All Women's Talk

7 Top Tips to save Money on a Rental Car ...

By Neecey

Whether you’re going on a road trip, or just want a way to get around when you’re on business or vacation, it’s good to know there are ways to save money on a rental car. Necessity or pleasure, you don’t want to think about how much it is costing you; you want to be able to afford a convertible so you can throw the top down as you cruise the cornice, or have a large family car, so the kids aren’t cramped and whining “are we there yet?” as a constant litany. Check out these top tips to save money on a rental car.

1 Pre-booking

Unless it is an emergency, always book ahead. There aren’t many deals to be had simply turning up at the rental desk and handing over your credit card. You probably invested quite some time and effort into finding your flight or vacation, so do the same to save money on a rental car. Check deals on the Internet, look at fly/drive packages, or ask your tour operator.

2 Loyalty and VIP Programs

Most of the major and global car rental companies now operate frequent renter program and also preferred renter (VIP) clubs. Perks and benefits include upgrades, free rental days and preferential treatments, such as bypassing the rental counter. And, like with other loyalty programs, don’t restrict yourself to just one.

3 Know What Your Money Gets You

Knowing how to get best deal for a rental car isn’t necessarily going for the smallest and cheapest option. There is a lot to be said for looking at the cars at the bottom of the price scale – what make and model are they? Then look further up the scale. If you can afford just an extra $3-$6 dollars a day, you can get a bigger, better car with more space. It might cost more but the payoff is better comfort and a better ride.

4 Go the Direct Route

There are no guaranteed ways to get the best rate on a rental car but there is reward in persistence. Calling the car rental companies direct can afford different results. The offers even differ within the same company from agent to agent, so try a few times and see what happens. Also, weekly rates don’t always mean weekly. It is advantageous to the car rental company to have cars out for more than a day or two, so if even if you only need a car for 3 or 4 days, ask if the weekly rate is applicable. Some rental companies will offer cheaper weekly rates for just 3 days.

5 Get Cute with the Discounts

Know where to look for discounts because there really is quite a plethora of them out there. Check for things like corporate discounts and affiliate discounts. Many airlines are affiliated with rental companies, as are credit cards, so check the junk mail that usually arrives with your credit card statement before trashing it.

6 Additional Fees in the Small Print

You may think you have made a great deal and got a great price for a rental car, but if you haven’t understood any mileage fee structure included in the contract you could find yourself facing a hefty bill at handover time. Understanding how your final fee will be constructed is vitally important because very few firms quote an all-in daily rental price that includes mileage, taxes, drop-off charges, insurances and fuel. Typical business rentals have unlimited mileage but leisure rentals might only have a certain number of free miles. Also, remember to check insurance coverage like collision damage because if you pay by credit card, you may already be covered – no point paying for something you already have.

7 Upgrades

Another of the ways to get the best rate on a rental car is to let the company you have pre-booked with know you would accept an upgrade. At really busy periods when there is huge demand for the cheaper and mid-price saloon cars, firms are happy to be able to bump people up into the more expensive cars at a discounted price.

Getting the most out of a rental car isn’t just about focusing on price. As well as knowing how to save money on a rental car, there are other factors to ensure the best rental experience. Check out the tips here, and let us know if you have any other tips to share.

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