Car rentals are getting ever more expensive, with some weekend trips costing over $500. With this increase in car rentals, it is vital to save everywhere you can. We will look at some of the ways you can save money on your next car rental.
Check With Your Insurance
One of the first things you should do before renting a car is to check with your insurance. You want to find out if your insurance policy provides complete coverage for rental cars. If you do, you can skip the insurance coverage from the rental company. You don’t need to pay for it twice unless you think you will be involved in dangerous driving.
Any time you rent or buy anything, you need to shop around. Different companies obviously have different prices, but the availability of cars also influences the rates. Look between different car rental companies but also browse their various locations. Typically, locations away from airports will have better prices.
If you rent from a further away location, many companies will pick you up. Also, look at brands you might not know or are less familiar with. Smaller companies typically offer better deals.
Ask About Fees
Every car agency has their fees. Knowing about them ahead of time can help you to save money. Airports often have individual rental fees or taxes. Additionally, many companies try to add sneaky fees that you can sometimes talk them out of. Factor fees into your decision of where you will rent your car.
Check Local Gas Prices
Most rental car companies either say you have to return the tank at the level you found it, prepay for gas, or endure a very high gas fee. Before you travel, make sure to know what the local gas cost is. That way, you can determine if prepaying for your gas is worth it or not. Also, consider how far you are driving. If you aren’t going to use much gas, don’t prepay for a tank.
Gas Buddy can help you find gas prices. Keep in mind Safeway and QFC fuel discounts when you are looking at prices.
Subscribe To AAA
AAA is one of the best subscriptions for roadside emergencies. You will almost always be able to get the help you need at little to no cost. In addition to roadside assistance, you get discounts at various places around the country. One of those discounts you get is on car rentals.
An alternative to AAA is Costco Travel. They have plenty of tools to help you save with each part of your travel, including rental cars.
Rent The Smallest Car Possible
In most cases, the smallest car possible will get you the best price. Take into account your needs for a vehicle and what you can realistically use. Economy cars are labeled that for a reason.
Avoid Automatic Tolls
Most car rental companies add a fee when you use automatic tolling lanes or bridges. This is because they have to forward the bill to you and pay the original bill themselves. Almost all GPS devices have an option for avoiding tolls. When available, you can also use toll booths and pay on-site.
Look For Package Deals
Package deals are some of the best ways to save on everything when you travel. Many services will help you to bundle a car, hotel, and airfare. Just make sure that you do your research and look into all of the available options. Sometimes these deals aren’t as much of a deal as they seem.
Car rentals are an excellent option for getting around on big vacations. They are mandatory for many business trips. No matter your need for a rental car, you want to save as much money as possible. Implement all of these tips to help you find the best price possible.