Travelers rarely scrutinize car rental rates when negotiating for their hotel room and airfare rates. Hidden charges often inflate travel costs, so it’s worth considering the bottom line before signing up for a rental car deal. Travel rates tend to vary across destinations and companies, so research thoroughly to secure the best deal. It might also be wise to join a loyalty program after finding a rental car company to try to save as much as you can. Below are five ways to save on a rental car.
1. Beware of any Extra or Hidden Fees
Taxes and various fees can inflate an advertised rental rate, making it necessary to consider all charges when comparing multiple packages. Though sales tax should be the same across the industry, some companies often tack on vehicle licensing fees, battery recovery and tire fees, and energy charges. Unless a traveler declines the offer, a rental car company can charge them extra money for additional drivers, satellite radio, other unnecessary insurance, and GPS navigation system.
2. Avoid Airport Parking Fee
Though renting a car at a railway station or airport might seem convenient, a traveler might have to spend more for that convenience. Airport car rental companies may also charge an extra fee due to the concession recovery fee charged by the airport or railway station to operate there. Other travel alternatives can be as convenient as airport cabs or car hires. For example, look for a rental car service near your hotel or one willing to transport you to any location at no additional fee.
3. Hire the Smallest Car Possible
Of course, almost everyone prefers renting a large car. Even rental car companies know this, and they’re likely to have more full-size and mid-size cars than small ones. Rental car companies at non-hub airports and small facilities are likely to have only a few compacts. As such, it might be prudent to make reservations so that the rental company provides you with a free upgrade in case all small cars are booked.
4. Decline the Insurance
Your rental car company will try to convince you to obtain an insurance cover. Rental car companies reap a lot from insurance fees, and some use their clerks to create anxiety for people who decline their insurance offer. Your rental car company may argue that your credit card or auto insurance can’t cover damages in case of a collision or any mechanical breakdown.
5. Shop for Quirky Deals
Reserving a rental car for a week or month can cost less than trying to hire one for a shorter period. As such, it pays to try several combinations when determining your rental period. It could be a little cheap to rent a car on Thursday instead of Friday due to extra weekend charges, which often increase the total cost for car rental.