Renting a car is an excellent way to afford yourself freedom and flexibility while exploring in a new city. Car rentals are great especially if you don’t want to have to rely on cabbies navigating you around a strange city. With a GPS, you can use your car rental to get around with minimal amounts of hassle. This blog post looks at four tips that will help you save money when renting a car!
1. Don’t Fall Into The Trap Of Prepaying For Gas
Prepaying for gas may seem like a good idea, but it often ends up costing you more. Prepaying for gas is an attractive option since you don’t have to worry about searching for a gas station or potentially running late. However unless the convenience is worth it, you’re better off handling the gas charges on your own.
One situation where prepaying for gas is a good idea is if you’re sure you’ll return the tank empty. Otherwise, you need to check for a place to refuel the car that’s on your route. Most rental companies offer a service where they only charge you for fuel you use, but this often ends up costing you more than filling up yourself.
2. Take Advantage Of Potential Upgrades
When you’re picking up your rental, always ask if there are any upgrades available. Usually, when car rental companies are at their busiest, they run out of cheaper cars and can upgrade you to a higher car class at a reduced rate or even free of charge. Potential upgrades are why you should always book a smaller car in advance.
Usually, the desk agent has a lot of discretion in setting upgrade rates. If you’re asked if you would like to upgrade to a bigger car, tell the attendant it depends on the price. Inquiring about your options will likely allow you to get an upgrade at minimal cost.
3. Inspect Your Rental Car Before Leaving
Car rental companies hold you responsible for damages made to the rental, so it’s important to inspect the car before leaving. Take note of scuffs, loose parts, and scratches that were already on the car before you depart the rental agency. It’s worth your time to take pictures of any parts that aren’t working so you have some physical evidence.
A lot of people who rent cars make the mistake of only taking a cursory look at their rental before signing off. Make sure you take some extra time to check all areas of the vehicle. Something as simple as a loose bumper can end up costing you a lot of money, even if it isn’t your fault.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to leave the final inspection to chance. If no attendant is there to receive your rental when you’re returning it, it becomes a case of your word against theirs if they find damage to the car. Always take before and after pictures and videos to ensure you aren’t charged for any damages that you didn’t cause.
4. Choose A Convenient Pickup And Drop Off Point
Having a convenient pickup and drop off point is key to sticking to your travel schedule. Returning your rental to the airport may seem convenient, however, airports are usually busy and dealing with traffic and parking can throw you off schedule. Dealing with airport car rental companies also often exposes you to hefty surcharges.
One easy way to save money is not to book your rental the first night you arrive. Usually, on the first day, you just need to go to your hotel and then use your rental the next day. Taking a shuttle from the airport to the hotel can save you an entire day in rental costs. This is a quick and easy way to save money on your car rental.