Vacations are picking up again. After covid 19 restrictions, people can now enjoy cross-country road trips and weekend getaways. Data shows that the demand for car rentals is higher than in 2020 and 2021. With the increased demand, the supply of rental cars is low.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, some rental car companies downsized by selling rental cars to pay for the basic expenses. Customers now bear with the effects of the sales and consequent low supply by paying higher car rent prices. The vehicles aren’t available for booking. Before car rental companies can buy new cars to increase supply, you’ll have to bear skyrocketing prices.
You can get the best-priced car rental option by doing some due diligence. You’ll need to research different car rental company websites. However, the rush for lower prices shouldn’t supersede the need for quality services. To arrive safely at your destination, avoid unnecessary auto dent repairs, and hire an accident lawyer, you’ll need to rent a quality car.
Aggregator websites will help you compare car rental prices of different companies. The websites will give you an overall idea of the prices and car renting options available at your preferred destination. With the prices and date of traveling set, you can move to the car leasing company website to book. Some car renting company websites can include a price percent off. You can still find the best priced rental cars.
This article describes ten ways to pay less for your rental car to ensure your overall vacation costs are affordable. Read on.
1. Comparing Prices Online
When looking for the best-priced rental car, you shouldn’t rush the search. Take your time to go through different car rental price comparison websites. The sites include Kayak, Priceline, and Expedia. The aggregator websites will give you the prices of renting a car from different rental companies. Using the prices, you can pick the cheapest company.
After picking a company, cross-check the car rental website. Some car rental companies offer discounts for booking and paying right away. You can’t find the deals anywhere else. However, it would be best to be sure about the trip because many rental companies don’t refund advance payments.
Also, check on age regulations for renting cars from different car rental companies. Some companies don’t allow drivers of ages between 20 and 25. Those who accept car renting for these ages charge a daily underage fee on top of the standard price.
Shopping for the best-priced rental car will allow you to save money.
2. Do Not Rent a Car from the Airport
Renting a car at the airport seems like a good option. But when you compare the prices at the airport and prices of the exact vehicle at rental companies in different locations, you’ll rule out the possibility. The prices at airports are often higher. The only exception is the cost of renting a car in airports within big cities with undrivable roads.
Airport surcharges increase the price of renting cars. The costs make up a percentage of the rental amount. Usually, you’ll pay extra dollars for a one-day trip. More days will reflect more extra pay.
Compare the prices of a few rental locations in nearby cities. Only one rental company will ever give you a good comparison. Remember you want to get the best-priced car rental options.
Before selecting the best option, factor in other costs like taxi payment, rideshare, and the time you’ll need to travel to pick up the car from the airport.
There is a price for convenience and premium car rental at the airport. Get the best car rental option by double-checking car rental prices at airports.
3. Booking Economy Cars
Economy cars’ prices are low compared to luxury cars. The cars are the smallest, most affordable, and highly booked. If you’re traveling with a few family members, an economy car will suit the road trip. For instance, renting a used Ford fusions car will be adequate.
Car rental companies run out of cars due to their high demand. If you’ve already booked, don’t pay any extra cash. The rental company will end up upgrading your rental car anyway. This way, you can drive a better car at a low price.
If economy cars are available, you can still have your road trip and save on fuel. The economy cars are fuel-efficient.
Before booking an economy car, consider road terrain and conditions, and the number of people traveling. If you’re going to drive off roads, an economy car can inconvenience your trip. Also, it will not be ideal to book a two-door vehicle when you’ve five friends traveling. Do not allow the size of the car to spoil the party. When choosing a low price, think about comfort.
4. Skipping Car Upgrades
Sometimes you can’t help but fancy a car with GPS, satellite radio, and other upgrades. The add-ons and extras come at an additional cost. When booking a car, be careful of the extras car rental companies provide and their daily fees.
You can forego a car upgrade. Instead of using a car’s GPS, you can use your phone. You’ll only need to bring a phone charger.
Car rental companies charge an extra daily fee for a toll pass. Roads with many toll stops can delay your road trip by stopping at every station — a waste of time for travelers. It’s cheaper to pay a toll fee at the toll booth using cash or a credit card. Also, the car rental companies charge the toll fee daily whether you use or don’t use the toll booth.
Traveling with children requires you to have kids’ car seats. You can skip the cost by bringing your car seat. Remember, the safety of children is essential.
The extras car rental companies add to your price can be avoided. Alternative options provide cheaper means of paying for or replacing the upgrades.
