If your car is down and your family is scheduled to go on a week-long vacation somewhere, for sure you are desperate to use one for your temporary family use. If this situation arises, renting a car would be one of your best options. There are plenty of car rental shops to choose from, but if you are conscious about cost, you would certainly want to find one that can save you a lot of money. If it’s your first time to rent a car, you would surely want to get some inputs on how to lessen your car rental cost. Here are a few you can consider.
1. Avoid big names.
Big or established car rental shops have a lot of overhead costs. Most of them have prices that are certainly higher than the new players in the business. To be able to haggle with prices, you should opt for a lesser known shop. You must be sure though, that their cars they have are well-maintained and in good condition.
2. Take advantage of rewards and discounts.
Bonuses and other rewards on car rentals are sometimes offered by credit card companies. If you happen to have it in one of your credit cards, you can use it to avail of the savings you can make for using the card on a rent-a-car transaction.
Another way to avail of discounted car rental rates is to find them in coupon aggregator websites. They are a good source of information as to which shops are offering discounts such as 20% off or an additional day for free.
3. Ask for the compact.
Compact cars are rarely used by car rental companies although some do to accommodate specific needs of some customers like you. The rates of compacts should be lesser than larger cars. Rental companies that are eager to serve have a tendency to offer you an upgrade. You should consider that offer, but you must try to bargain for a lesser or no additional cost.
4. Consider week-long rates.
Week-long rates are definitely cheaper than daily rental rates. Even if you are not using the car for the entire seven days, you may still be able to make some savings because daily rates are higher especially during peak days and weekends.
5. Consider package options.
If you need to fly or stay in a hotel during your trip, you may consider booking a flight and car or flight, hotel and car package. This can surely give you some savings. You can check this out online at the website of online travel agencies.
6. Avoid car rental shops near the airport.
The rates of rental shops that are near airports are usually higher than average or normal rates. Like the Loveland car dealerships, there are lots of other shops that are conveniently located downtown or in suburban locations and their rates are certainly lower.
7. Don’t go for the pre-fill.
Most car rental shops assume that their customers will return their cars with empty gas tanks. This would mean additional cost on your part especially if you are not able to use up all the fuel during your trip. To avoid that possible extra expense, you don’t have to take the pre-fill option. You can always buy gas anytime you want.
8. Don’t fall for unnecessary insurance upgrades.
Some car rental salespersons would try to convince you to buy insurance packages that might not be necessary. You should evaluate your insurance needs carefully to avoid unnecessary spending – it can take a slice from your budget.
Renting a car is sometimes the most convenient way to travel, but it can be costly if you don’t plan first before picking up the phone to call a car rental company. If you are planning to rent a car on one of your trips, you may try these tips – they can help you save on costs.
Lori Palermo is a corporate consultant who is experienced in the areas of fund administration, corporate solutions, human resources, technology and small business. He likes to share his knowledge about business and human interests. .