Whether you’re planning on an epic road trip or need a car to get around on your next vacation, you want the best bang for your buck!
If you don’t know how to avoid added fees, you’ll be in for a shock when you get the bill. Save money on your next car rental with our tips and you’ll be cruising in style for less.
Always Rent An Economy Car
Renting an economy car is always the cheapest option for travelers on a budget. And the best part? If they’re out of economy cars, you’ll automatically be upgraded to the next size vehicle. A smaller car also means less fuel consumption. Just make sure you don’t book a car that’s too small for you and your buds. You want an economy car, not a clown car.
Ask for Discounts
You’d be surprised by how many people don’t ask for discounts or even think to ask for discounts. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. In many cases, rental car companies will offer discounts if you have an AAA membership or even a Costco membership.
Also, if you have a frequent flyer membership, mention it! You may be eligible to book car rentals with your frequent flyer mile membership or even earn points!
Ship Your Stuff
Instead of dealing with the hassle of cramming your stuff in a small economy car, consider shipping your luggage right to your destination using LugLess. This is a great alternative that starts at only $15 per bag. And if you’re traveling with ski gear or golf clubs — which will take up a lot of space in your car — LugLess will happily ship those for you, too! This method will save you room in your car and you can road trip like a pro.
While you may get lucky with an upgrade, it’s not guaranteed. Ship your luggage and enjoy the ride!
Age matters when you’re renting a car. If you’re under 25, the car rental rates may be higher. If you’re traveling with someone who is older, it might be a good idea to have them be the designated driver for the cheaper rates.
Skip The Airport
Have you ever passed TSA security and were dying of thirst, so you go into a gift shop inside the airport and paid $7 for a bottle of water? Imagine how much renting a car at the airport would be?! Airport surcharges are everywhere and you’ll be paying premium prices. If you can avoid it, skip the airport and rent your car elsewhere. You can Uber or Lyft over to your car rental location and pick up your economy ride without having to pay ridiculous prices (we’re talking 10-30 percent more money for the convenience of renting at the airport).
Say No To Insurance
Welcome to adulting. It’s a beautiful world where you don’t need insurance.
Kidding. We’re kidding.
Obviously, you need insurance while driving a vehicle. But you absolutely don’t have to add it on to your rental agreement, which can cost anywhere from $20-$40 additional per day.
Your primary insurance will likely cover you when you rent a car (that’s if you have a car). If you don’t have a car, you can be added on to your parent’s insurance or check to see if your credit card offers basic insurance if you pay with it.
Say No To GPS
This goes without saying but seriously don’t add on GPS with your car rental agreement. That’s extra dough you could use for something else on your trip. If you have a smartphone (and it’s likely that you do), then use Google Maps on your phone to help you out. Just make sure you have enough data on your phone.
Check The Car For Damage
Pay close attention to minor car details. It’s always a good idea to take pictures of the outside and inside the car and make note of any damages or stains before you take off on your adventure. You don’t want to be charged for something you didn’t do when you return the car.
Always refuel the tank before returning the car. Your wallet will thank you. The last thing you want is a heavy refueling fee added to your bill. Before you pull out of the lot, check how much gasoline is in the tank then swing by a gas station on your way back to the car rental place.
Now you have the top secrets on ways to save money on your next rental car! Have a killer playlist, make sure you have plenty of snacks and plan your next road trip with your buds accordingly. Save money and ride with ease. Share your road trip pics with us on our Facebook page and you may get a special shoutout from us!
What are your secrets to save money on rental cars? Share with us in the comments!