Have plans to visit a particular city without the hassle of driving your car? If that’s the case, renting one will provide you with the freedom and flexibility needed to maximize a short trip. Regardless of taking a week-long trip or driving up to the coast for a few days, you’ll need a car to go around. But car rental isn’t just about picking a minivan or car.
It might sound easy; however, you’ll have to pick a vehicle wisely to save money. Below is a guide that will teach you how to rent a car, allowing you to keep your sanity, money, and time on your next holidays with the family.
Ask Around for Discounts
Most modern-day car rental companies have special offers and discounts for being a member or a part of a major organization. For example, military member discounts are widely available. Before signing the contract, try to check if you’re eligible for any special deals. You can also ask your credit card company if they offer membership deals for car rentals. Looking into online promotions is another way to minimize your expenses.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
If you only have limited financial resources, you should try to be flexible with your travel dates. In renting a vehicle, weekend rates tend to be the most expensive. On the other hand, renting a car during the weekdays will save you a few bucks. Getting one at a weekly rate is also cheaper. You can get lower rates the longer you rent the vehicle.
For example, you’re planning to rent one for five days. You can extend that to seven days to maximize your money.
Understand the Fine Print
Find the time to read the written contract before signing the rental agreement. Before signing the paper, you have to read the contract’s terms and conditions. Likewise, you’ll have to educate yourself about its penalties and restrictions. Make sure to ask the rental company about these:
- Travel restrictions
- Drop-off charges and late returns
- Age liability
- Additional driver fees
- No-show fees
Getting a car rental is a binding contract. Knowing what’s in the written agreement is an essential tip you’ll have to bear in mind. Know what you’re getting yourself into to avoid any liabilities down the road.
Know Your Fuel Needs
Other rental providers will ask their customers to pay for a full tank beforehand. If that’s not possible, the other option is to refuel the gas yourself and pay for it out of your pocket. Many companies recommend prepaid gas. Filling the tank beforehand might save you money and time; however, you should still consider your gas needs. You can opt to pay for the fuel yourself if you don’t need to fill the tank to the brim.
Don’t invest in the prepaid options unless you need to fill the tank to the brim. Your convenience isn’t a worthwhile investment. If you’re tight on budget, contact a car rental company that offers fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles. ‘Leasing hybrid cars can be the best option, but you first have to check if there are charging ports around the city.
You’ll also have to check if the company follows the routine maintenance schedule. If not, you can advise them to take the car to an auto repair shop before renting it to you.
Look Into the Insurance
Most rental companies will ask their customers to sign collision damage waivers (CDW) and loss damage waivers (LDW). LDW will cover the loss the rental company will face if the vehicle gets damaged, including a totaled car. On the flip side, CDW will cover their customers if they get involved in an accident. Both insurance policies will protect the company and its customers; however, your existing one might provide ample coverage.
Besides, car rental companies can also avail liability and comprehensive and collision coverage. Liability coverage will protect them in cases of accidents, while the latter will cover damages caused by a customer during the rental period.
Don’t be shy to ask the company about the insurance policies they offer.
Look Into Different Choices
Not all rental companies have similar offers. Keep shopping around until you find the vehicle that matches your needs. Don’t be passive, and don’t rent one at the last minute to get the sweetest deals around the city. You can find numerous car rental companies in the city, so do your research. Determine which companies offer the sweetest discounts. If you’re having a hard time, use online sites when doing your search.
Enter your travel dates, and you’ll get the results in a few seconds. Other companies can even offer exclusive discounts if you rent a car through their affiliated online platforms.
Following these tips will guarantee you the best deal for your trip.