Rent From A Car Dealership
Did you know that you can rent cars from car dealerships? If any of the above suggestions don’t work out, you may want to contact car dealerships at your destination of choice. Call around and see what the prices are like for your dates. You may get a great deal.
Ready to book a trip? Don’t overpay when making your car rental reservation. Follow the above tips so you can save money when booking a car for your upcoming vacation plans.
Work Your Networks For Discounts
If you belong to credit or employment unions or have any warehouse-club memberships, its best to start with them for rates, says Pavini: These groups negotiate with companies to get a better deal for members. Planning ahead? Sign up for newsletters from rental car agencies and follow major rental companies on social platforms, so youll be among the first to hear about offers when theyre announced.
Get The Smallest Car Available
An economy vehicle is going to be your best bet for getting the cheapest deal. This might not be an option if youre bringing your extended family and all their luggage, but when possible, rent the smallest car on the lot.
Note that rental car agents will usually try to get you to upgrade. The cost might seem minimal but can add up over the days. If you can fit everything you need into an economy car, this additional charge simply isnt worth it.
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Determine How Big A Rental Car You Need
There are two factors in determining the size of rental car you will need:
Yes, you need room enough for both your passengers bodies and their luggage. Youll be sad if either item arrives at the ship without the other.
Here are two articles that can help you determine the right size rental car for your group.
Got the right size figured out? Lets move to the next step.
Consider A Package Deal
Many airlines offer discounts on package deals . A package deal that includes flight, rental car and hotel could save you even more money. Check the price of each part of your trip separately, then compare that cost to the cost of a package deal. In many cases you will find that the price of the package deal is far better than you could get on your own.
Check out five budget-friendly vacation tips youll wish you knew sooner.
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Book Through Sites Like Autoslash Which Factors In Discounts
Rossman isnt affiliated with the car rental service Autoslash, but uses the site to save on car rentals.
You put in where you’re going and it will give you quotes, says Rossman. What is neat is that you can put in your memberships with Costco or AAA, and they will search for those discounts and any online coupons that may help you save. They do price comparisons before and after you book so if two weeks later that booked rental for May went down you can rebook at the lower rate.
How To Save Money On Rental Cars
There are a number of factors that determine the price of a rental car, from when you book to what you book to who you talk to at the rental car office. Likewise, there are several ways to save money when renting a car. Here are 11 strategies to help you get the best possible deal every time you rent.
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Compare Multiple Car Rental Agencies:
We have seen the price for the same car vary considerably by agency. As an example, we found the price for a compact car at Denver airport was $172 for one agency while over $1,000 for another agency. Although agencies often move prices together there are many cases and situations where one agency will have much lower prices. Use a booking engine that compares multiple agencies when possible.
How To Save Money On Car Rentals In 2022
When renting a car it pays to know what youre getting into beforehand. Its easy to be overcharged when you dont know what you dont know. It also doesnt help that rental agents are trained to get more money out of you.This article provides you with the best tips and advice on car rentals you need to avoid being taken advantage of.
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Dont Rule Out Budget Rental Companies
Everyone knows car rental companies like Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis. In many cases, these are the companies to go with. But there are also lots of smaller companies that are worth a look.
Sure, they may not have the same fancy websites and extensive locations as the big companies. But they sometimes have better prices.
To see rentals from these smaller companies, search on CarRentals.com. They wont always be cheaper, but theyre worth a look.
Pay Tolls In Cash If You Can
Another fee rental car companies just love to tack on your bill is the fee for passing through tolls. Hertz charges a $5.95 fee for every day you use its PlatePass, in addition to the price of the tolls incurred at their highest rate. Avis, Alamo, Budget and Enterprise each charge a $3.95 convenience fee for each day of the rental in certain areas with tolled roads even if you dont drive there on top of any toll fees incurred.
This is a sneaky one that could really add up, says Rossman. Its harder these days to pay in person as bridges are moving away from cash, so either prepay the toll online or buy a disposable transponder if able. It can save you a lot of money.
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Beware The Cancellation Fees If Pre
Prepaying to save money could be your most expensive decision, says Winter. Like hotels, prepayment for locked-in conditions look like they are going to save you money changes in flight times, dates, cancellations for illness even getting a better price hotel in a different area could result in needing to cancel or modify a booking.
