If you’re a new driver, at some point in your future you will probably need to rent a car. People rent cars for a number of reasons, including travel, a breakdown of their own car or the need to have a certain type of vehicle for a special event. Renting a car can be affordable or expensive, depending on the choices you make.
1. Look For Discounts
If you do a bit of searching online, you may be able to find some excellent discounts on rental cars. The deals are always changing, so if you know you’ll be renting a car in the next couple of months, try regularly searching coupon and promotional code websites for the rental company of your choice. Some rental companies also offer discounts to members of roadside assistance organizations like AAA. Having a good roadside assistance membership can go a long way in helping you out of a bind. If you aren’t already a member, you should consider joining for that reason alone.
2. Check Which Cars Are The Cheapest
The price for a rental car varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Before you go to rent a car, make sure you know which cars are the most affordable and specifically request that variety. If you don’t state a preference, you might end up with a more expensive car.
3. Consider a Smaller Company
Many people don’t realize that there are a lot of smaller car rental companies that don’t advertise on national television. If you choose one of these companies, not only will you be helping to support a rising small business, but you will also save money. Cars from independent companies can cost up to 30 percent less than those from the big-name companies.
4. Don’t Rent at The Airport
It can be tempting to go straight to the rental companies at the airport, but it could cost you up to 30 percent more. If you’re willing to pay more money for convenience, go ahead, but if you want to save that money, take a cab to another rental location. If you’re going to be renting for more than one day, the price of the cab ride should pay for itself.
5. Ask For a Better Deal
It may be a long shot, but you should always ask the rental agent if you can get an upgrade. Depending on the location and number of cars available on the lot, you may be able to get a free upgrade to a better vehicle.
6. Pay For The Car in Advance
If you book your car in advance, you could save up to 20 percent. Many major rental companies offer discounts for those who are willing to pay first, especially if you book the car for a week or more. However, you should be aware that there will likely be penalties if you end up cancelling.
7. Book The Car For Longer
Sometimes, booking a car for longer can save you money. Many rental companies offer discount rates to entice people to rent a car for the entire weekend. Even if you only need the car for one day, you should still consider booking it for longer. On the off chance that you end up needing it, you won’t have to go through the hassle of returning to the rental company. If everything goes as planned, you can turn it in early for a discounted rate.