How to Rent a Car Cheaplyby Brooke Pierce
When renting a car, do your homework. You will save cash and avoid overspending on a rental car if you do your research to find the best deals in your area.
Compare prices of various rental companies through their websites. Also consider available car makes and models, service fees and location. To get the best -- and cheapest -- rental car deals, book in advance, because car rental rates tend to rise during holidays and summer. Online travel sites offer competitive rates
Check for Discounts and Rewards
Check for available rewards at various rental companies and choose the best deals. Many groups offer affiliation discounts such AAA and AARP. You may also qualify for a discount though your employer. Some government employers and private firms have arrangements with rental car firms to provide discounts for employees. Check with your employer's human resources office or the rental car company you are doing business with. There are also bonus rewards offered by credit card companies -- look for one that provides such rewards. To know which companies are offering promotions, check on coupon aggregator websites such as Zalyn. These companies gather car rental deals and filter them by location and availability dates. Car Rentals provides you with a chance to get the best deals on rental cars from various dealers. Budget Truck enables you to save through rental discounts.
Avoid Airport Rentals
Renting a car from an onsite airport car rental facility is expensive, due to taxes and surcharges. Going offsite may prove inconvenient, but you can save time and money if you map out your route using public transportation before you begin your trip.
Get a Compact Car
Small, economy cars tend to cost less to rent. Be flexible enough to take the least expensive car. To get deep discounts, use websites such as Hotwire, Priceline and Car Rental Hawaii, which all offer discounts on car rentals.
To get the most mileage for your money, avoid purchasing add-ons. Use your smartphone's GPS, rather than buying it as an extra service for your rental car. If your own car’s insurance covers rental cars, avoid paying extra for rental car insurance -- you generally don't need it. Check with your insurance company before going to rent a car. Refuel the car at a gas station before returning it. If the tank has fewer gallons of gas than when you rented the car, the rental company will charge you for the extra gallons of gas you used -- often at a higher price than what you would pay at a gas station.
Read the rental contract to avoid extra charges for early or late return of the rental car.