It is time to stop thinking of your car rental as an after-thought when planning a vacation. The pick-up fees, drop-off fees, per-day rates, taxes and gas can really add up and have you spending money you could have spent enjoying your vacation.
While rental car companies are good at sneaking in those added expenses, becoming a savvier rental car shopper can save you hundreds on your next rental.
You just need to know these 7 tricks before renting your next car:
Discounts are Everywhere
You can find car rental discounts on rental company websites, coupon aggregator sites or personal discounts from organization affiliations like AAA or your own credit card rewards. You can even use a combination of personal and company discounts to save the most money possible.
Seek Smaller Companies
We all know the big rental car companies out there and they are great. But did you know you can save a lot of money if you find a smaller affiliate or independent agency. Check for local companies in the area you are traveling to and give them a call for rates. That call might end up saving you over $10 per day.
Avoid Unnecessary Fees
We can’t do anything about taxes, but the most expensive money burning fee you can avoid is the insurance. You could be charged anywhere from $10 to $30 per day for this service. If you already have liability or comprehensive and collision coverage you can avoid this fee.
Also, you can check your credit card benefits to see if it covers rental car insurance. You just have to rent the car with that same card.
A seldom used money saving trick is to book a compact and ask for an upgrade to a mid-size car at the counter. The chances are they will oblige, but they might try to get an “upgrade fee” out of you. Don’t fall for it. The upgrade fee is at the discretion of the sales person at the counter. Hold your ground and smile. Use this trick on a Monday morning or late on weekday afternoons when they are at their peak times.
Don’t be Picky
If you truly do not care what kind of car rental you end up with, simply ask the agent what cars do they have an abundance of. Chances are there are plenty of cars they need to get off the lot and you can save some money by getting it off of their hands.
Bundle Your Trip
On third party travel sites you have the option of bundling your flight, hotel and car rental. It may seem like a where’s the catch type of offer provided by them, but it can really save you money.
Don’t Rent at the Airport
Renting a car at the airport can be 10-20% higher than outside of the airport. If you can, take a car sharing service to the nearest rental car company to the airport for your next booking. It’s an extra step, but can save you hundreds.
All in all, renting a car is a necessity, but paying for added fees and varying rates is not. Use these easy tricks and you’ll have more money to spend on the fun stuff on your next trip. If you would like to learn more, visit Discount Car & Truck Rentals.