Planning a vacation or trip can be an exciting anticipation.
However, planning transport for a trip can be a breeze.
Perhaps you are trying to choose between a cheap rental car and choosing something more interesting.
Usually, remembering a vacation, you remember impressions, places, but not so much the transport that you chose. So saving money on a vehicle so as not to interfere with your retirement savings is a great way to optimize your vacation budget.
Where to find cheap car rental
Check Aggregator Sites
Sites like Kayak and Expedia can help you find multiple car rental options at the same time. They often present you with a grid of different rental opportunities and companies. Aggregator sites are a great place to start. This will give you an idea of where the value might be in a particular market at a particular time.
Check Direct Sites
After checking the aggregator sites, it is good to check the rate directly on the website of the rental companies. Sometimes car companies offer you a better deal if you book directly with them rather than with an aggregator.
Don’t Forget About Commissions
When comparing multiple sources, be sure to compare the rent with all commissions. Some websites list a base price without taxes or fees. Other websites list the total outdoor price.
You must click on the next step to see the total fees for some websites.
When booking a cheap car, it is important to consider how many cars you can afford. Economy Cars is the lowest rate available for car rentals. Unfortunately, they are also likely to be fully booked. When you complete your booking, you can get a larger vehicle. Free updates can be a nice perk. Imagine booking a car for $40 a day and getting a nicer car that costs $60 a day.
Of course, you should not expect to be pushed to a superior option. So if you are booking an economy car, you have to accept that you will most likely be driving a stripped-down car with very few amenities and not much space. At least the gas mileage should be pretty good!
Consider alternative car classes
Often SUVs are the most expensive option for the same relative performance. For example, many SUVs can be the same size as a mid-size sedan or full-size car. On the other hand, sometimes a minivan of comparable size is much more affordable than a full-size SUV.
Buying a comparable car can help you save money, but buying a car that’s too small for the number of passengers and luggage you’ll be carrying is a recipe for an uncomfortable ride.
Check out Turo
Turo is a gig economy app that allows people to rent out their cars as part-time jobs. Turo is like Airbnb for cars. It allows people to rent their cars directly to people. You can often get better vehicle rates through Turo than you can from the big providers.
One of the advantages of Turo is the choice of the specific car you will be renting. Where car rental companies have car classes and say, “It’s like this car model.” Then when you get it, it will be the same size, but certainly not as luxurious a car as mentioned, without any of the extras you might expect.
In that regard, the Turo could be perfect for finding a Tesla, BMW, or other higher trim level than you usually see from Hertz.
Airports can be convenient if you’re flying into the city. However, they are also more expensive than other places in the city. Higher prices are due to the fact that the airport itself charges a fee from the rental company. Then the rental company transfers this fee to the client.
Airport locations can charge anywhere from a few extra dollars a day to low double digits. These differences can be summed up in an extended reservation.
When renting elsewhere, do not forget to take into account the cost of a taxi or a taxi to the rental location.
Some of the best rates I’ve found are through Costco Travel. Costco is in talks with major car rental companies to provide rental discounts. Costco membership is one of the most affordable group rates because Costco membership has many other benefits.
Costco also has some rental benefits. One of them is that most vendors have free additional drivers.
Costco isn’t the only group price available. There are discounts for employers, AAAs, and various professional organizations. One example of a professional deal-making organization is the AIA for Architects. They have value through Hertz.
Consider giving up your lease
Perhaps the most important way to save money on car rentals is to forego them altogether. Traveling without a car can save a lot on your holiday. Instead, consider choosing a hiking destination or resort if you’re on vacation. Some hotels offer free transportation to the airport and popular areas in the area.
Sharing is another option instead of renting a car. Sharing can save you money, especially if you’re staying in a location that charges parking fees in addition to the rental price. It’s a little different than thinking about ridesharing and having a vehicle at your disposal all the time.
Here’s how you can compare costs:
- Add to that car rental, gas and parking.
- Compare transport prices (Uber or similar) to get you to your destination.
That being said, you’ll probably want to combine your travel.
Consider renting only part of the trip
You may not want to give up your car for the entire trip, but you may want to rent a car for certain day trips while on vacation. You can save money by renting a car for a specific day of your trip and having it delivered to you.
Partial travel rentals can be a great option if you’re staying in a resort or urban area where parking fees apply and most on-site amenities are available. However, if you’re staying at a resort property for the majority of your holiday and only want to do a day or two of sightseeing outside of it, why rent a car for the entire week?
Get prices for different days
If you are only planning to rent a car for part of the journey, you should look at what is the cheapest way. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule as to whether it will be cheaper to rent on weekdays and weekends or get a discount on rent for the whole week.
These prices vary depending on demand and the company’s pricing strategy.
Since business travelers mostly rent cars on weekdays, in areas with more business travelers than tourists, weekday rates are likely to be higher.
Is it worth canceling insurance?
You want to be sure of your research before you turn down the insurance offered by car rental companies. Many credit cards provide comparable coverage for their users when you book a car with a credit card.
Many credit card companies offer collision damage insurance for rentals booked with their credit card. However, many of them are unlikely to cover health insurance. You can check the rental insurance terms with your credit card.
Depending on the company, your car insurance may cover you when you rent a car. Before you buy insurance through a car rental company, check out the coverage they offer.
Rental companies will offer you additional liability coverage. This usually ranges from $300,000 to $1,000,000 per incident. This will help you if your car policy does not cover your car rental liability or if you have insufficient liability coverage.
Fill up your gas
When you rent a car, you are often offered several options. You can buy a full tank of gas and return it with any amount of gas in it. This is usually about the market price per gallon. Then any gasoline left in the tank when you return the car will be wasted.
Another option is they fill up the tank at the end and charge you an inflated price for a gallon of gas. If you do this, you will be able to fill up the tank right before returning the car and will usually save money. Maybe a dollar or more per gallon.
Returning the car with a full tank of gas is usually the most economical solution.
Car rental companies often charge you extra for upgrades such as GPS, satellite radio, travel passes and car seats. You can use the GPS on your phone and play music through your phone via Bluetooth to save money. Toll roads are rarely worth it, although they can sometimes save time. Rental companies usually charge a daily fee for their use. Consider taking one with you rather than renting a car seat from a car company. Almost all airlines test child car seats for free.
Travel planning can be very exciting. However, keeping a budget can take away from the enjoyment of this trip. There are many ways to cut costs when renting a car.
The key comes down to testing multiple options; be sure to compare the totals, which include all fees, and narrow down the amenities to what you really need.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.