One of the most expensive parts of any vacation is often the rental car. It can be frustrating, especially the amount of time the car spends sitting in the parking lot of your hotel!
Know the feeling?
That’s why wanted to share some of our very best tips for saving on a rental car.
Ready to find out more? Let’s get started!
1. Do Your Research
With the advent of so many travel search sites out there, you have no reason not to explore at least a couple of them during your rental car search.
2. Try Member Discounts
Many groups will offer special discounts on car rentals. University alumni groups, credit cards, frequent flier clubs and memberships brands like AAA, BJs and Costco also offers discount opportunities.
3. Car Rental Sites
You can also check out the websites of rental car companies directly for deals, and they often have special discounts if you sign up for their newsletters as well.
4. Be Flexible
Just like with hotels, there are certain times of the week and the year that are cheaper than normal. Use these times to your advantage and plan your vacations around them.
If you have the availability to prepay, you can often save ten or even twenty percent off the total cost of your bill at the counter. It’s a good option to consider.
6. Avoid the Airport
Though often more convenient to rent cars at the airport, you’re paying for that ease, often through the nose. Instead, try one of the many car rental businesses that operate just off the airport to save.
7. Check About Insurance
Adding insurance to your rental car can often add hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to your final bill. And more often than not, you’re already covered. Check with your own car insurance and credit card company first.
8. Plan Ahead
Oftentimes, you can get a much better deal by booking months ahead of time. If you are thinking about getting a car on vacation, go ahead and reserve it early to get the best deals.
9. Always Inspect
Don’t get caught footing the bill for a ding that wasn’t your fault. Before you drive off with the car, be sure to inspect it carefully, and even take photos of dents and scratches to prove you weren’t behind them.
10. Pay Attention to Fees
Car rental companies often will have fees for things like GPS systems, car seats, filling the gas tank and even toll collection. Before you sign anything know the fees you are paying and what you can avoid.
11. Look at Smaller Brands
More often than not, the smaller name car rental brands will be far cheaper than the big common names in car rentals. Explore the sites of the independent agencies to see if you can grab a better deal.
It might not always work, but it can never hurt to simply ask for deals or lower rates. Another tactic to use is to pay for an economy car but offer to take a less popular choice, like a mini-van.
What are some of your best tips for saving on rental cars?