Traveling on budget needs plenty of planning right from shopping for best deals, to booking air tickets and hotel rooms. Among the few things that travelers do not pay much attention to, but can save a lot on, are the car rentals. This is because most people think that the rates on the car rentals are mostly the same everywhere. But this is not so. Here are a few tips on how you can save on your rentals.
Know about the Rental
If you use online booking, you need to know the terms and conditions before you confirm your reservation. The restrictions present like penalty for not showing up or being late due to heavy traffic and any other additional fees should be cleared well before you sign up for the rental. Inter-state travel facility and location of offices on all the cities you plan to travel are some of the points you should check on. Extra charges, for instance, in case of a drop off should be known beforehand as some companies charge a huge amount.
Choosing a Rental
- While you book for a rental, you should not restrict your choices to the popular companies only. Lesser known companies will have more to offer and the chances of getting a better deal are higher with them due to the stiff competition present. But the support service may not be that extensive and you should consider this in case you intend to drive for long distances.
- Combo deals like booking for your stay and the car rental with the same company will save you more money and you are likely to get a better service too.
- Research online on the various discounts, coupons, and codes that the rental companies offer. There are also frequent flier discounts, credit card discounts, etc., which can save you more money on the autorent.
- The car rental companies also have loyalty program that can provide you extra privileges like prompt reservation, vehicle for pick up, upgrades, discounts, etc.
- There are also car share services available now that is very useful, if you rent frequently or reside near major cities or towns.
Booking in Advance
You can get the best deals, if you reserve early. Since the rates tend to fluctuate, you need to check constantly for knowing about the best deals. There are services that will give you regular updates on the deals offered, so you can choose the best option.
Distance from Airport
You can save on the rental by choosing a rental company that is some distance away from the airport than the one nearby. You lower the cost by 50% in this way. You can just take a shuttle or a taxi to get to the rental from the airport. Most companies also offer free shuttles from the main airports.
The travel insurance requirement depends on the length of your trip. Mostly the auto insurance cover you have will take care of this, but you need to check with your agent or credit card Company to verify this.
Some companies try to add in hidden costs in the form of taxes, surcharges, insurance, drop off, etc. You need to check for the hidden costs thoroughly, before you book for the rental.