No matter which part of the world you are traveling to, it is always possible to find cheap car rental and thus save money during your road trips. There are a few simple tricks, ideas that could help you save money while traveling, and we will share some of these with you to help you make the most out of your car rental everywhere. These tricks will apply to your car rental no matter where you are.
Is a rental car rental necessary?
Normally when traveling, a car might be a real necessity especially when you look at your daily routines. However, using public transport could be a cheaper option and also more accessible if you are traveling in big cities thus making cheap car rental unnecessary. There is always high stress, parking nightmares and gridlocks when you rent a car in big cities despite the fact that the idea might seem more freeing in the onset. It is always good to consider the costs involved in both car rentals and using public transport to help you choose the right option for you.
Helpful tips to save on cheap car rentals
- Avoid the big boys if you are to save
Mostly, the big companies might not be the best to deal with when looking for cheap car rental. This however does not mean that all big boys are expensive and doing some research could prove helpful.
- Avoid underage related charges
Many car rental companies normally charge more for drivers under 21 while giving better deals for those who are above 25. Although they will still rent out their cars to people under this age bracket, the deals normally come at a higher price and you could end up paying more than $25 per day. If you could have a driver who is above 25, then you might be able to avoid the surcharge.
- Search for discounted prices
Consider cheap car rentals from companies such as Travelauto.com and you could enjoy some amazing offers especially when you book early. You could also enjoy discounts from affiliation programs from airlines or even hotels. You could also enjoy huge discounts if you are in the military from guys like USAA.
- Find discounts and rewards
You can enjoy huge discounts using smart combination of coupons and credit cards. There are some good sources that could help you get great car rental deals or even earn money back. Some credit cards will give bonus rewards on car rentals and travel. There are also coupon aggregator websites where you could get promotions of one free day or up to 20% off. Travelauto.com also offers huge discounts for early bookings done through their site. Organizations such as AARP, AAA and others will also give you affiliation discounts if you are a member.
- Choose compact and hope for an upgrade
Car rental companies normally have more mid-sized cars compared to compacts. It is possible to get a mid-size car if there is no compact with the option of upgrading later without paying additional fee. You will however need to be smart and refuse to accept upgrade fees during the discussion.
- Check for week-long car rental rates even when reserving for the weekend
You can play around with the dates in order to enjoy cheap car rentals. Week-long car rental rates are normally cheaper and worth it even if you book the car and doesn’t’ use it throughout the week. This is normally caused by the fact that rental cars are always expensive during peak days and weekends. You can avoid inflated rates if you use week long rates.
- Combine different options
You can also save money by bundling up things are the car rental counter. Just book your rental car together with your hotel and flight. You will find these options readily available with some travel agencies.
Things to look out for
Book online: – Once you know your travel needs and have a clear picture of the rental car you need, it will be easy to avoid unnecessary car rental up-sells at the counter. Car rental agencies normally earn commission from their sales and therefore will market the cars and convince you even when you know that you do not need it. if you do not need the SUV, why accept it simply because the car rental company employee persuaded you to book it?
Check the taxes and surcharges before renting
Don’t just fall for the adverts. You might end up paying twice what you see due to the fees and taxes which are normally hidden and not declared by many agencies. It is possible to see an advert offering cheap cars hire at $10 per day but on top of that there could be charges and fees which will only be revealed during pick up. Book smart!
Avoid airport rentals
Airport car rentals are normally expensive due to the higher rates or fees that inflate the price. You can get cheap car rental providers with convenient suburban or downtown locations thus avoiding the unnecessary fees.
Check fuel policy
It is better to fill up the gas on your way back than choosing the pre-fill option. Some car rental companies normally pre-charge their customers for gas and you will need to return the car on an empty tank. This scenario ends up costing you more than you would if you chose to return the car back on a full tank. For pre-charge policy, you end up paying even for what you do not spend or even need. You can save a lot of money under this simple detail yet many are ignorant of the facts.
Important tip: – Always avoid filling the gas near the airport. Their prices are always higher and therefore will make the rental cost to shoot up.
Avoid excessive insurance upgrades
Auto insurance can leave you broke if you are not careful. Not many people are able to resist the sales pitch of car rental agency employees when it comes to insurance. The horrific details of accidents, fines and hefty fees can make you purchase insurance cover that you do not need. In most cases, your credit card will cover some of the basic insurance but will be nullified if you choose to insure with the car rental company.