The car rental process can often be a bewildering one. With so many options, agencies, and offers, it’s tough to keep things straight. Luckily, there are a few tried and true ways to get a great discount car rental deal. If you’re currently on the hunt for a great car rental offer, stay focused and remember these useful research methods:
1) Never Stop Looking
Even though most car rental agencies request your credit card information at the time of booking, they rarely require a deposit. This credit card is used to open an account and secure your rental – not pay for it. This means if you find a better deal a week later, you can cancel the first request without having to pay a penalty. (It’s always smart to read the small print before using this tactic – just in case your chosen rental agency has a cancelation fee.)
2) Stay Away From Airport Rental Agencies
Studies have shown that consumers can save 20% to 30% on their car rental if they choose a non-airport based location. This is because airport car rental locations have a higher cost of doing business. Rent from an airport agency, and you’ll be hit with airport concession fees and other unnecessary surcharges. Save yourself some cash – catch a cab into town in order to pick up your vehicle.
3) Consider an Independent Rental Company
Chain car rental companies rarely have the most affordable rate. While independent companies may not be as well known to drivers, their prices are often far more competitive. Check out the Car Rental Express independent car rental comparison search engine for help locating affordable options from the little guys.
4) Know Your Discount Eligibility
Car rental agencies frequently offer discounted prices to select demographics. If you’re a member of the military, hold a preferred credit card, or subscribe to organizations like AAA, AARP, or Veteran’s Advantage, you could be entitled to a lower rate. Remember to ask a rental agent for more details on discount redemption. Just because the discount isn’t advertised, doesn’t mean that it’s not available.
5) Review the Total Cost
The lowest advertised rate isn’t always the best rate. Surcharges and fees can quickly turn an affordable rental rate into an unnecessary expense. Contact a number of rental providers and ask for a true total rental price. You might be surprised which company comes out on top.
6) Beware of Restrictions
Some car rental agencies will limit the number of miles you can drive your vehicle per day. Others will charge extra if you are under the age of 25, and still more will hit you with a fee for an additional driver. Rates can balloon quickly depending on these rental restrictions.
7) Look into Weekly Rental Options
As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes it’s cheaper to pay for a weeklong rental and return the vehicle early. Many companies advertise weeklong rentals at a discounted price in order to move inventory. Just beware of early return charges.
Another important tip for snagging a discount car rental is staying informed. For example, did you know that many car rental customers purchase unnecessary car rental insurance coverage when their personal insurance policy already protects them? Do yourself a favour – search the Car Rental Express system for affordable rental rates today.