The average car rental costs a little over $250. That’s a lot of money to spend on something you’ll only need for a few days. Luckily, there are ways that you can save a decent amount of money, time, delays, and irritations related to car rentals. Here are the best hacks.
Your personal auto insurance probably covers rental cars too. If you’re traveling for work, your corporate insurance will. Even your credit card may have rental insurance. Check out these details before traveling. You don’t need to buy insurance from the rental agency unless you don’t have any of the above.
Sign up For Rewards
Signing up for loyalty rewards with rental agencies allows you to score free rental days, free upgrades, and even lets you skip the line at the agency. It’s a smart, easy, and free way to maximize the value of your travel.
Pay Attention to Bonus Programs
Every once in a while, rental agencies offer incentives that give you a lot of useful extras. Keep an eye out for these by regularly checking out their websites and newsletters.
Never Prepay for Gas
Rental agencies offer renters options to prepay for gas. It may sound convenient, but don’t go for it. It’s unnecessarily expensive. They’ll charge you for a full tank even if you’ve only used about 30% of the fuel. And they charge more per gallon than anyone else. Plan to return the car with enough time so you can full up before you return and save a chunk of money.
The earlier you reserve your car, the less money it’s likely to cost you. This is because as more cars get reserved, the price for the vehicles that are left starts to go up. Canceling a booking is more manageable, and you may not even have to pay if you cancel early enough. So lock in that low rate early.
Rent Directly Front the Agency
If you book directly from the rental agency, you’re likely to get a better rate than that on a third-party website. You could also be able to use a discount code. Unless, of course, there’s a great bundle deal someone else is offering.