In order to get around and to visit all the attractions while on vacation, many times a family will find it necessary to rent a car. Often it can seem like the price is fixed and there’s nothing that can be done about it. While that may be true, there are several ways travelers can save money when renting a vehicle on vacation.
Saving money on a rental car
Deals can be found for hotels and airline flights, and so too for renting cars while on vacation. Just like finding those other rate specials, saving money on hiring a vehicle may take a little work on the traveler’s part.
- While planning the trip, take some time to also research rental agencies in the area to be visited. Some may offer special rates at different times of the year, especially off season. Others may offer online-only deals that can be secured ahead of time but not at the desk. There may also be special coupons available that can be printed and brought to the rental office.
- Ignore the urge to rent right at the airport. Although this likely will be more convenient, that service usually comes with a higher price. Instead, make arrangements to go to an office a few miles away.
- Don’t automatically go to one of the large chain dealerships. Compare their prices to some the smaller, independent agencies in the city. These offices may be willing to offer a better deal in order to increase business. One could also take their offered price to a chain to see if they are willing to match it.
- Do not let the clerk talk you into paying for insurance that is not needed. Before going on vacation, check with your insurance provider to see if the current policy covers rental cars. If it does, there likely is no need to pay for extra coverage.
- If it is pretty unlikely that plans will be canceled, consider pre-paying for the rental. Many companies, just like hotels and resorts, offer better deals for reservations made in advance. Keep in mind, though, there likely will be a large fee for canceling.
- Be aware of the company’s polices on return times and how they can impact how much is owed. For instance, a company may charge one price if the vehicle is brought back at 11:30 a.m., but the cost will go up just 30 minutes later. The clerk should be able to help figure out what will work the best.
Renting a vehicle while on vacation might be something that is necessary, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are several ways to reduce the expense and save some money, which is always a good thing while on a relaxing trip.
Jane Simpson uses these tips to save money whenever she rents a car. She writes for a site that compares the best auto loan rates to help you find the best deal when you purchase a new vehicle.