Traveling is expensive, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce the cost of renting a car. Unless you’re traveling to a very urban area like New York City, chances are your travel plans include renting a car. With the average price of a rental car around $45 per day, it becomes a very expensive part of your budget, so, here are 4 ways you can save on your next rental car.
1) Use a website that allows you to name your own price like Priceline or Hotwire. With websites like these you can capture big saves while helping the rental car companies to use their cars in non-peak periods. When you use a website like this, you can’t choose the company, but you can get a car for 50-70% less than the going rate. It’s important to realize that these pre-purchase rates are non-refundable, book them only if you are 100% positive you are not going to cancel the trip.
2) If you don’t want to make a reservation on Priceline or site like that, then you could make a reservation with the company who offers you the lowest price (based on their website) and then when you land, start shopping. Go to the rental counters and find out what rates they have for the car you want. Since rental car companies don’t charge cancellation fees, you don’t have to worry about canceling your reservation if you find a better deal. Recently I did this in a major city, I had a reservation for $49.95 per day for a mid-size car and when I shopped the counters, I found a mid-size car for $29.95 per day. I was in town for a week and so my saving amounted to just over $100, which was new found spending money in my pocket.
3) Use the internet to search for promo codes or discount codes for your favorite rental car company. You can easily find codes that offer 20-40% off your rental.
4) Plan in advance if you need to purchase any of their optional services (such as car seats, protection coverages, fuel, gps, etc.).
Renting a car doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you follow these easy tips you will be assured to always get the lowest price available.