Whether you’re going on a vacation or doing some traveling for business purposes, car rentals are a common method of transportation. However, it can be difficult to deal with the expenses of car rentals. When you factor in the costs of fueling the car and the extra fees that companies may charge, you can see how renting a car can get expensive quickly. Don’t worry, though. There are great tips that can help you save money on your next car rental.
Reserve Your Rental Car Early
Waiting until the last minute to get a rental car is a terrible idea. When rental car companies run low on their supply of rental cars, they raise their prices. Avoid this by reserving your rental car at least a few weeks before your planned usage.
Research and Get Quotes
Settling for the first prices that you find can cause you to miss out on great savings. Be proactive and research the best deals ahead of time. Sites such as Expedia and Orbitz allow you to compare prices of rental cars in the areas you’ll be renting them in. Make sure to choose sites that allow you to see the fees and taxes associated with renting the car. Also, avoid renting a car from an airport unless you find a good deal. Renting a car from an airport is often more expensive.
Get Insurance Only if You Need It
Don’t get talked into paying for the insurance that the car rental company offers without knowing if it is even necessary. Ask your auto insurance company if your insurance covers rental cars. If it does, then you don’t need the extra insurance. If you have a credit card, you should also ask your credit card company if they have rental car insurance included for free in your program benefits.
Choose Your Rental Car Carefully
Upgrading from an economy class car (a rental car that is smaller and has fewer features) to a higher class car is pricey, so rent a compact class car (the least expensive car class after economy) instead; you’ll get more features in the car and will have one less thing to worry about. If you do need to upgrade to a higher class, see if you can negotiate with the rental agent to lower or drop the upgrade fees. Also, keep fuel-efficiency in mind when choosing a rental car. If you rent a car that guzzles gas quickly, you could end up paying a lot more than you planned.
Know the Best Routes to Take
If you know the best routes to take when traveling, you can avoid wasting precious gas. Using your phone’s GPS system (if it has one), you can see a variety of routes to get to your destination and choose the one that is the shortest distance. If your phone doesn’t have GPS, buy a GPS unit. Renting a car with a GPS system included in it may be convenient, but it can also leave your wallet drained.
Renting a car can be expensive, but only if you don’t do your research and prepare ahead of time. These tips will help you do just that.