The hardest part of every vacation or business trip is usually right at the beginning. The clerk pushes over a pile of documents with a price at the bottom after a long journey and long wait at the automobile rental counter. And it is nearly always significantly more than the market price.
Car rental firms have a slew of techniques to boost their profits up their sleeves. They tack on a slew of fees and add-ons, such as insurance or toll collection, to the bill – often without even informing you that they are add-ons. You can tap here if you want to rent a car or van.
You must outsmart the companies at their own game if you want to save money on car rentals. Learn to recognize their deceptive ways of padding the bill and come up with ways to avoid the extra expenses.
How To Save Money On Rental Cars
Knowing the most typical rental car expenses is the key to preventing all the hidden charges and add-ons. The more you understand about the extras that rental businesses try to tack on to your account, the easier it will be to plan ahead of time to prevent them.
Overlook Renter’s Insurance If Possible
When you hire a car, the car rental business will almost always try to persuade you to purchase additional insurance coverage. There are three main categories:
Collision damage waivers cover your expenses if you get into a minor collision. Personal accident insurance is a type of insurance that pays for medical expenditures in an accident. Loss or damage to your personal effects is covered under personal effects coverage.
Examine The Vehicle For Any Damage
Even if you purchase insurance, the rental car operator has the right to charge you for minor damage to the vehicle. Whenever you return it, the firm inspects it for dents, scratches, and spills on the upholstery, among other things. It then sends you a bill for the cost of repairing them.
Before driving the automobile off the lot, inspect it thoroughly to avoid spending for damage you did not cause. The clerk will usually give the car a short once-over with you, but this is typically a courtesy check. It pays to do a complete investigation.
Rentals From Airports Should Be Avoided
If possible, avoid picking up your rental car at the airport. While the base pricing at the airport rental station may be lower than at a city rental facility, taxes and fees raise the actual cost.
There are several options for getting from the airport to a different rental location. In some circumstances, low-cost or free public transit is available to get you into the city. If that fails, you can hire a cab or use Uber or Lyft. The rental savings can easily cover the cost of the ride.
One disadvantage of renting a car in the city instead of at the airport is that the range of automobiles available is limited. As a result, there is a greater possibility you may not obtain the exact car you want.
Bring A Car Seat With You
If you are traveling with a child, you will need to rent a car with a child car seat. Rental organizations will gladly provide these — for a hefty cost, of course.
Most companies charge between $10 and $15 per day for this add-on. Although the payment is generally capped per trip, a weeklong excursion might cost close to $100.
This cost can be avoided by carrying your car seat from the house. Walmart sells both infant and adult car seats for under $60. Therefore, you can only do this if you leave your child with someone else while you get the car seat.
Paying For Satellite Radio Is Not Necessary
Satellite radio is another luxury that car rental firms prefer to charge customers for. Enterprise, for example, charges $5.99 per day or $24.99 per week.
However, if you are like most people, you also have a cellphone with enough storage space for your trip’s music. Instead of paying more for satellite radio, download your favorite songs and podcasts to your phone.
Keep An Eye Out For Toll Charges
Even car rental firms find a way to add tolls to your bill. Most rental automobiles come equipped with a toll identification device, such as E-ZPass, that may be used at cashless toll booths. When you use it, however, you will be charged a comfort fee in addition to the toll.
Drop out of the rental firm’s toll collection mechanism to avoid this cost. You may usually leave the transponder in its secure housing with most organizations. Then you will need a different method of paying tolls.
In some circumstances, you can avoid them altogether by using map programs to plan a route that does not include toll roads. If you are unable to do so, the next best option is to pay all charges in cash. Cash toll booths are no longer available on various toll highways, particularly bridges.
Do Not Use The Second Driver
It is a good idea to add your spouse, child, or vacation partner to your car rental as an additional driver. You will not have to perform all of the driving yourself this way. However, some firms charge a price for a second driver.
The amount varies depending on the company and the state where the car is rented. Check to discover whether there is a price and how much it is before joining up for a second driver.
Prepaying For Gas Is Not A Good Idea
Prepaying for gas while renting a car is supposed to save you money on refilling expenses. When you pick up the automobile, you pay for the gas in the tank, and you can return it with the tank at any level you like. The offer is that it saves you the trouble of having to refill before returning the vehicle.
When you do that, though, you are still spending the rental agency’s petrol price. When you prepay for petrol, some services charge less, but the price is still likely greater than at a gas station.