And that cancellation fee could cost you around $50 , and double that if you cancel within 24 hours ahead of scheduled pick up.
Make sure your plans wont change if you are pre-paying.
Leverage The Sharing Economy Instead
During a visit to Los Angeles a few years ago, our team member Rebecca rented a car through Turo, which lets individual car owners rent out their vehicles on the same model as Airbnb. Users browse the selection of available cars, read reviews, and request a booking. The traditional rental car agencies were well outside of my budget, she told me. The price through Turo was a lot lower, and the car was nicer, even if it wasnt the latest model. Id definitely do it again. It was a great experience.
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Use Shopping Or Airline/hotel Booking Portals
Consider making your car rental reservation via a shopping portal like Rakuten or Citi Bonus Cash Center, which are among the many cash back shopping portals that can return a percentage of what you spend.
You can also use airline and hotel booking portals to make a reservation and earn frequent flyer or hotel loyalty points, rather than cash back.
It pays to look at your preferred airline or hotels car rental booking platforms before renting a car. For example, at the time of writing, United Airlines flyers have access to a Budget coupon code for up to 35% off base rates.
AutoSlash is another way to compare prices with rental car companies, including Budget, since the service recommends alternate locations or discount codes you may not have realized you could use. The platform also notifies you if the cost of your rental drops, which means you can rebook it and save the extra cash.
Rent Outside The Airport
If youre flying in, the easiest place to rent a car is at the airport, but just know youre likely paying 10 or 30 percent more for the convenience. Airport car rental kiosks often charge a airport concession fee, so it could be worth your while to take a taxi or public transit into town and rent a car from there.
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Most Rental Car Companies Have Similar Pricing But You’ll Find Consistently Lower Rates At Costco Travel
Hertz, Budget, Enterprise … Keyes says they’re all pretty much the same, with none offering “reliably has cheaper rates than the other.”
The standout company in his experience is Costco Travel, a site he says “consistently has the best price.”
“You automatically have access if youre a Costco member, and it also includes extra perks like a free second driver. Best of all: reservations are free to cancel, so you can book a car today and if the price drops tomorrow, just cancel and rebook for a cheaper rate,” he said.
Do Your Homework On Bundle Deals That Come With A Free Rental Car
Packages and bundles with hotels and/or airfare are designed to save you money, but these can make your rental car out to cost more than if you book it independently.
Free car is an offer that cannot be taken at face value, says Randi Winter, a travel consultant with Passionate Travel, a Virtuoso affiliate of Classic Travel. Often it is only one or two days and the mileage or additional days can far overshadow the free offer, especially if you are keeping a car for a week or longer.
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Turn To Discount Brands
Enterprise, Hertz and Budget arent the only outfits in town. Discount brands like Advantage, Payless, Thrifty and Dollar Rental are also vying for your business, often at a lower rate than big-name rental companies.
On a given day, our research showed that the lowest-priced rental from Advantage, Dollar and the like was at least $5 cheaper than the cheapest premium brand rental, depending on the city. That savings multiplies over longer trips.
Be Flexible With Your Time Date Or Destination
To get the best car rental deals youll want to be aware of what can cause your rental car prices to fluctuate. And there isnt an exact way to know exactly what factors will swing the price of a car rental one way or the other.
Usually, one-way rentals are more expensive than round-trip bookings. But weve had MMS staffers book two separate one-way rentals for less than the price of a round-trip. So you just never know. If you can pick-up your rental in an off-airport location, you might save on taxes. Reader Mark saved $100+ in taxes by picking up a cheap car rental in Boston at an off airport site and returning it to the airport because the taxes were only charged for the origin not the destination.
If you play around with your pick-up or return time you might be able to find a better deal. For example, I researched car rental deals for a 5-day trip from Baltimore to Pennsylvania. I started off looking for round-trip deals. But I also considered doing two one-way, one-day rentals, because I only needed the car for the trips to and from the airport.
I thought doing that would save me one day of charges because even though I was only returning the rental four hours earlier, those four hours were the fifth day of the rental, but instead the price dropped drastically.
