Handy Car Rental Tips and Tricks
Saving on car rentals is tricky business. There are a lot of twists and turns that car rental places do to confuse the consumer. The best suggestion is to try different options when shopping for a deal on a car rental. For instance, they all have varying rates based on when you pick up the car. If you pick it up on the weekend or during the week. The rates are cheaper during the week. Friday is no longer a week day in rental car lingo. Check the rates, from Thursday through Monday; you may be able to save money versus Friday through Monday.
Rental car companies make a lot of money selling you gas, insurance and often by adding fees and taxes. The first thing the consumer should do is avoid renting where the fees and taxes are high. If you can avoid these fees, do so. Sometimes convenience outweighs the savings. Normally, if you rent from a facility that is located on airport grounds, you pay an airport fee. To avoid this fee, simply rent your car from the hotel or away from the airport. Many rental companies are located nearby and do not charge any exorbitant fees.
The other way to keep your costs under control is to never return your rental without a full tank of gas. If you rented the car with a full tank of gas, it’s important to return it with the same full tank. Otherwise the rental company could charge you as much as $9.00 per gallon. Also beware of car insurance sold by rental car companies. It is unwarranted if your personal car insurance will cover the car rental or your credit card will cover it. Save your money on car insurance and check with your current carrier at home or your credit card and see if it will be covered. Don’t fall for the sales techniques used by car rental employees who will tell you horror stories of people who thought they were covered and discovered they weren’t. Call your credit card or insurance company and find out.
The fees and taxes are extremely important to understand when renting a vehicle. Rental companies often advertise deals that seem too good to be true. Rentals that start out at $7-$14 per day could escalate to $50 per day if you don’t ask about the fees first. The fees can be up to 20% taxes, airport surcharges, licensing fees and insurance. If you rent outside of America even more fees can be added, like insurance, mandatory theft protection, taxes, underage driver fees and surcharges for not returning the vehicle with a full tank of gas.