If plane rides to crucial business or personal trips are not an option, there are rental cars to turn to. People unwilling to add to the family car’s mileage numbers or raise the wear and tear on it see renting a car as a viable alternative. However, car rentals do not always come cheap. The good news is, with a little digging you can save serious bucks on your next car rental.
Car Rental Money-Saving How-Tos
Most travelers have it wrong, thinking that all rental car rates are nearly the same. In reality, rates do actually vary (often considerably) between destinations and companies. There are plenty of ways to save a boatload of money on rental cars. The list below provides answers to many of your car rental cost concerns and dilemmas. Take a look.
o No airport rentals. While airport rentals offer convenience, the privilege comes at a price. People on business trips can often just rent cars from their downtown hotels. Save money by arranging for public transportation or a hotel shuttle from the airport to the hotel front desk.
o Size matters. Decide what kind of automobile you require. People traveling with kids or plenty of gear might go for a SUV or a big sedan. For those looking to just save on gas and rental rates, reserve the smallest model available. Specify a stick shift or an automatic transmission car and see if the firm gives any extras your group might want or need – like GPS systems, ski racks or car seats.
o For how long. For under-a-week rentals, you will do best to stick with major rental car companies. Car rentals exceeding a week or two could get you better rates from the local firms, especially the auto dealers. Take care though when dealing with local firms if you plan on driving a lot. These guys often fall short of the car accident or breakdown support services offered by the major rental companies.
o Use online discount codes. Coupons giving customers a percentage of the rental price or free days for car rentals are available online. Book online and sign up for various opt-in lists to allow you to get attractive offers in the future straight from their email inbox. Find coupons for Dollar Rent A Car, E-Z Rent A Car and others. Rental car discount codes are usually alphanumeric and give customers a specific percentage off their rental fees. Register your email address with particular car rental firm sites to ensure you continue receiving the most recent specials along with discounts and coupons.
o Record accepted or not. Find out from travel agents if particular car rental firms check potential customers’ driving records. Some wind up rejecting customers with records that fail to satisfy company standards. Confirmed reservations do not guarantee you will not be disqualified from renting. Issues like moving violations within recent years, seatbelt violations and driving with invalids, revoked or suspended licenses are some grounds for disapproving applications.
o Understand rental agreements. For online bookings, go through the terms and conditions prior to confirming reservations. For phone bookings, ask agents on restrictions. See that you grasp the gist of the reservation conditions.
o Return car rentals. Be on the alert for prepaid gasoline plans. Fill tanks yourself before driving the vehicles back so you only pay for the gas amount you actually utilized.
o Refuse car insurance. Majority of private auto insurance policies cover the rental cars so long as the individual signing the agreement or contract drives it. Chances are the auto insurance policy you have at home covers car rentals too. Verify by calling your agent. Find out from your card company if using the credit card to pay for the rental also provides collision insurance coverage.
There are plenty of ways to land great rental car deals. The key is to keep looking and not simply settle on the first deal you stumble across. It never hurts to look around and see what the different car rental companies are serving up. When it comes to zeroing in on the best car rental contracts, comparison-shopping is never a bad thing.