Travelers depend on a rental car for their transportation needs when away from home, whether it’s for a business, a long-anticipated tour, a much-needed vacation, a study abroad excursion, or any other reason. Although a car rental provides travelers with a convenient, affordable means of getting around, an abundance of fees can cause a good deal to become an expensive venture. Luckily it is easier to avoid these unnecessary fees than you might suspect.
Pay When You Reserve
Those flashing banners offering reduced prices when you pay for your car rental at the time of reservation are not to be ignored. Although savings vary amongst providers, it is possible to slash 25% or more from the cost of your rental.
Check the cancellation policy before booking, as unforeseeable events may require you to cancel at the last minute and you do not want to lose the entire amount of your rental, although there might be a small fee applied to the cancellation.
As part of the reservation, check to see if there is a deposit fee that the agency requires. Some have an extremely high fee while others don’t have one at all or one that is based on the percentage of your rental cost. Be sure to check these fees that aren’t always made known at the time of reserving the vehicle.
Utilize Long Term Car Rental
Long-term car rental discounts offer tremendous savings. Travelers booking a rental for three days or more might find it cost-effective to opt for a weekly rental instead. The catch: you must keep the lease the entire period, or you’ll still face fees for repricing your contract.
Avoid Booking at the Airport
One of the most common tips that drivers should remember when booking a car rental is that reserving that rental at the airport should be used as a last resort. Unless absolutely necessary, choose other locations in town to book and you’ll save 10 – 20% for the rental.
Return the Car on Time
Car rentals are based on 24-hour rental blocks. Some rental companies offer a 30-minute to one-hour late return window, but most immediately charge customers for another day if the vehicle isn’t promptly returned on time. Avoid this cost by arriving at the car rental lot at least 30 minutes before the return time, in case other customers are ahead of you.
BYOI: Bring Your Own Insurance
Don’t be the sucker who falls for rental agencies dramatic reasons behind the need for their insurance coverage. As long as you’re insured, you won’t need this added coverage and waste money by purchasing.
Along with using the five tips above to keep costs of your car rental down, here are a few other tips. Compare rates with several providers, look for discounts and book the best car for your needs if keeping costs down is essential to you.
Car rentals are beneficial when you travel, no matter where you’re headed. But, this doesn’t mean that the costs of that benefit should put you into debt. Use these tips wisely.
If you’re considering a study abroad or a foreign adventure, please contact us for a consultation. We would love to help you learn about your options and make exciting plans for the future!