If you’re renting a vehicle for an upcoming vacation or getaway and you need extra storage space, you might want to consider using a cargo carrier on the top of your car so that the inside of the vehicle is able to accommodate everyone going on the trip.
With a rooftop carrier, more people can fit inside the vehicle and storing your suitcases or other gear is much more convenient overall.
If you’re renting the vehicle instead of using your own, you’ll need to check with the rental company because each company has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the rental of a cargo carrier for the vehicle.
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Some Basic Considerations
Before you get started, you should decide whether to purchase a cargo carrier or lease one. Car rental companies usually offer much more than just the vehicle itself, which can include items such as child car seats, bicycle racks, and even rooftop carriers. Unfortunately, while leasing bicycle racks is fairly common with car leasing companies, companies that rent cargo carriers are a little more difficult to find.
In short, there are two considerations to think about, including:
1. Will the leasing company allow you to put a cargo carrier on the roof of the vehicle, whether the carrier belongs to you or not?
Before you rush out and purchase a cargo carrier for your trip, it’s best if you check with the rental company to determine first if they allow these carriers at all and secondly if they will lease one to you instead of you having to buy one.
If they do not allow cargo carriers to be placed on top of any of their vehicles, it will be a waste of money for you to purchase your own carrier, especially if you realize that you likely won’t get much use of it in the future.
2. Does the company lease these carriers at all or do you have to bring your own?
The same goes for situations where the leasing companies have cargo carriers that they will lease to you. If they lease rooftop carriers and you decide that you aren’t likely to need your carrier any time in the near future, it is likely both cheaper and much more convenient to lease the carrier from them instead of purchasing your own.
The company will simply add a small fee to your bill and will even install the carrier themselves so that you don’t have to do it on your own.
Each Car Leasing Company Is Different
If you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip or fishing trip, a rooftop carrier will make it much more convenient and a lot more fun. Whether you want to lease your carrier or purchase one to use for later outings, it is crucial that you first check with the rental company so that you can learn their policy when it comes to leasing their vehicles and installing rooftop carriers on top.
Make sure that you contact more than one leasing company as well because every company offers different products and services to their customers. Some car leasing companies will let you rent a child car seat or bike rack but not a car-top carrier while others offer them all or offer none of these options.
It’s important that you know for certain what the companies do and do not allow beforehand so that you can plan accordingly. You certainly don’t want to rush out, buy a carrier, and find out later that the leasing company you’ve chosen won’t allow you to place it on your rental vehicle.
As far as getting this information for yourself, you can often get it through the companies’ websites so checking online is the first thing that you should do if you would like to use a cargo carrier for your rental car. It also doesn’t matter how big or well known the company is.
In some instances, the bigger companies may not allow you to use cargo carriers at all, regardless of who they belong to, while some smaller companies may allow this. Again, checking with the company via a quick email or phone call takes only minutes but can save you a lot of potential headaches and stress when you go to pick up your rental vehicle.
Ask specific questions, let them know that you need a rooftop carrier, and don’t leave them alone until you fully understand their policy regarding cargo carriers and their rental vehicles.
Allowing Carriers in Certain Circumstances
The car leasing companies that allow you to use a cargo carrier on their rental vehicles may also have certain conditions that apply. For instance, if they lease carriers themselves, it is likely because they only allow a certain type of carrier to be used with their vehicles — usually the soft-type cargo carriers.
Or they may require that you only use a carrier that goes on top of a roof rack so that the vehicle isn’t scratched or damaged once the carrier is installed. They may also require that the carrier not go over a certain size so the vehicle doesn’t get weighed down too much.
In all cases, the car leasing company will treat your rental of a cargo carrier the same way that they do the vehicle itself; in other words, you are responsible for any damages that may occur to either the vehicle or the carrier while you’re away on your trip. In fact, there is no getting around this specific rule because the liability always falls on the customer’s shoulders.
In many cases, the car leasing company will not allow you to use a hard-shell cargo carrier, either because their cars have no roof racks or they don’t approve of the heaviness of these items. Each company will have its own reasons for the rules that they expect customers to abide by; it is always your responsibility to find out what these rules are and to follow them exactly every single time.
A Few More Considerations
So if you’ve ever asked yourself if rental companies allow people to lease cargo carriers for the trips they’re planning, the answer is a firm “it depends.” Since there are so many types of cargo carriers and different types of vehicles, including those with and without a roof rack, it is entirely up to the car leasing company to set its own rules.
In fact, some leasing companies answer “no” to this question for one reason only: because they don’t want the hassles or the liabilities associated with allowing people to use cargo carriers when they’re leasing vehicles from them.
Before you take off on your next vacation that involves leasing a vehicle, it’s best to do some research to make sure that you need the cargo carrier in the first place. If you determine that you want one, it is a must that you get with the car leasing company to make sure that it is acceptable to them for you to proceed.