Top 10 Ways to Save $$ When Renting a Car

May 18, 2015

Getting a fair price when you rent a car seems to be getting harder and harder in today’s world. Here are some strategies for you to save some serious money:

1. Buy your own gas. Prepaying gas is a very expensive convenience – Rental companies typically double the market price of gas. So, agree to return the car full and then fill up the car before you return it.

2. Use the internet. Some of the best deals can be found by searching for rental car promotions. Also try the common vacation travel sites because they often offer good prices on car rentals.

3. Call if you’re going to be Late. Rental car companies make profits by keeping the cars rented out as much as possible and they schedule things carefully. If you are late and do not give the company a chance to accommodate you, they can charge you more in a late fee.

4. Don’t rent the Hummer. Smaller vehicles often come with smaller rental fees. Just make sure you have enough room for all your needs. Often the mid-size car will be big enough for you and save you serious money for other activities.

5. Watch the extra charges All those taxes and fees really add up, so don’t be afraid of doing some math and add up what the total costs are going to be.

6. Good offers are easy to find. There are weekly rental deals and weekend discount rates, so ask about those. Use those promotional codes when you can, but keep an eye on any restrictions.

7. Child seats – bring your own. If you have younger children you probably already have child car seats. Bringing your own will save you lots of money and can be used on the airplane if you need them.

8. Leaving the country? There are often extra fees or outright bans on taking a rental car across international borders, so make sure you ask about this if you might want to take an excursion into Canada or Mexico or beyond.

9. You probably don’t need the insurance. Most modern credit cards provide some extra coverage, and your own car insurance may provide coverage as well. That additional insurance from the rental car companies is very expensive, so make sure you really need it.

10. Airport pickup fees. Today’s airports tend to tax tourist and visitors as much as possible and airport pickup fees are common place. See if there is another location that you can get your car and save that big tax.