How To Save Money On Car Rental: 10 Essential Tips

by Jules on September 8, 2012

There are plenty of things you can do to save money when traveling and here are just a few essential tips and advice to stay within budget when renting or hiring a car during your trip:

• Book in advance – Most companies rates will go up as you get closer to the departure and arrival times. If you know the exact dates even 6 months from the time you are actually traveling, then book your vehicle then. You would be amazed on how much you can save just by doing this.

• Use travel booking sites – Going to these sites can save you serious money. They are able to offer discounts because of the volume of orders that are placed through their sites. Before you book the car though, make sure you go to the company’s actual website so you can see if they are running specials themselves. Sometimes you might be able to get a better deal and save some money.

• Rent for entire trip – When traveling, if you rent for longer periods of time you will get better rates. If you do the math, you will find that the cost per day comes out to be less expensive. On a side note, if you are traveling for an extended period of time, look into leasing a vehicle.

• Unlimited mileage – Make sure that when you are booking your rental or hire car, you have selected unlimited mileage. If you do not ensure this, you could end up paying much more when you return the vehicle.

• Fuel mileage – If you are going to be driving over several days, especially long distance, you should book a vehicle that will get the best gas mileage. This can save you money in the long run. Speaking of fuel, find out at the time of pick up if you need to fill the tank up before returning. Some rental companies will inform you that you do not have to because they have a fee they can charge you to fill up the tank. Before you get that coverage, find out what the prices are for fuel in the place you are going to return the vehicle. If you can do the math real quick, you might find out that it is cheaper to sometimes go with filling the tank yourself.

• Picking up your hire vehicle – When you are booking your vehicle, check to see if the rates could be less expensive if you pick up the vehicle from another office rather than picking it up there at the airport. You can sometimes get special deals when doing this.

• Dropping off the vehicle – If you are traveling in just one country, you should be ok dropping the car off if a different location. If you are going to be traveling between countries and departing from the last country you are in, make sure you find out what the fees might be. The fees could be anywhere from one to three hundred dollars for the international drop off. If you are traveling between countries, get the rates for renting cars in each country. This could save you money in the long run.

• Avoid water travel with the rental – If you are traveling between two locations and have to take the car across water, you might have to pay fees not only for the ride, but allowing the car in to another country. You should check the rates to rent or hire a car in destination.

• Manual or automatic – In the United States most cars that are for rent are automatic. If you are traveling in European countries, most cars that are rented are manual. If you know how to operate a manual transmission vehicle, make sure you rent that. There are can fees attached to automatic transmission vehicle in European countries.

• Don’t skip the insurance – Make sure you have adequate car rental insurance and damage waivers. And before you drive the vehicle away, any reputable hirer will walk you around the vehicle to check for prior damage. This should be noted so you are not held accountable, potentially losing your deposit or insurance excess.

Car rental is a great way for you to get around while you are traveling. Hire-brid are one of the most reliable and trustworthy car hire services out there.

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