Home TRAVEL TIPS Tricks & Hacks TIPS FOR RENTING A CAR

TIPS FOR RENTING A CAR

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Don’t Rent at the Airport if You Can Help It – It is so much cheaper to take an airport shuttle to a city center or to your hotel and arrange a car rental from that location. It might also be more convenient for you in the long run – have you seen where rental cars are parked at some airports? You could walk for miles! It will ALWAYS cost you more to rent a vehicle directly at an airport location – you are paying higher fees, more taxes and of course, the convenience charge.

Call or Visit Your Local Rental Office – Whenever possible, avoid renting your car through the 800 number of your preferred car rental company – you will always pay top dollar. If it is a national company, call or visit your local branch and you will always be guaranteed a better rate because you can negotiate or be privy to unadvertised specials.

Make Sure You Refuel the Car Yourself – Did you know that if you don’t bring the car back with a full tank, some car rental companies will charge you as much as $9.00 a gallon to refill your gas tank! If you are required to bring the car back with a full tank, fill it to the very top as they will charge you if it’s even a bit low. If you are paying for a full tank upfront as part of your rental agreement, take the car back running on empty!

Keep an Eye on Fluctuating Prices – It is a known fact that car rental prices can fluctuate 20 times a day based on the time of year and demand. Even if you have a reservation, there is no law that says you cannot call your rental company and ask for the lower price. Use the internet to check prices a few days before your pick up date to be sure you are getting the best value. Remember that if you have a reservation and the company is not willing to give you a lower price, as long as you cancel 24 hours in advance, they cannot charge you anything.

Ride Share and Carpooling Offers Networking and Net Savings – Many frugal travelers today use some sort of carpooling to get to and from the airport. A taxi, depending on where you live, can cost upwards of $40 and a $90 cab ride to the airport is not uncommon. Shuttles can be unreliable and often are designed around the schedule of the presumed masses, and not necessarily yours!

There is ONE insider benefit to carpooling and that is networking! Many business people and entrepreneurs that travel frequently and use carpooling to save money know that this is a great way to meet likeminded professionals and perhaps even make a valuable industry alliance.

If you’re trying to save on costs by sharing a ride to the airport, it’s become easier than ever to find a carpooling partner. There is a popular website called Hitchsters that offers a free service to find you a carpool ride that is airport bound. It is very easy to use. You simply input your details and find a ride! At this time, the service only operates in certain cities but they are expanding so keep an eye on this website.

There are other options available that are inexpensive also… Another website called Ride Amigos will match you based on your location and your final destination and connect you with like minded travelers.

Keep in mind that if you want to share costs, YOU can be the ride sharer and advertise with some of these websites to find others who might want to travel with you to offset and share costs.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. My husband and I are going to Mexico this summer for our 12th anniversary. I was happy to know that it is a known fact that car rental prices can fluctuate 20 times a day based on the time of year and demand. I will be sure to keep that in mind to make sure that we get the right car to accommodate our needs!

  2. Thanks for the tips on renting a car. We’re flying to Florida this summer, and we want to have a car ready for us there. I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on how the prices fluctuate, so I can make a better deal!

  3. I appreciate you talking about how visiting a car rental company in person can help you find the best rates and be able to negotiate the best car. We are planning on visiting our parents for their birthdays in a few months and want to make sure we find a good car rental to help us move around without causing inconvenience. As I see it, taking the time to do a proper internet search can help you find the best car rental companies in your area and help you narrow down your options so you can find the best.

  4. I’ve recently been looking into renting a 15 passenger van for my next family vacation as we’re bringing our family and our extended family out to Hawaii. I really liked your tip about renting from a local company because they’re more personal and willing to work with you on pricing. I’ll look for somewhere local when planning my rental for the trip.

  5. I’m seriously grateful about the heads up about how you might get charged for not filling up the tank. My husband and I are considering renting a car for our next vacation. I figure that researching potential cost will help us create a better budget.

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