5. Sticking to Single Driver
Car rental price includes the cost of one driver. If you want to add a driver, you pay an extra daily fee. The additional cost depends on the number of drivers you’ll add.
Having more driving is safe for your road trip, but it adds to the costs. The additional driver fee is around $13 per day. If you want to get the best price rental cars, stick to a single driver.
There are ways you can avoid the extra driver fee, including;
- Choosing car rental companies allows a spouse or partner, in addition, without an additional cost. For example, an enterprise car rental company. Keep in mind that your driving license and spouse should bear the same physical address.
- Enrolling in membership programs of car rental companies like National. The company waives any extra fee for partners and close family members.
- Other membership programs like AARP, Custo, and AAA allow people to get additional drivers for no extra charge.
If you have the option of adding a driver for free, go with it. You’ll save money and also enjoy the road trip.
6. Do Not Pay for Insurance
Before you accept to pay for car rental insurance, conduct research on available options. If you have primary car insurance, it can likely cover car rental.
Many credit card providers include key insurance covers if you pay for the rental car using their cards. The insurance fee per day is around $30, which you’ll save. Some credit cards offer comprehensive insurance coverage.
If you’re renting a car overseas, you’ll need to buy insurance even in cases where you have primary insurance and pay using a credit card—budget for auto insurance expenses. The auto insurance group provides tools for comparing the prices of different insurance covers. Ensure you get a low price and quality.
In case of an accident on a road trip, your primary insurance or the recently bought one should compensate for claims. Though the claiming process takes some time, you can ensure that the claims will be approved after insurance adjusters investigate the claims. A car accident lawyer can help with claiming.
7. Leveraging Membership Programs
Some membership programs provide discounts and bonuses for members when booking car rentals. For instance, if you’re a member of Costco, you can add a driver for no extra charge. Other programs like Hertz rentals disqualify the age limit of 25 years. If you’re below 25, you’ll rent a car without underage fees.
The membership programs include:
- Airline loyalty
- Hotel loyalty
- Credit card
The programs will help you save money from the discounts and skip additional fees. Many more companies offer membership programs. Before paying for them, inquire if they’ve partnerships with car rental companies.
8. Comparing Daily, Weekly, and Weekend Rates
There is not a perfect pace for how to save money by booking rental cars on a daily, weekly, or weekend basis. Sometimes the best price for rental cars is only for traveling days.
If you rent a car for a week, compare the weekly and daily prices for seven days. If you need to use the car for four days of the week, it’s cheaper to pay for one week than paying for the days. Some days you’ll not use the vehicle.
Business trips make the prices of rental cars higher during weekdays than on weekends. If you can reschedule your trip for the weekend, you will save money.
Check for prices before booking to develop the best priced rental car schedule.
9. Paying Upfront
Many car rental companies offer discounts if you pay during booking instead of waiting to pay as you pick the car. The deals can be up to a third off the standard price. Waiting to pay later can be costly.
However, you can save by waiting and checking the prices before paying. If the car rates decrease, you can cancel the first booking and book again at the new prices. Some websites will notify you of car rental price changes.
The idea of paying upfront and reserving a car without paying could likely lead to the best-price car options. Ensure you can save money.
10. Checking Available Car-sharing Services
Small car rental companies’ websites can offer the best-priced rental cars compared to the big company websites. Some of these websites are local to the area you’re visiting. The vehicles they rent fit the road conditions of the places perfectly. The small websites include ZipCar and Turo.
If you’re not aware of which websites relate to the local region you’re visiting, search CRX for cheaper car rental companies for your destination.
Car rental prices on the small car websites can be at a set rate instead of the standard inflated rate. Set rates are cheaper. Car dealerships offer car rental services at a fixed rate.
A price estimator will help you see the cheapest option between rental car and rideshare.
In addition, home improvement stores rent out pickup trucks to people at a set rate. The trucks are cheaper than rental cars even though the trucks have limited space.
Don’t dodge car-sharing and peer-to-peer options. The options can save you money. For example, Turo websites rent cars from private owners. You can get an hourly rate, meaning the hours you’re not driving you do not pay. ZipCar members can book cars and pay per hour.
Small rental companies are growing and wooing customers. The car renting prices on the websites are likely lower than big name car rental companies.
Financial advising programs by financial gurus try to come up with hacks to counter the effects of high car rental prices. The tips will work better if you double-check different car rental companies and aggregator websites.
Getting the best rental car for your vacation will enable you to make savings. You can use the savings on other things like buying foreign car parts for your garage-bound car or paying school fees for your children.