Sometimes you only require a set of wheels you can control. But no one wants to pay $50/day or more to move around. These 8 tricks can help you score cheap car rentals for whenever you decide to take a getaway.
1Forget the Airport
Although getting a rental car once you get to the airport is very convenient, it won’t be a cheap car rental. That convenience usually comes with airport surcharges and cost you a premium.
Cost out rental places in the city where you will be staying and compare them to what you may get at the airport. Make sure that you factor in the price of a taxi, Uber or Lyft to and out of your leasing place if you rent in a place within the city.
2Shop Around Online
Look at sites like Kayak, Priceline and CheapCarRental to compare your choices and narrow in on the best bargain.
Then go directly to the site of the car rental company. You may find an even steeper discount like that, particularly using the “Pay Now” alternative. Just remember that leases paid in advance are usually nonrefundable.
After you book, continue shopping. It is possible to cancel your booking if you discover a better price, if you didn’t book a lease that is nonrefundable.
3Choose Economy Cars
Economy cars are the cheapest, and so the most likely to be booked. Take advantage of this by booking the most affordable car option with the chances that when you get to pick it up, there won’t be any. This will get you a quick upgrade at no extra cost.
Just make sure that whichever car you book fits your needs if it happens to be available. You don’t want to get stuck with a big group in a car you don’t fit just to get a cheap car rental.
4Only One Driver
The majority of car rental companies charge a fee to add an extra driver. By just sticking to one driver you can avoid that daily fee saving you a lot of money.
Make sure you leverage any memberships you may have, like Costco, AARP, AAA or USAA to receive a free additional driver with rental car businesses that are pick.
5Switch to Discount Brands
Budget, Hertz and Enterprise are not the only options in town. Brands like Dollar, Payless, Thrifty and Advantage Rental will also be vying for your business at a lower rate than big-name companies that are in the car rental space. These companies will most likely fall under cheap car rentals whenever you need one.
>> MORE: Learn of Ways to Make Extra Money Online and Not Worry About Saving on Cheap Car Rentals
6Maximize Your Insurance!
In case you have a vehicle, your primary insurance likely covers you when you lease a car.
That means you can bypass it and save up to $30 per day. Some cards even offer more comprehensive policy. Check your credit card benefits to see if any of them include a policy.
Renting overseas? You might be required to purchase insurance, even in the event that you have policy via your car insurance and/or your charge card.
7Ignore the Extras
Rental agents make more cash if they sell you on the advantages of extras such as roadside assistance, satellite radio and GPS navigation. You will save money if you resist on this.
Now a days you can stream music directly from your phone using apps like Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music.
You can also use your phone’s GPS technology to find your way with Google Maps or Waze.
8Don’t Rent the Full Day
The majority of major cities have public transportation, walkable areas and of course taxis and ride sharing apps. If you still want to drive car you can get one for a few hours. There are companies like Zipcar that offer rates as low as $5 per hour and operate in over 20 cities – BONUS: the gas is paid for by them.
While these tricks will help you find cheap car rentals, there are multiple transportation options depending on where you want to go. Make sure to plan your trip in advanced so you can determine which is the right option for you.