Going on a trip but want to avoid using your own car?
Renting a car gives you the flexibility and freedom you need to get the most of your vacation. No matter if you’re traveling up the coast for the weekend or taking a week-long family trip, having wheels is a must.
Did you know that the car rental market is expected to generate 5.5 billion dollars this year alone?
You want to make every dollar count when renting a car.
Keep reading for 7 car rental tips that will save you time, money, and frustration.
1. Choose Wisely
When renting a car, you’ll need to choose wisely. Don’t just book the first vehicle that’s offered to you.
Think about your needs. If you’re traveling with your family or a lot of items, an SUV or a large sedan may be most ideal.
Or if you’re traveling alone or looking to save money spent on gas, go for a smaller car. Some rental companies even offer hybrid cars.
Size aside, you’ll also want to pay attention to the details of the car.
Don’t know how to drive a stick shift? You’ll want to rent a car with an automatic transmission.
Want to avoid using your phone’s GPS? Reserve a car that offers a built-in GPS system.
Your needs will influence the rental car that’s most suitable for you.
2. Check for Discounts
Are you a frequent car renter? Are you a member of AAA or AARP? Are you a military member or veteran?
Most of today’s most popular car renting companies offer discounts for being part of a major national organization. Military member discounts are widely available as well.
Before signing the contract, determine if you’re eligible for any offered discounts. You can also check with your credit card companies to see if they offer member discounts.
Another way to save money is to check for online coupons.
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3. Shop Around
Not all car rental companies are equal. One of the most important car rental tips is to shop around.
Avoid booking at the last minute so that you have time to find the best deals.
There are dozens of car rental companies to choose from. But, you want to pick the one that offers you the best deal.
Online you can check popular aggregator sites including:
Enter your dates and voila, you’ve got options in just a few clicks. Some companies even offer exclusive discounts when you book through these websites.
4. Be Flexible With Your Dates
If money is an issue, you’ll want to be flexible with your travel dates.
When renting a car, weekend rates tend to be the cheapest. If you can rent over the weekend, you can keep money in your pocket.
Renting a car at a weekly rate can also offer money savings. The longer you rent a car, the lower the rental rate will be.
Already planning to rent a car for at least 5 days? Extend your rental to 7 days to get the most bang for your buck.
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5. Understand Insurance Needs
Many car rental companies will offer a loss damage waiver (LDW) as well as a collision damage waiver (CDW).
The LDW covers loss that the rental company faces, such as a totaled car. The CDW covers you in the event of an accident.
This coverage makes sense to protect you and the rental company. But, your existing insurance policy may already provide coverage.
If you have liability coverage, you’re already protected in the event of an accident. Your insurance may also cover rental-car damage through collision and comprehensive coverage.
Verify your coverage with an insurance agent before agreeing to LDW and CDW.
6. Read the Fine Print
Before signing the rental contract, you want to take time to read the fine print. Be sure that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions before confirming your rental.
You’ll want to be aware of any restrictions as well as penalties. Ask about:
- No-show fees
- Additional driver fees
- Age liability
- Late returns and drop-off charges
- Travel restrictions
Remember, renting a car is a binding contract. Out of the car rental tips, this one is a must. Understand what you’re signing and any liabilities.
7. Know Your Gas Needs
When renting a car, some rental companies allow you to pay for a full tank of gas in advanced. The other option is to refuel the gas yourself and pay for it out of your own pocket.
Many companies push the convenience of prepaid gas. While it does save time and money to already have a full tank, consider your gas needs.
If you don’t plan to use an entire tank of gas, it may be best to pay for gas on your own.
Unless you’re certain that you’ll use a full tank of gas, avoid the pre-paid option. Convenience isn’t worth the extra dollars!
If you absolutely want to save money, rent a hybrid car instead. Many car rental companies offer eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles.
As long as there are charging ports nearby, a hybrid vehicle may be the ideal option for you.
Car Rental Tips: Wrap-up
With these car rental tips in mind, you can assure you’ll get the best deal when renting a car.
Once you’ve decided you need to rent a car, finding a trusted car rental company is the next step. For a hassle-free car rental process, look no further than 441 Rentals.
Our company allows you to explore Florida in one of our high-quality Toyota rental cars. No matter if you need to rent for the weekend or for an extended period, you can count on us.
Looking for good gas mileage? Rent one a Toyota Prius or a Corolla.
Need a lot of room for a weekend family vacation? The Avalon and Camry are great options.
Avoid the hassle of renting a car at the airport or anywhere else.