There is no denying that renting a car gives you convenience and autonomy when you are on holiday. However, it also adds up to your cost pretty fast if you have to pay $45 every single day and that excludes fuel and insurance. The good news, however, is that renting a car doesn’t have to be so expensive. With these few tips, you can enjoy the convenience you want without breaking your bank.
- Don’t rent from the airport
It’s very convenient to rent a car from the airport agencies, but it will cost you more because of the airport surcharges. For example, an economy rental in some states can cost you around $13 a day if you pick it downtown and $38 if you rent from the airport. If you do the math for an entire week, that is more than $100 saved. However, this is not the case for all cities, so it’s best to do your due diligence before making that decision.
- Compare prices online
Like everything else you need to buy, you must compare prices from different agencies. Use the internet to shop around online from sites like Travelocity.com, Kayak and Cheapcarrental.com to find the best deals. Once you narrow down that search, visit individual websites and look out for other discounts and better deals from them. You can actually complete the entire process online without meeting the agents in person if you deal with agencies like Globe car rental.
- Choose economy cars
The cheapest rental cars are the best if you want to save money. If it is a high season, you will likely find that all the economy cars have been taken from the lot, so they offer you a bigger car for free or very little cost. Economy cars are not the most comfortable, but they will get you where you want to go safely. If you are alone or two, you can actually get a compact car at $11 a day instead of getting a four-seater which will cost significantly more.
- Forego the perks
The agency will more often than not try to sell you extras like insurance, gas, GPS and even satellite radio. Unless you are in a foreign country, your insurance company is already covering you, and you don’t need GPS and radio. The prepaid gas often cost more than what you will pay if you refill at a gas station so always choose to opt-out the extras if they are not necessary.
- Make use of your memberships
If you are a member of AAA, Costco, or American Airlines, you can make use of some of the perks that come with that. For example, Costco adds a free additional driver so your rental agency won’t charge you for that. AAA also gives 8 to 10 per cent discount on Dollar and Thrifty so you will save a lot of money in the long run. If you are a member of American Airlines, you can get up to 35% off car rental if you rent from the airport.
There is no reason why you have to pay an arm and a leg just to get a rental car during your holiday. Sometimes all it takes is some research and comparing a few companies to save a substantial amount of money. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions for every rental agency, so you don’t end up paying more than you bargained for.