15 Tips and Tricks to Save You Money on Car Rental

Ephraim Obare
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Hold onto your wallets, folks! We’re about to take a wild ride through the often confusing, always exciting world of car rentals. If you’ve ever felt you need a Ph.D. in Economics to understand the ins and outs of scoring a good deal, you’re not alone.

But fear not, dear reader, because we’ve compiled a handy list of 15 money-saving tips and tricks that’ll have you navigating the rental car landscape like a pro. Seat belts fastened? Mirrors checked? Let’s hit the road to savings!

Book in Advance

Book in Advance
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Like airfare, rental car rates skyrocket when you book at the last minute. Plan, book your wheels as early as possible, and watch the savings roll in.

Compare Prices

Compare Prices
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Don’t settle for the first price you see. Use comparison websites to find the cheapest deal. Remember, it’s not about finding a needle in a haystack but the thriftiest hand.

Avoid Airport Rentals

Avoid Airport Rentals
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Convenience comes at a cost. Airports often charge high concession fees, so try opting for off-site locations – they may be less convenient but friendlier to your wallet.

According to Nerd Wallet, most airports charge rental car companies to operate on their site. For example, San Francisco International Airport charges rental car operators 10% of gross receipt revenue from airport customers. Hence, that causes an increase in the cost of hiring.

Skip the Extras

Skip the Extras
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GPS? Extra insurance? Satellite radio? Resist the upsell. Most of these services are unnecessary expenses that can be replaced with a smartphone and some preparation.

Stick to Driving Yourself

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Many rental companies will charge for additional drivers. Unless necessary, be monogamous with your driving duties to save some bucks.

Fuel It Yourself

Fuel It Yourself
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Return the car with the same fuel level as when you picked it up. Prepaying for fuel often costs more than filling up yourself.

Stick to the Plan

Stick to the Plan
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Deviating from your reservation details (like the return date or car size) can result in fees. Please stick to the plan, you adventurous soul, at least regarding car rentals.

Check Your Car Insurance

Check Your Car Insurance
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You may already be covered for rentals under your regular car insurance. Double-check before paying extra on rental insurance.

Use Membership Discounts

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Gerenme via Canva.com

Organizations like AAA or AARP offer member discounts on car rentals. Don’t forget to flaunt your membership card.

Go Compact

Go Compact
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Smaller cars are usually cheaper to rent and have better fuel economy. Plus, they’re easier to park – a money-saving bonus in bustling cities.

Look for Coupons and Promo Codes

Look for Coupons and Promo Codes
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Check out coupon websites or promotional codes for car rentals. The internet is awash with discounts; you have to find them.

Rent for Longer

Rent for Longer
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This might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes renting for a week costs less than for four or five days. Explore the rates and go figure!

Beware of Late Return Fees

Beware of Late Return Fees
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Return your car on time. Some companies might give a grace period of half an hour, but after that, late fees apply.

Refuse Upgrades

Refuse Upgrades
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If the rental company offers you an expensive upgrade at the counter, resist! You might end up paying a higher rate.

Use your Credit Card Benefits

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Dean Drobot via Canva.com

Certain credit cards offer car rental insurance as a perk. Use the right credit card to book your rental and save.

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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