Renting a car is relatively easy, but by being forearmed with knowledge of car rental practices, you can save a lot of money by getting the best deal available in the market.
1. Check The Car Rental Market
Go on line and check out some of the travel related web sites. You can find a gold mine of information on what’s available. After you know what’s on offer, you can cut out the middle man and go directly to the rental agencies website. The chances are you will get even cheaper rates when you deal with the rental agency directly.
2. Evaluate The Off and Read The Fine Print
Some car rental agencies may offer astoundingly low rental rates. It is only when you check the fine print will you find out the extra charges etc. The whole deal may work out quite expensive instead of the bargain you thought you landed. Ask about all the charges such as taxes, surcharges, handling fees, fees for additional drivers etc. Make sure all the cards have been laid on the table and no surprises will be sprung on you.
3. Shop for The Best Deal
You may be able to get a special rate for weekends, or for weekly rental etc. You may get promotional discount coupons being offered online. By virtue of being a member of some organizations, agencies may offer you a discount. There are loyalty discounts for return customers and many such opportunities are available for those who take time out to do a bit of due diligence.
4. Choose The Correct Car
The larger and jazzier the car, the more it will cost. If you are alone or with only one more passenger, opting for a compact car will make sense and save money. Choose the car according to your need.
5. Restrictions on Usage
If your journey takes you across State lines, be sure to check if that is covered in the rental or if a surcharge will be applied. The rental agency may tout it as ‘unlimited mileage’, but the fine print will tell you that you cannot go out of the State or to some States. Depending on your journey, opt for the correct plan.
6. Is The Extra Insurance Really Needed?
Rental agencies will try and persuade you to take extra insurance cover that you may not really need. You may have sufficient insurance cover in your auto insurance policy or credit card agreement. Usually the only cover you many need to take is a ‘loss of use’ policy. This is the time the agency loses when it has to replace or repair a car due to an accident or theft.
7. Put Your Own Gas
Do not make the mistake of prepaying for Gas. You will be charged premium rates. Put the Gas yourself and also be sure to fill the tank up before you return the car or else you will pay a lot more for the gas they fill.
8. Stick to Your Schedule
Plan your trip and stick to the schedule. If you return the car late or early you will have to pay an extra charge. Ask the agency what is their policy regarding returning time.
9. Child Safety Seat
If your children are coming along for the trip, then take your own child seat with you. You can save as much as $10 per day by doing this.
By doing a bit of planning and research, you can get the best deal when renting a car.