How to Save Money when Renting a Car
Does the idea of having to rent a car make you squirm? Does the process seem complicated? Expensive even? If your summer travels are requiring you to rent a car this summer, you might find yourself feeling a tad stressed. But luckily, it does not have to be. There are plenty of ways to save money when renting a car, if you just follow a few simple tips and tricks. You don’t have to invest a lot of time and effort to get the best deal on a rental car, just shop smart. Below, you will find seven simple tips for how to save money when renting a car.
Don’t let the thought of car rental be the source of your stress. Instead, look forward to your vacation knowing that you just scored the best deal you possibly could. In no time, you can book a car rental at the best price and carry on! Take a look!
Seven Tips for How to Save Money when Renting a Car:
1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Many online deal and booking sites will allow you to compare prices of various car rental places. It is wise to do this to see where the best deals are. Then, once you have these numbers, don’t be afraid to negotiate! Call your nearby car rental place and tell them what their competitors are offering. Ask if they can beat this price and get rewarded with a possibly lower rate or additional perks!
2. Book early.
You know you’re going to need a rental car, so it is wise to book it as early as possible. You may not only be offered lower rates, but you will have a larger selection of cars to choose from. Remember, there is a limit of cars available, so don’t find yourself out of luck. Instead, book early especially if you are going to be traveling during a peek season.
3. Book and then upgrade.
Want a larger vehicle but don’t want to pay the hefty price? You may be able to book and upgrade later. Take your chances and book a compact model, and on pick up day ask if an upgrade is available. If it is a busy season, they may be short on less expensive models and be willing to let go of a larger, in lesser demand vehicle. It is worth a shot!
4. Inspect your car well.
Do not drive off of the car lot without an inspection. Walk-around and mark what damage you see on the contract and on a piece of paper. This way, you avoid paying for any damage that you did not cause. Mention anything you see to the attendant right away and have them acknowledge it.
5. See if your auto insurance covers rentals.
Insurance at the rental shop may cost as much as $20.00 a day. While you need insurance to drive, you may not need the rental company’s insurance. Your own auto insurance policy may cover vehicle damage and any liability for someone who’s injured in an accident using this car. Call your agent and ask their advice. They will be able to help you make a smart decision.
6. Fill your own tank.
When done, fill the tank yourself. If you return a car on empty and have the rental company fill it, you are going to pay premium costs. Instead, take a few minutes and pay for gas at the current price. The rental company may tell you not to worry about it and that they will take care of it for a small cost, but insist that you will do it. There will be nothing small about the cost they charge you!
7. Respect the contract.
Every little thing you do not according to the contract can cost you extra. Don’t smoke in the car if it is not allowed, or you will be charged hundreds of dollars for cleaning. Don’t speed or drive reckless, as a ticket in a rental will make it harder to get one in the future. Allow only those on the contract to drive the car, and be sure to return your car at the time specified. By following the rules, you are sure to avoid hefty fees.
Remember, just like flights and hotels, use a credit card that you can earn perks and cash back on when you book your car. It is always worth trying to get a little bit back! Every little bit helps, so be smart when choosing your method of payment for your rental. You are going to be spending the money, why not try to get a little bit of cash or perks back?
Don’t let the thought of renting a car stress you out. Instead, follow these tips and you will be on the road to a relaxing and stress free trip! As you can see these tips are so easy to follow and don’t require a great deal of time or energy. In no time you too can save some serious cash on your rental!
Have a safe trip!
Make sure you check out our Saving Money Blog and also our How to Coupon Page for more tips, tricks and videos on saving money and using coupons.