The average traveler is under the very false impression that car rental prices and car rental companies are pretty much all the same. With that false pretense they also believe that shopping around is not only unnecessary but also a waste of time.
That couldn’t be further from the truth however as rates can vary greatly from 1 company to the next depending on where you rent and where you’re going. If a rental car looms in your future then read on as we take a look at some excellent tips for saving money on your next rental.
One thing to keep in mind; generally speaking, car rental companies reward people who make it easy for them as far as the renting procedure is concerned and definitely make it hard for people that don’t.
Tip 1- Never agree to let the car rental company fill your tank when you bring it back empty. They normally charge 20 to 30% higher for the same gas that you could pump in yourself around the corner. Instead always fill it yourself before you drop it back off unless they make an excellent offer to fill it for you for less (which rarely happens).
Tip 2- Always take a look at the ‘fine print’ and look at the additional charges before you make a decision. A ‘great deal’ can begin to look mighty average once a ton of extra charges and taxes are tacked on.
Tip 3- Don’t rent at the airport. The ‘airport charges’ that can and usually are tacked on can increase your rental fees by 25% or more! Better to take a shuttle to the car rental place near the airport as most have them for free. An extra ride in a fee shuttle bus can save you gig bucks.
Tip 4- Don’t let them hype you into taking extra insurance. The simple fact is this; your auto insurance will cover you while you rent. The amount of extra money you will pay for insurance is ridiculous and the odds are super slim that you’ll ever need that extra coverage.
Tip 5- Ask to rent a subcompact car. The chances that they will have one when you arrive to rent (no matter where you rent) are low because nobody likes to rent subcompacts and the rental companies know this. If they don’t have one they’re obliged to give you an upgrade to whatever they have which could mean a 1 or 2 car class upgrade for you for free.