Rental car rates have risen to an average of $109 a day. How much money do you have to spend on renting a vehicle? How can we save money renting a car?
That’s what our readers want to know, and we’re here to answer their questions. We’ve put together a list of ten rental car hacks and tricks to help you save money, and time, and prevent unwanted costs, delays, or inconveniences when driving.
Even After You’ve Booked, You Can Get a Lower Rate.
Rental car companies allow customers to change their reservations at any time, but nonrefundable airline tickets are non-transferable. When you reserve a car with a car rental company, you have the option of canceling or changing your reservation later if you find a better offer.
The AutoSlash service will handle the shopping for you after you’ve made your reservation, so you don’t have to. AutoSlash will alert you if a lower cost for the automobile rental you’ve selected becomes available. You can use the site to make your first reservation or use your existing reservation number from the car rental business.
You may save hundreds on cheap car rentals by using this one simple trick.
Search “[vehicle rental company name] coupon code” on Google before making a final decision on whether or not you want to hire a car. Save up to 25% or 30% with coupon codes from RetailMeNot and SlickDeals.
Verify Prices on Several Iterations of the Car-Rental Service’s Website
Make sure to check both the company’s website in your home country and its website in the country where you’re renting a car. On Alamo.com (the company’s U.S. site), for example, I compared costs for a three-day car rental in Glasgow, Scotland, across the two sites, and found that Alamo.co.uk had the lowest price (the U.K. site).
For a compact car with a manual gearbox, the US site charged me $111.71, whereas Alamo.co.uk offered 65.88 GBP, which works out to $80.21 at the current currency rate.
Two things to keep in mind: First, if the price difference is really minor, your credit card may charge you a fee to pay in a foreign currency, which might completely negate the price difference.
Second, if you’re trying to book a car on a website in a language you don’t understand, this car rental hack can be difficult. Machine translations like Google Translate and others aren’t always accurate, so double-check the terms and conditions before making a booking.
Take Advantage of Subscriptions for a Group
AARP, Costco, BJ’s, or USAA are some of the organizations you may belong to. If so, you may be able to save money on automobile rentals. Members of the AARP can take advantage of discounts at Avis, Budget, Payless, and Zipcar because of the organization’s relationships with these companies, while AAA members can obtain special rates at Hertz.
AAA members between the ages of 18 and 24 will also receive a discount from Hertz when renting a car. In addition, you can check for automobile rental bargains from their partners on the search engines provided by Costco, BJ’s, and USAA, among others.
Do not overlook other, more substantial discounts, such as those offered by group subscriptions. Make sure that you don’t just stick with your favorite group rate without doing some research first.
Package Deals for Car Rentals
When booking your flight and/or hotel together with your rental car, you can often save a significant amount of money. On Expedia, for example, I learned that a weeklong trip from New York to San Diego would cost $495.30 per person for the flight and $133.50 per person for the vehicle rental.
For a total of $628.80, each individual would have to pay for their own flights and car rental. For $461.70, I was able to get a flight and rental car for the same price as the airfare alone.
Get a free one-way rental
When renting a one-way car, the rental firm may impose a fee to cover transportation costs for returning the vehicle to its original location. Consider the possibility that by taking it to its destination, you are actually doing the corporation a service.
As the theory goes, you can get a car or camper for cheap or even free if you’re prepared to do the driving on Transfercar, which advertises vehicles that need to be relocated from one location to another.
This could be the case with a compact campervan that wants to go from Perth to Broome in the next two weeks. The campervan can be yours for free for up to eight days (including insurance) if you can assist them to get it back to where it belongs.
Sign up for Reward Programs
Your favorite car rental business will reward you with privileges such as avoiding the rental counter queue and access to members-only deals—no matter how many times you’ve rented from them in the past.
As a result, you may use the points you earn from renting a car to book future flights or hotel stays.
Prior to Purchasing Insurance, Check Your Credit Card’s Benefits
Is the high-priced rental car insurance truly necessary? I don’t know. If you pay for your rental car with a credit card, you may be eligible for some forms of rental car insurance.
Consult your credit card agreement or contact the issuing bank to determine what insurance you already have. Your personal car insurance coverage at home may also cover you in the event of an accident.
During the inspection, take pictures or videos of your vehicle.
Take a few pictures or maybe a video of any dings or scrapes on the rental car when you’re checking it out for the first time.
Please note that reporting these difficulties immediately to the rental business staffer does not substitute for doing so—but it provides evidence in the event that your rental company attempts to charge you for damages that you did not create.
Doing so will allow you to get a simple time stamp to prove dings and scratches were there during the rental period.
Save Money on Gas
In most cases, you’ll be given the option of prepaying for fuel when renting a car from a rental agency. It’s almost always a bad deal here. Instead, use an app like GasBuddy to locate the cheapest gas station in your area and fill up your own tank. ” Gas stations near the airport tend to be pricey, so it’s best to fill up at least 10 miles away.