Saving money on car rental is easier than ever and you will find out how to save by the end of this post. Sometimes we think car renting is just pay and go and I often overlook some of the surcharges and other fees.
Whether your company pays for it or you pay the car rental fee yourself, there are always some tips you can use to save money on car rental.
Your friend or spouse will be impressed that you were shrewd to follow these awesome tips and saved some money. Your boss would certainly appreciate the savings you made for your company.
Let’s look at the cheapest, simple but easily overlooked ways of saving money on your next car rental – be it for your road trip or for your business trip.
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How to save money on a car rental?
Following are the best-proven ways to save some extra cash when you rent a car. No matter which place you are going to or what type of car you are going to rent, you can definitely use one of these ways to save on your rentals.
1) Don’t book your car rental from the airport.
Renting a car at the airport is always going to be a lot costlier because they include a surcharge which will surely burn your wallet.
Save yourself some money and take a taxi or cab to a nearby car rental location. That way you will avoid this surcharge. You will avoid the additional fee that they charge when they pick you up from the airport to the rental location.
2) Book early and save money on car rental
Booking in advance does not cost you more and most car rental companies let you book in advance for free. As always, you should search for a better deal online well in advance. When you find a deal, book that best deal in advance. If your plans change or you find another better deal later, you can always cancel it at no additional charge. Double-check with your car rental company as to what their advance notice for cancellation is just to make sure.
3) Book using major airlines and other sites
Airlines such as United and others have partnerships with car rental companies. You get a lower price. Also, you could be earning points or miles just for renting through their site.
You can also save more money when you book using companies that save you on car rental such as AutoSlash. You can search for deals there and compare
4) Don’t buy auto insurance
When you rent a car you could be thinking that buying insurance is safe in case your car is damaged. It certainly adds up to your total cost and you can avoid this with this trick. Check your credit card (s). Some offer you free auto insurance when renting a car and it comes as a perk – no cost to you.
So, the next time you rent a car, check if your credit card can be used to cover primary insurance. Avoid buying insurance when you book your rental car.
If you don’t have such a credit card, try an outside agency such as RentalCover or XCover. They give you even better protection just like insurance, and it is very simple, easy, and stress-free.
5) Using your membership card helps you save
Use your membership card (Costco for example) which has perks where you can book a car rental and get a reward for booking.
Book two or more and you get a discount or points toward a free car rental. Especially good if you are a frequent car renter.
I came across this good discount program from Hertz called Hertz Free-To-Go Pass. You pay an annual fee of $99* and you can save $100 or more whenever you rent with them.
6) Fill up your gas tank before you return
Just before you return your rental car, make sure you fill up your gas tank. This is because the rental company might charge you inflated fuel prices.
Always keep the gas receipt with you just in case the car rental company wants to take a look.
This will not only save you but you can also use your cashback such as Upside to earn cash back on gas.
If you use a car or SUV or any vehicle to commute to work, take on a road trip, or run errands, this app will save you money on gas. Read my full review and how to use this app here in this blog post.
Costco Gas Cash Back Rewards program – Complete review and more!
7) Avoid Car Rental Toll Charges and Save Even More Money
You can avoid car rental toll charges by bringing your own toll transponder. Rental car companies charge anywhere from $3 to $5 per day for their toll transponder.
If your rental car comes with an E-ZPass transponder, simply cover it since their transponders usually have a box that you can close or open. Then just pay with your cash.
You might also want to consider buying a Faraday bag to be extra safe to shield your devices from wireless signals.
Transponders are usually cheap and easy to buy additional and keep handy while you travel.
8) Last but not least – child car seat
Bring your own child’s car seat to avoid the $10 or $15 daily fee that car rental companies charge.
It is important to know how to save money when renting a car. That way you can save hundreds that you might otherwise waste in unnecessary charges and fees.
Comment down your favorite tip when it comes to saving money on car rentals.