It’s the one thing you forget to plan for: the car rental. You get a great rate on a room, you could possibly know someone who works for the hotel, you land super cheap airfare because you booked at the last second and landed those seats that had to be filled, and then WHAM! You’re forced to spend several hundred dollars on renting a car, and it feels like there is no way out of it. Don’t get in that jam. Keep this in mind.
Find the cheaper airport
The same car from the exact same rental company might cost you more at one airport than it would at another, in the same city. Compare prices not just between companies but between airports. If the cost of your plane ticket is barely affected by which airport you fly into, fly into the one with cheaper car rentals.
Someone you speak to on the phone at the rental-car service probably won’t inform you of the promotions or special coupons currently available. If you order online, you’ll see a variety of special offers flashing all around the website.
Can your memberships help you?
Often people forget, or never even know, their particular credit card, Costco card, Sam’s Club card and other memberships offer discounts on car rentals, sometimes as much as 25%.
Upgrade for little
Even if you can’t reduce your spending, you could get more for your money. At many companies you can upgrade to a larger car for as low as a few bucks per day. My friend who is a highly-known voice coach in LA and vocalist is constantly travelling, but often needs to bring tons of equipment with her. She discovered this trick a long time ago, that has saved her a lot of money as she travels the world often, speaking at conferences and covering new technology and techniques used in singing lessons that help people learn how to sing.
Are you already insured?
When renting a car, you’re already in such a nervous place about being accountable for such an expensive item, that you just automatically let the customer service rep add whatever insurance they’re offering. But pause, call your personal car insurance company because often you already have renter’s insurance and don’t even know it!
Are fees included?
One additional reason to search online is that, the “total” fee shown when you’re going to purchase often reflects all of the fees like second driver fees, drop-off fees, registration and the like. If you book in person or on the telephone, sometimes you are sent these fees as an extra bill AFTER already having used the vehicle!
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