be one of the easier-to-use websites as it gives you the option of setting your preferred type of vehicle when searching. There’s also the added benefit of letting you pay with PayPal and debit cards. 

3. Priceline 4.5 / 5

Priceline offers different services for vacationing. Users report a recent upgrade on their app that allows for customers to better rent a car via smartphone. Customers describe the company as overall good.   

4. CarRentals 4.3 / 5

This site caters to more international customers as it offers cars in cities outside the USA in such as Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, and Tokyo. Users comment that their terms and conditions are clearly written and are easy to understand.   

Car Rental

5. Rentalcars 3.8 / 5

This site is praised by its accessibility as you can change the language of the main page to a variety of languages from all over the world, in addition to this, they allow you to make an account to check your previous rents. 

Here are some more tips on how to rent a car…

We have the tools for finding a rental car now, but there are still a bunch of options on each of the sites. Well, don’t worry. I´ll give you some advice to help you decide. 

To overcome decision paralysis the first thing we must do is to set some boundaries. We must ask ourselves: What kind of option suits our needs the best? Different rental companies have different models but in general, there are some categories that most rental companies use.


Often small and efficient cars. Nothing too flashy, but perfect for when you’re traveling alone or with just one companion. These tend to be small and can sometimes have just two doors. But then again if you’re into efficiency, extra size and doors are just metal bits being wasted. These tend to be wallet-friendly so if your budget is tight then you should look out for this type of car.   


If you’re an average US citizen then probably this is more or less how your car looks like. Not precisely a monster-truck but not an over sized toy car either. This option is perfect for average families as it offers all the amenities that the old family car can offer. 

Road Trip in a Rental

SUV/Full Sized

If you’re tackling harsher terrain or just like bigger cars this is the option you should be looking for. Pickups are within this category. While not the pinnacle of efficiency these offer both a hardy vehicle and spacious one. Overcompensation jokes unfortunately included. 

Luxury Vehicles/ Sports Cars

Let’s face it, unless you’re disgustingly rich, owning a sports car is simply not worth it. Too expensive, too hard to maintain, and not very practical. However, renting a luxury car for a day or a couple of days, on the other hand, is something you can do for a reasonable price. It’s somewhat of a touristic attraction in of itself, after all… who wouldn’t like to drive through Miami or Los Angeles as if you were a movie star?

Sunset in a Rental

Wrapping it up so you can overcome your decision paralysis on renting a car!

Now that we know the broad strokes of what most rental companies offer, picking one becomes easier as the thousands of options are drastically reduced. If you’re interested in a luxury vehicle, for example, then you can outright ignore rental services that don’t offer luxury vehicles and focus on the options that you are interested in.

 The next step you can take to overcome decision paralysis is to logically think about your needs. Prioritize what’s important and forget about what’s unnecessary, this way the options become clearer. For example, unless you really want to drive a specific type of luxury car, things such as the car’s color or brand are pretty much worthless. You just need a vehicle that can carry you and the people traveling with you to any of your destinations and so it’s better to focus on the features that will help with the ultimate goal. In this case having a nice way move in and around the city. 

Renting a Car in the City

Another thing you can do to shake off decision paralysis is to talk about the option with your travel group/agent, most times their point of view can bring a better understanding of the available possibilities, thus helping you to get a consensus of the best available options. Your travel agent may even be able to vote for the option they consider the best! 

And there you go. you’re ready to face the world of car rentals, go there and don’t stop, even if there are a million options in front of you!

Helping with the Traveler’s Choice Paralysis_ How to Rent a Car

Make sure you check out the FIRST post from this series:  Three Road Trips to Escape the Concrete Jungle of New York City
Check out these other travel posts:

This Post Has 4 Comments


    I felt the exact paralysis when I went to Los Angele recently! I went with a mid -sized after a lot of debate.

    1. Taryn

      That’s usually my go-to as well!

  2. Jill Bivins

    Car rental is always a challenge

  3. Erica

    Really helpful post!!!

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