I've rented cars a great many times while going on vacation, work-related trips, and I even rented a car once just to drive a nicer car for a wedding weekend. Obtaining a rental car for use can make a trip much smoother and allow for freedom of transportation other forms of travel don't possess. During the course of most of my rentals, the process pans out about the same. After a long flight, I exit the plane, grab my luggage, and then hop on the provided transportation that will bring me to the rental car facility.
After waiting in line and going through the entire process with the rental car agent, the agent states me a price that is about twice what was originally estimated. After insurance and a couple of other adjustments and add ons, my bill is now doubled, from the original estimate, I received online. This experience leaves me wondering if I could've done something to save more money on my car rental. I'm well aware that I must keep an eye on my mileage limit and also return the car with the same amount of gas I received it with, but there must be other ways to save.
This article will go over a number of ways to save money when renting a car or vehicle.
Most car rental agencies have a limited fleet of cars and depending on the location the fleet can even have fewer cars available than other locations. The car rental agencies look ahead and try to estimate the need of customers, and booking early can help ensure you will receive the car you requested when you arrive at the rental car counter. During the peak travel seasons or during conventions and other events, it is imperative to book early. Booking in advance will help save money as well. Before making any rental plans, be sure to use a browser that gives cashback and be sure to check for coupons that might be available, such as using LivingSocial or Groupon.
Sometimes it is unavoidable and a rental car must be acquired at the airport, however, if you can rent off-airport, you can save money. Airports, located in many cities, will throw on surcharges that can add up fast, making the rental car bill explode. The cities generally are trying to grab as much money from tourists as possible in the way of a rental car tax. Many times the total rental cost goes up to 25%, just for renting at the airport, rather than renting off-airport. Grabbing an Uber from the airport to the rental car facility can still save you money, as many times it can be upwards of $50 more to rent at the airport.
Insurance for a rental car can raise the price dramatically. After getting the initial quote online or over the phone, the rate seems fair and perfect, until the insurance cost is added. The good news is there is a way to still have good insurance while driving your rental car and save money in the process. Many major credit cards offer primary insurance coverage that will take care of your primary insurance when renting a car. Be sure to check with your credit card company and their offerings before using your credit card for insurance.
Are you a member of AAA, Costco, or other types of club memberships? If so, you might have great savings coming your way. These clubs offer rewards, such as free rentals after a certain number of transactions. The clubs also have advantages in the way of saving money when you need to add more than one driver to a rental vehicle. Different savings can be obtained through different membership savings, however, many have saved up to 15% on a rental, and sometimes renting only one car can be worth the initial cost of membership with the club.
With a little research, many have found bundle deals that are available. When booking a trip, these types of bundle deals may pop up on the screen. Be sure to look them over in detail to help save money. They might bundle an airline ticket with the hotel room and a free rental car or such. The deals vary greatly and have been found to save money, compared to if each item was booked independently and not as a bundled deal. Once again, be certain to read the fine print to understand the bundle deal completely, before booking a bundle deal.
Rental car agencies offer toll payment options and generally, these toll charges will total more than the cost of the tolls if you just pay them in cash. Some car rental agencies charge up to $6 a day, while others charge closer to $4 a day. Tolls are already an undesired expense, no need to pay more for it.
After reading through this article, I hope you can find ways to save money in the future while renting a car. Save more money when renting a car by using off-airport, bundle deals, coupons, booking ahead, and saving money.