Whether you’re headed out of town for business or for pleasure, you probably scour the ‘net for deals on your airfare and your hotel – but what about your rental car? Lots of people don’t do a whole lot to compare rental cars. Instead, they just go with a big-name company and call it a day – and usually wind up paying more than they need to.
However, Getting a Cheap Rental Car is Easy to Do if You Follow These 5 Tips:
1. Don’t Rent Your Car At the Airport
Yes, it’s convenient to step off the plane, walk over to the counter, and pick up your keys. However, you’re paying a pretty penny for that convenience – and you probably don’t even know it! In most cases, you wind up paying an extra “airport charge” that shows up in the form of extra taxes and concession fees.
By picking a rental company that’s a few miles from the airport, you can get a cheap rental car. Even if you have to pay a cab driver to take you to a rental car company that’s off-site, you’ll still wind up saving money.
2. Rent a Compact Car
Sure, common sense tells you that the smaller it is, the cheaper your rental car will be. However, that’s not the only way you can save money.
Most rental car companies only have a small number of compact cars in their fleet. After all, most people don’t want to drive around in something that resembles a roller skate! Since there are only a few compact cars to choose from, the odds are high that your rental car company will be out of them by the time you get to the counter. If that’s the case, the company will have to give you a mid or full-size car at the compact price.
It’s a plan that may not always work, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Remember, you can always upgrade at the counter if you absolutely don’t want to drive around in a compact car.
3. Join the Loyalty Program
Most rental car companies have programs that are free to join, and they can save you lots of money – even if you’re not a frequent traveler. By signing up, you’ll get certain perks that can put less of a strain on your wallet.
4. Look at Your Arrival Time
If you are getting into town during the late afternoon or early evening – and all you have planned is picking up your rental car, driving to the hotel, and calling it a day – hold off on picking up the car. You can save an entire day of rental car fees and taxes by taking the airport shuttle to your hotel and picking up your car in the morning.
Even if you have to take a cab both ways, the cab fare will still be cheaper than a day of rental car fees!
5. Pick One Driver
Even if the daily price wasn’t what you had in mind when you thought “cheap rental car”, you can still save yourself some money at the counter by only putting one driver on the rental agreement. That’s because rental car companies charge extra for all sorts of things – like letting more than one person drive the car. In fact, adding another driver to your rental agreement can cost you as much as $25 per day! Instead, pick one driver and stick with him for the entire trip. Your wallet will thank you!