Ready to save on your next car rental? Learn the expert-backed strategies for securing the best deals and avoiding hidden costs.
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Navigating the world of car rentals can sometimes be a maze of high costs and hidden fees.
However, fret not because we have insider tips to help you save big on your next car rental without compromising comfort and convenience.
Let us dive right in!
Avoid Airport Rentals
Most of us would pick up our rental cars at the airport for convenience. However, Andrea Woroch, a budgeting expert, suggests that renting a car away from the airport can significantly reduce costs. The simple reason? Airports charge rental companies higher fees, which is reflected in your price.
Try to book a rental service near your hotel or your final destination, and use a hotel shuttle, Uber, or Lyft to reach there; the total cost might still be lower than renting at the airport.
Cash Back and Discounts
A good chunk of your rental price can be returned if you book through cash-back portals like CouponCabin.com.
Jen Moyse from TripIt recommends keeping an eye on your credit card perks, too. Some cards offer free collision damage waiver insurance, saving you a daily charge from the rental company. Look into options like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for elite memberships and other discounts at various rental companies.
Warehouse Club Deals
Did you know that your warehouse club memberships at places like Costco and Sam’s Club could offer discounts on car rentals? Andrea Woroch emphasizes that sometimes, the discount on a single rental can cover the cost of a new membership!
Skip Unnecessary Add-Ons
Rental companies will try to sell you a bunch of add-ons like GPS systems and car seats, which can rack up your bill pretty fast. Woroch advises skipping these as you can manage with your phone’s GPS and streaming services, and airline companies allow you to check in car seats for free.
Beware of the Toll Pass
Bola Sokunbi, the CEO of Clever Girl Finance, warns against using the rental company’s toll pass without paying the associated fees. Having some cash handy for the tolls or planning your route to avoid them is wiser.
Bundle Your Rentals
If you book flights and hotels, try to bundle the car rental with these services for impressive discounts. Remember to compare rates and vehicles across different companies and platforms to land the best deal.
To avoid high prices and limited availability, Jen Moyse suggests booking your rental cars well in advance, ideally more than six months ahead of your travel plans.
Avoid Prepaying for Fuel
Fill up the tank yourself before returning the car to avoid the high fuel charges by rental companies. Use apps like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas stations on your route.
Ask for Upgrades
Do not hesitate to ask for a free upgrade when you reach the rental counter; sometimes, you might get lucky!
Rethink Your Rental Duration
Finally, consider if you need a rental car for the entire duration of your trip. Sometimes, relying on public transportation, walking, or other eco-friendly options can save you money and help reduce your carbon footprint.
Every penny saved counts, and with these tips in your arsenal, you are well on your way to snagging the best deals out there. Safe travels!