There are a few reasons why you may want to rent a car, but most of the time it’s because you’re going on a trip. Renting a car with that specific reason in mind is just really smart and convenient as it could save you some mileage if you have your own vehicle.
However, renting a car can also be expensive. Typically, this could cost you around $20 to $150 a day. This, of course depends on the vehicle you’re planning on renting and how long you’ll be renting it. Now, the truth is that you don’t really have to spend much when renting a vehicle. Here are seven tips for you to save on money when it comes to renting vehicles:
#1 Always compare offers from different places
It’s common for people to only think of the most popular car rental places when it comes to this, but don’t just settle with one option. Go online and check the offers that these places have. Don’t avoid budget rental companies because they might have better deals than most popular and bigger rental companies.
#2 Choose an economy or smaller car
When planning a trip for a vacation, it may sound ideal to drive a better car than what you’re driving. However, it’s always better to just stick with economy cars. Cheaper vehicles mean that you can also rent them way cheaper than expensive vehicles.
If it’s just you or another person or two who’re traveling, you won’t need a big car. Get compact or smaller vehicles. If you’re lucky and you booked for an economic vehicle but for some reason when you pick it up, no economic vehicle is available, many rental companies would be glad to offer you an upgrade.
#3 Avoid airport pickup
While picking up the car you’ve rented at the airport is simply convenient after a flight, try to just schedule the pick-up elsewhere. You’ll find that you can save a few bucks from this. Rental companies charge extra for airport pickup as the airport would also charge them for doing their business within the vicinity.
#4 You may not really need the insurance
Many car rental companies earn a lot of money by offering unnecessary insurance coverage. They may even get aggressive about this, so make sure that you’re smart about it. There are plenty of ways to save money on car insurance, and opting for the rental company’s options is not always the most cost efficient choice. What you need to know is that many auto insurance companies still cover for car rentals.
Your credit card may even have you covered if an accident happens during the time that you’re renting the vehicle. Just be sure to check on that first before you decline the insurance that the rental company is offering.
#5 Always ask for discounts
When booking online, always check if the rental company has discounts available. If you’re going to a rental place, this is also something worth asking before you pay for the rental services. Most places offer Military, AAA, senior, corporate, and many other discounts so be sure that you ask about this.
#6 Prepay to save more
If you’re booking online or over the phone, take advantage of prepaying for the rental. This could help you save 20 percent or more, depending on the vehicle and how long your rental is. Paying for the car during pick up will most likely cost you more.
#7 Check the daily and weekly rates
You may think that renting a car on a daily basis is cheaper than renting it for a week, but that’s not really the case for many rental companies. This is why you should get the computation of how much the rent will be if you’ll be taking it on a daily or weekly basis.
You may also want to consider renting the car longer than you really need it. You can never really tell what could happen on the day of the return. What you just really should avoid is to return the car late even if it’s due to unforeseen circumstances like traffic. Car rentals companies would charge a lot for late returns even if it’s just for an hour.