You’ve found an awesome hotel deal, a discounted flight, and even restaurant promotions for your vacation. However, many savvy travelers overlook their car rental costs. Renting a car is another big expense during any trip, but you can help offset the cost or reduce how much you pay by planning appropriately. Here are 5 rental car savings tips for travelers.
1. Never agree to return the gas tank of your rental car empty. Always choose to fill up the tank before you return. This way you can find a cheaper deal on gas. If you let the rental company fill up the tank, they will charge you an outrageous price per gallon for the same gas you could get much cheaper on your own!
2. Always consider additional charges when renting your car. Often you will find a great deal for $18 per day. Yet, once you start looking at the taxes and fees, you could quickly tack on an extra $50 and end up spending somewhere closer to $25 a day instead. These prices are often misleading, so always read the fine print, and ask about charges ahead of time before agreeing to anything.
3. Avoid renting your car at the airport. You will absolutely pay a price for the convenience of walking a few step from your gate to the rental center. Instead, try to get a shuttle or taxi service to take you to your hotel. Often you can rent a car from your hotel once you arrive and save a substantial amount of money since you are not renting directly at the terminal.
4. Do not get sucked in to signing an insurance agreement. Most times your car insurance company will cover rental expenses– just be sure to call ahead of time to verify. Also, your credit card can usually cover any accident or emergency issues. However, the salesperson will likely tell you horror stories to scare you into purchasing the insurance, which can add a heavy cost to your overall rental bill. This is usually unnecessary, so be smart and do your research ahead of time to be sure you are protected. Be especially diligent about checking your coverage if you will be traveling and renting a car outside of the country.
5. Reserve a compact car ahead of time. Rental companies have more mid-sized and SUV cars in stock because they cost more for customers to rent! The companies do this on purpose so that when compact cars are all out, the customer has no choice but to pay for an upgrade. If you reserve a compact car ahead of time, however, the company is obliged to give you a compact car or give you a free upgrade if they are all out.
When traveling, the decisions you make can heavily influence how much you spend on your trip. Be a savvy consumer, and do your research ahead of time to find the best deals for hotels, airfares, attractions and especially rental cars. Whether you rent from Car Rental Portugal or Florida, planning your car rental in advance and knowing tips and tricks will make the process much smoother. These rental car savings tips will help you to be a smart, well-informed traveler so that you can get more for your money and reduce unnecessary spending.