How to Get Cheap Rental Car Deals
Booking in advance is always a good trick to get cheap rental car deals, plus there will not be a cancellation fee if you did not prepay for your reservation. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or a cross-country trip, the following strategies will help you get a cheap rental car deal and save money for other fun activities on the trip.
Canceling your booking less than a week before your specified pickup time might result in a small fee.
Shop Around Online
Search various sites to compare your options and narrow in on the best rental car deals, then go directly to the car rental company’s website and check for further discounts. Continue shopping even after you have booked your rental.
You can sometimes find great deals with the “Pay Now” option, but with the refundable rental option, you can always cancel your reservation if you find a better deal later.
It is important to note that pay in advance deals are often non-refundable.
Start with reserving Economy Cars
Economy cars are more likely to be reserved first as they are the cheapest. At the same time, you may find that renting the smallest car isn’t the best choice. You may find the economy cars affordable, but also keep comfort and safety in mind.
Reserve the smallest and most affordable vehicle to increase your chance of a free upgrade later.
Skip the Airport
Yes, renting at the airport is more convenient especially when you are flying into a new city, but you can get a big break if you rent at an off-airport location. The reason why you end up paying more at the airport sometimes is due to the airport surcharges and taxes.
If you can find a cheap shuttle, train ride, or a cab to your hotel, all the better. This way you can skip the airport-rental queues and chaos.
Avoid the Extra Offers
Rental agents earn more money when they sell you extras such as insurance, GPS navigation, fuel charges, or a child car seat. You can save money by skipping all these extra charges if you plan in advance.
Insurance: Cover with primary insurance or Credit Card
Fuel Charges: Fill the car before you return
Child Seat: Bring your own child safety seat
GPS Navigation: Use a smartphone or a portable GPS
Stick to one Driver
Most rental companies charge an additional fee if you add an extra driver. Some rental companies waive the extra driver fee for a spouse or significant other if you both have the same address on the driver’s license.
Few other rental companies can waive the extra fee for your spouse, immediate family members or significant other if you enroll in their membership program.