How to Avoid Car Rental Pitfalls

by on March 9th, 2015
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Whether you travel for business or pleasure, keeping costs low can be quite challenging. Aside from airfare and hotel costs, you may also have to deal with car rental costs. A rental car can instantly increase the cost of your vacation. To avoid this, learn where to get your car and how to get the best deal.

1: Discounts – Just like any other business, the car rental business is a competitive one. To find the best deal, go online and compare rates of car rental companies. You may find that many companies offer discounts to AAA members or to seniors. Additionally, you may find discounts for reservations for certain dates or rental durations.

2: Location – If possible, avoid renting a car from an airport car rental facility. Even though more convenient, they are often more expensive because they apply taxes and airport surcharges to the cost of the rental car. Look for an independent car rental facility away from the airport. They set their own rules, have shorter lines, and are more likely to give you a favorable rate.

3: Package deals – When you book a vacation that includes a hotel stay and airfare, look for a package deal that includes a rental car. Travel companies often offer deals that include a discount on rental cars, if you book your hotel and flight through them.

4: Skip Add-ons – When renting a car, you may need a child car seat, a global positioning system (GPS) or a roof rack. Instead of paying extra for these, keep your cost down and bring your own.

5: Gas rates – Instead of signing up for the car rental facilities prepaid gas plan, fill up the rental car yourself before returning it. Look for a gas station away from the airport. Prepaid gasoline plans are often more expensive than filling the car up yourself.

6: Insurance – Before agreeing to the insurance plan offered by the car rental facility, check your own insurance. If you’re already covered for rental cars, you can avoid the extra rental car insurance fee.

References:
Independent Traveler: Car Rental Hidden Costs
Edmunds: Top 10 Car Rental Tips


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