5 Tips for Saving Money on Car Rentals

Travelers tend to not give car hire as much attention as they’d normally give flight and hotel reservation. It’s understandable; car rental doesn’t look as stressful as those two, and it naturally feels like you can only get great deals on flights and rooms while it seems car rental rates are flat.

Thinking this way is simply allowing yourself to miss out on so many good deals.

Car rental rates aren’t as flat as you think; they vary from one Rental Company to another, and they also vary between destinations – sometimes by quite a bit.

More so, being in the know of how things work with car hiring puts you in the good grace of car hiring companies, and you’ll definitely get rewarded.

Here are 5 tips to help you save money on your car rentals:

1. Beware of hidden extra charges

Ensure you visit your chosen car rental company’s reservation page and read every policy on it, including taxes and other charges. A company advertising some nice rate, like $20 per day, might be seemingly offering a good deal, but they will likely end up taking far more than that from you. Find out about all their charges before jumping at any rental “opportunity”.

2. Hunt for deals

If you search carefully enough, you might find for yourself good deals on car rental. The best way to find good deals is to check and compare the “special offer” or “deals” page of car rental websites; you’d be amazed at the amount you’ll eventually save, even on prestige car hire.

Another great way to get good rates is to scour rental websites for their daily and weekly rates. Look out for changes in rates for specific days or dates.

Do they offer bigger discounts on weekly rates than daily rates (as most do)? Then choose the weekly option if your period of stay allows it.

Is there always a spike in rental rates on Fridays or weekends? Then prepare to rent on a Thursday even if you wouldn’t need the car till Friday or Saturday.

You can also try car rental bidding sites, but ensure you compare prices you see on those sites with the actual price on each rental company’s website, because sometimes you’d find a better deal directly with the company.

3. Find other alternatives to airport rentals

Of course, it feels very convenient to hire a car on arrival within the airport. However, walking few steps away from airport rentals will get you better deals on your car hire, sometimes by up to 30 percent.

4. Decline car rental insurance offer

It’s better to call your insurance agent before traveling to confirm if your auto insurance covers car rentals, and if the coverage does or doesn’t extend to your travel destination. Also call your credit card company to confirm if using your card to pay for rental covers any collision.

Having the knowledge of your insurance coverage in relation to car rentals will make it easy for you to decline the insurance the car rental company offers, which is expensive and mostly unnecessary – chances are slim you’d ever need them.

5. Avoid the big name brands

Finally, if you can, avoid the big national or international car rental name brands like Hertz and Avis, and go for the smaller, independent agencies instead. You’d often be able to save between 15 to 30 percent on your rental fees, because of their lower operating costs.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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