December 19, 2017

9 Tips to find the BEST rental car prices

How to get the best rental car price?

There are some places where you need your own vehicle, and others where a rental is just more trouble than it’s worth. Destinations where you probably don’t need a rental include:

  • Big cities with good public transit includes MRT, Tubes, Public buses
  • Theme parks, resorts or beaches where you’ll spend most of your trip in one place.
  • Cruises, Boat rides

Alternatives to rental cars include public transportation, shuttles, ferries and taxi/Lyft/Grab/Uber. I have tried all of these and they have all worked well for me. Please ensure that your Home country sim works to receive service sms from these service providers in exceptional cases. I was unable to add money to my Uber account during my singapore trip. Check city travel tips online to find the best way to travel before travelling abroad.

Use own Car for Airport Transfer

This may sound weird but if you are coming up with lot of luggage and going for a short trip then it make sense to take your own car to the airport and park it there. You can save money from the transfer rentals as well the comfort and feel good factor of your own car. Book your parking online ahead of the travel date. I used about airport parking for my personal use. Below is the affiliate link for AboutAirportparking.com

Plan ahead

You may pay more if you book at the last minute, especially in popular destinations at peak times. You generally get the best rates and availability when you book a few weeks in advance. Sign up for newsletters. Many times rental car companies come with offers and holiday sales. It is worth grabbing those deals to save good money.

Pay in advance

Major rental agencies like Budget and Hertz offer discounts of up to 35% when you pay for your car at the same time you book. Be sure to read the fine print because you may not get a full refund if you need to cancel. If the trip is a done deal, I have found this to be a great way to save on my rental cars.

Decline insurance

When you pick up your car, the rental agent will ask if you want to pay extra for insurance on your vehicle. I believe in insurance, but beware of this upsell at the rental counter. Why? Because rental car coverage is probably included in your auto insurance policy. Some credit cards offer rental insurance as well.

Coverage may be limited through your auto insurance or credit card. Check your benefits or call your agent before your trip to confirm that your rental car is covered for your specific situation before you leave home. If it isn’t, insurance offered by the rental agency may be a good idea.

Check if your travel insurance covers car insurance or not. More about travel insurance

Fill up before you return

Your rental car will have a full tank of fuel when you pick it up, and it is your responsibility to return it with a full tank. The rental agent will offer to waive this obligation, but be warned that the convenience fee is hefty. Give yourself enough time to fill up somewhere near the agency shortly before you return the car to avoid this charge.

Rent in 24-hour intervals

A rental car “day” is generally 24 hours from your pick up reservation. So, if you pick up your car at noon on Friday and drop it off by noon on Sunday, that’s two days. If you want to drop off the car at 2 PM on Sunday because you have a later flight, you may be charged for a third full day.

Depending on your circumstances, it might be worth paying for an extra day rather than hang around the airport for too many hours.  Just be aware that scheduling your pick up and drop off at the same time of day is an easy way to limit your rental fees.

Rent away from the airport

Renting a car at the airport is convenient, and often the best way to go for that reason alone. However, off-site rental lots often charge significantly less – even for the same agency.

When we booked a rental car in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after a cruise, there was an $80 difference between renting at the airport and renting at Port Everglades for the same car and same days! We had to take a taxi one way anyway, and the short ride cost a lot less than $80.

Sites like RentalCars.com make it easy to search all the agencies at your destination. Do the math to find out if it’s worth your while to take a taxi/Lyft/Grab/Uber to an agency near the airport, especially for longer rentals.

 

Are your dates flexible?

Try searching alternate dates and hours if your schedule is flexible. You may find that rates are lower on weekends, or during other off-peak times and seasons.

Ready to check prices on a rental car? Click RentalCars.com. It’s the largest car rental site in the world where you can compare rates from all the top rental agencies.