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Car Hire: Save Money On Your Holiday Rental With These Top Tips
Smooth and affordable car hire is one of the key components of adventures abroad.
But, as with air fares, it’s one of the parts of a holiday getting more expensive as fuel costs rise across Europe. Car-owners will be no stranger to the volatile price of petrol and diesel at forecourts, and it’s unlikely to ease anytime soon.
Renting a car can be a tricky business at the best of times, as there are often hidden costs, additional fees and lots of insurance extras involved. So if youve booked a holiday this year and are planning to hire a car as part of your trip, how can you keep costs low?
Read on for our handy guide to car rental in 2022.
Book Your Car Rental As Soon As Possible:
Sometimes car rental can be an afterthought when booking your vacation. We recommend booking a non-prepaid car rental as soon as possible for several reasons:
- Get the vehicle you want some specialty vehicles can sell out quickly.
- Prices can increase considerably for peak and holiday periods.
- It can be easy to forget to book a car rental, if you do it as soon as you know your dates you will be ready to go.
If you do forget to book your rental dont worry, we have you covered. Check out our last minute car rental discounts in Canada to help you save at the last minute.
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Do Your Homework On Insurance
Rental car companies charge high per day insurance fees. It can feel overwhelming when an agent talks through all the options at the rental counter.
To avoid this and paying more than you need, check with your own car insurance to see what, if anything, is covered for car rentals.
Its smart to pay for the car rental with a credit card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, that includes primary car rental insurance. You can comfortably decline the CDW or collision damage waiver at the rental counter because the card protects you from theft and damage to the vehicle whether youre in the U.S. or abroad. Youll also earn 2x the points for travel expenses like car rentals.
Two Minutes A Week = Big Savings
Ever since rental car companies sold off cars at the start of the pandemic, there’s been a distinct shortage in a travel commodity that was once easy and relatively cheap to book. Historically, you might book flights, then lodging, and finally almost as an afterthought your rental car.
But that’s not the case anymore.
Because car rentals are in high-demand especially during holidays you might want to lock in a car before you book flights and lodging, so you have flexibility with dates . It might also help to join loyalty programs or look into car-sharing services such as Turo and Avail, where you rent cars from other people .
And there’s one more insider tip. Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights and a true travel expert, found a little workaround that saved him 30 percent on a rental car in March. Here’s how:
Keyes reserved a two-day rental car in Boston the same day he booked his flight , then checked on prices a week later to see if they had dropped. They had. So, he canceled his first booking and rebooked , and cleverly set a reminder to check prices once a week.
“I set myself a calendar reminder to quickly check for price drops every Monday morning for the next four months. By trip day, I’d rebooked five more times,” Keyes said in an article posted on Scott’s Cheap Flights.
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Dont Fall Victim To False Insurance Claims
How its Done: You may feel rushed or embarrassed by taking so long to inspect the car. But its better to take too long than it is to miss something. Its imperative to be as thorough as possible and its best to take pictures of any problem areas you see, no matter how small it may seem, so it cant fall back on you later. Having proof with a time and date stamp is the only thing that will save you from getting charged if the company tries to make a claim.
Need to Know: While driving a rental car, youre liable for any damage that the car receives beyond normal wear and tear. Rental car companies have you do a quick review of the car youre renting to document any flaws. They have you do this so that, when something is wrong with the car that you didnt document, they can charge you to fix it, its their way of getting free repairs.
Do Car Rental Locations Accept Debit Cards
Yes, some rental companies accept debit cards for reservations, though they may ask for additional identification and proof of insurance when you book. Even if you can pay with a debit card, some car rental locations require a credit card for the deposit. Be sure to check the terms and conditions. If you don’t own a credit card, you may not be permitted to rent a car. Cash, prepaid cards, and gift cards are never accepted for reservations
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Check Aggregator Sites First
Renting a car in the first place is overwhelming. Where should you start? I always recommend starting with the car rental aggregator sites, which search all the major car rental companies at once.
There are dozens of these sites out there, but theres a lot of overlap between them. So I tend to stick with the following sites:
These sites will give you a good ballpark figure for what you should pay. But dont just stop here and book your rental. Be sure to read the next two tips first.