Everyone (well, almost everyone) has had to rent a car to get from point A to point B at some point in their lives. Often, however, finding a car rental that isn’t outrageously expensive can be a challenge. With so many options available and the constantly changing prices, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed with the process.
When it comes to finding deals on car rentals, you have to know where to look. The list below will give you a few tips and tricks to keep you on the path to a rental car that’s affordable.
1. Avoid the Airport
If you’re flying in, you might think the easiest and most affordable way to pick up a rental car is right there where you land. You would be wrong with that assumption. It may be convenient, but it’s not more affordable. You’re likely going to pay 30 to 40 percent more for this convenience. Airport rentals often charge a fee, so it might be better to grab a taxi and head to a rental place down the street instead.
2. Look Online
Use an online aggregator to help you compare prices of the different rental companies before you head out. Having the companies listed all in one place allows you to compare prices, which makes it easier to determine the best rates to fit your budget. Don’t forget to check out the off-brand rental companies as well. Sometimes, you can get 50 to 60 percent discounts by doing so.
3. Always Prepay
When shopping online, you will probably run across two ways to pay. The first one is paying when you pick up your car at the rental agency. The second will be to pay in advance, so your car will be waiting. Prepaying usually comes with a hefty discount, often up to 20 percent. An added advantage of prepaying is knowing the car you want will be available when you arrive.
4. Choose the Economy Car Option
It stands to reason that an economy car would be less expensive to rent than a luxury or full-size car would be. Keep in mind, that while you are looking for the least expensive option, you don’t want to rent a car that is too small for your party. The last thing you want is to try to cram six people into a car that won’t fit them all. That would ruin a vacation for sure, don’t you think?
5. Search for Coupons
Just like with everything else in the world, coupons are a thing for rental cars as well. Doing a coupon search for car rental sites can save you at least a little bit of money in the long run. Often, they help you save directly on rental costs, offer upgrades, or even give you extras for free.
6. Forgo the Extras
Speaking of extras, if you are on a budget, you might want to skip the extras, unless you have a coupon, of course. The costs of extras might not seem to be huge, but when you get to the bottom line, they add up pretty fast. Many of the extras the rental company may offer to include can be taken care of with your Smartphone and others you might not truly need. Review the extras offered and make a decision based on your budget and what you will use.
These are just a few of the tricks out there to help you find a rental car that will fit almost any budget. From forgoing the extras to avoiding the airport, you will be sailing along in your rental car before you know, with money in your wallet to spare.