Photo by Life-Of-Pix, CC0 1.0
Let’s face it, we all want to save money where we can. Car rental is no different. A little bit of knowledge can save you a significant amount of money. Over the years, people that rent cars on a regular basis have picked up a few useful, cost saving ideas. Whether it is something you do every now and then or you rent cars often, let me share a few useful tips that can save you a lot of money.
- Avoid Picking the Car Up from The Airport
Unless you really have to, try and collect the car from somewhere other than the airport. Rental companies charge a premium at airports and there are also additional taxes that might be added on. Do a bit of homework first to establish if the cost of transport to your hotel and the inconvenience will justify the savings.
- Make The Car Booking with The Flight
If you do have to collect the rental car at the airport, consider booking it at the same time as your flight. There are often massive savings if the booking is done this way. Compare prices for a normal rental with the options you get when you book the car rental and flight at the same time. There are a number of web sites that allow you to compare rental options and prices for affordable car hire. Importantly, plan ahead, the earlier you book the rental, the cheaper the rates.
- Make Use of Card Reward Points
When you rent a car, or even when filling up the tank, take advantage or reward points offered by various credit card companies. Some cards offer rather lucrative rewards and they can result in a great saving on the money spent on rentals and fuel. Again, a little bit of homework and you will be able to see where and when you get the most rewards for car rentals and fuel spend.
While on the subject of filling the tank, it is always a good idea to do this before returning the rental vehicle. The amount added to your final bill for filling the tank is normally more than it would have cost you to simply do it yourself before returning the vehicle.
- Waive The Insurance
This one might come as a bit of a shock to many people as we assume insurance is essential. You are trying so save money and the last thing you want is damage to the vehicle or other vehicles costing you extra money. A chip on the windscreen or a burst tyre on a curb can happen far too easily. Generally speaking, car rental companies charge a rather high excess as well as charging a hefty fee to cover you while you rent the vehicle.
Please, double check first, but most major credit cards cover your rental insurance anyway. If you pay the car rental agency for insurance, which can add up quickly, you are effectively paying for it twice. Car rental insurance forms a large part of the rental fee. You will want to read the fine print to make sure of what is covered. Ensure you have Primary Insurance Cover. Making a claim, if necessary, is generally a lot faster and less hassle through your credit card company than the car rental company.
- Do Not Get Any Fines
This sounds pretty obvious but any fines you might receive while you have the rental car will be added to your bill. Not only that, but additional admin charges will be added. This is just an unnecessary expense that can easily be avoided.
Learn from the regulars. It pays to do your homework first. Shop around, compare options and save yourself some money on your next car rental.