When you are taking a trip, necessities such as flights, hotels, and meals can add up, making it a very expensive ordeal. Therefore, when it comes to renting a vehicle, it behooves you to try to get the best price you can.
While rental car companies may appear to offer similar pricing on the surface, there are steps you can take to ensure you get the best deal possible. Below are ways to get a good deal on a rental car and in doing so you will have more money to spare on your much-needed vacation.
1. Do not rent at the airport
It may be tempting to rent a car at the airport you are landing in. Whether you have made a reservation in advance or not, it is convenient to rent at the airport, load your luggage into the vehicle, and off you go to your hotel. However, car rental desks at the airport are the most expensive places to rent from.
Due to a variety of different charges and fees that rental companies charge you at their airport locations, you can be charged more than twice the amount than if you book a reservation elsewhere. Therefore, instead of being tempted by the convenience of renting at the airport, shop around and look at prices of rental companies off-site. Even if you need to take public transportation to a car rental location in the community, it may be worth it if you are saving money.
2. Pay up front
Most car rental companies do not require up-front payments at the time of your reservation. At most, they may require a credit card to hold guarantee that a car will be available to you. However, some companies offer an option to pay right away and this may save you some money.
If the company that you are making a reservation with has an option to pay up-front, consider taking advantage of this. Savings can amount to anywhere from 10 to 35 percent. Therefore, if you know for sure that you need a rental car, have shopped around, and cannot find a better deal, you may as well pay up-front and take advantage of a significant discount.
3. Skip bigger chains
With some purchases it pays off to buy from bigger chains. With a vast inventory and plenty of revenue, these places can often offer customers what they need at agreeable prices. However when it comes to car rentals, it is often the smaller companies that can give you what you need at a better price.
While there are a handful of rental car companies that are bigger and dominate the market, there are an equal amount of smaller companies that you should definitely consider. These companies want your business and will often undercut prices of the larger companies by approximately $5 to $10 per day. This amounts to noticeable savings if you are going to need a car for longer than a few days.
4. Search online
When you need to rent a car, the internet is your best friend. With the World Wide Web, it is easy to compare car rental prices from many different companies with a few clicks of the mouse.
Before settling on a rental car company, go online and check different prices at all companies available in the area that you will be travelling to. Also make use of aggregate websites. These sites allow you to enter in your travel dates and the car that you need and will display all prices from all companies available to provide you with service. This ensures that you will get the best price possible.