Easy Ways To Save Big Money On Car Rentals

Published on
February 16, 2023

No one wants to pay more than what they need when renting a car.

Whether it's for a vacation or a business trip, car rental costs can put a damper on an otherwise exciting experience. Thanks to some helpful tips, however, you can learn how to save money on car rentals and keep your budget flawless.

Here are some tested tips that will help yousave money on car rentalsand make the most of your travel experience without spending too much.

When Is The Right Time To Rent a Car?

The right time to rent a car depends on how much money you want to save and what you plan on doing with the car (i.e. you need it while your current car is in a body shop or you’re planning a road trip). If you are looking to get the best deal then timing is everything. Generally, weekdays are cheaper than weekends, and off-season times tend to be less expensive than peak times. Booking during promotional periods can also result in great savings.

Keep in mind that how long you plan to keep the car and how many people will be driving it will affect the overall cost of the rental.

Benefits of Renting a Car

Car rentals can be an incredibly efficient way to save money and time. If you're planning a long trip but don't want the hassle of owning a car or worrying about transportation when you get to your destination, renting a car may be the perfect solution for you. It's important to research how to save on car rentals so that you can get the best deals.

Some rental companies will offer discounts for longer rentals, special rates for members, or reduced rates if you reserve cars early.

The Cities That Have Cheap Car Rentals

If you're looking for affordable car rentals, then head south! Charlotte, North Carolina, Orlando, Florida, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas  are among the three cheapest places to rent a car on average.

Each of these cities offers a great combination of long-distance transportation options at surprisingly low prices.

The Most Expensive Cities To Rent a Car

From the exciting nightlife in Las Vegas, to the incredible views of Phoenix, and the culture-filled streets of Chicago—these three cities top off the rankings for being some of the most expensive cities to rent a car from. The average car rental cost in these areas runs considerably higher than those found in most other US cities.

Easy Tips On How To Save On Rental Cars This Year

With a few helpful tips and tricks, it is possible to reduce your car rental costs and still get an enjoyable driving experience. To make things easier we’ve also included 13 comprehensive tips that will help you save money while renting a car.

Book early during the travel season

Booking your rental car early during travel season is key to saving money. This will ensure that you have the best selection of cars and hopefully, a lower price. When searching for available car rentals, be sure to compare rates across different companies as there can be a significant variation between each of them and do this before June.

Avoid airport rentals

Avoid airport rentals if you’re able to because all the additional fees associated with those pickups can cost you a ton of money. Use other pickup options instead, whether it’s closer to your location or at a designated rental location near you.

Fees : There are certain fees associated with airport car rentals that can add up quickly if you aren't aware of them. These fees can range from rental taxes applied by certain states or provinces to fuel service charges, airport access fees, and so on.

Avoid pickups at the airport: Airport pickup locations come with several added fees which can quickly rack up, resulting in an unexpectedly high rental bill (that you’re not aware of until it’s too late).

Some Credit Cards Provide Rental CarInsurance

Another way to save money on your next car rental is to leverage your credit card's insurance policy.

Many cards offer collision damage waivers (CWD) that can reduce the cost of any liability you would be responsible for in the event of an accident while driving a rental car. To maximize how much you can save, make sure to check with both your credit card company and the car rental company before using a CWD.

Use Any Affiliations When You Can

Take advantage of any affiliations you may have. Many times, companies like AAA, credit unions, and even certain employers offer discounts or special rates on car rentals when you mention a specific affiliation. It pays to ask around and determine if you are eligible for this type of discount.

Join Loyalty Programs For Car Rental Discounts

It's no surprise that joining loyalty programs can be a great way to save money on your next car rental. Not only can you benefit from offers tailored to loyalty member perks, but you can also pick up rewards and points to redeem in the future too.

From discounts off the base rate of your rental vehicle to deals on additional services like GPS units and upgrades, there are so many ways that car rental companies reward their loyal customers.

If you find yourself becoming a frequent customer a rental company, it may be time to look into their loyalty (or membership) packages.

Non-traditional rental options

Consider non-traditional rental options like peer-to-peer rentals from local companies or businesses. It's often a cheaper option than traditional car rental agencies because you’ll be cutting out intermediaries and dealing directly with the owner of the vehicle. Turo is a example of a company you should check out.

Use an aggregator to compare prices

An aggregator is an online platform that collects prices from different car rental companies, providing you with a comprehensive list of the best deals available in no time. Not only will it save you time by collecting all the information in one place, but you can also rest assured knowing that you've gotten the most out of your deal.

Only rent the type of car you need, not want

Another tip that will help you save money while renting a car is to make sure you are only renting the type of car you need, not necessarily what you want. Many people may be tempted to rent a more luxurious or bigger car than they need to treat themselves, but this added expense can add up quickly and reduce how much money they are saving.

Fill the gas tank before returning the rental

This will allow you to avoid high filing fees that are often charged when the rental company handles refueling the vehicle themselves. Even if you have pre-paid for the tank, always check how much fuel was in it at pick up (don’t forget to take a picture) and how much should be put in afterward, so that the appropriate amount of gas can be added leading up to your drop off.

You always want to make sure that you’ve returned the car in the best condition and this includes making sure the tank is full.

Skip the upsells and add-ons

Skip the upsells and add-ons that rental car companies attempt at checkout. Most rental car insurance offered by companies will already be covered by your credit card provider, so it's important to check this before adding on any additional coverage. It’s only useful to use the insurance that a rental company is providing if you don’t own a credit card or your card company doesn’t cover rental liability costs.

Just keepp in mind that what may seem like a rental car promotion may actually be unnecessary for your trip. Additionally, skip extras like GPS units and child seats, as those may also be covered by your personal auto insurance policy.

Use one authorized driver At A Time

Before renting a vehicle, most companies require that each applicant provide a valid driver's license, proof of insurance, and often other forms of identification. By limiting the number of drivers who are authorized to drive the rental car, you can significantly reduce the daily fees associated with additional users.

Negotiate costs

Several negotiation tactics can be used when looking at rental car offers.

For example, always check for any discounts or coupons available before booking and search the web for special deals such as discounted rates or free upgrades when you arrive at your preferred location. Additionally, don't be afraid to ask for reductions directly with the leasing company over the phone.

The worst thing they can say is “no.”

Look into Costco Travel

As a member of their warehouse service, you can often find surprisingly low rates on car rentals from some of the biggest names in car rental services. You’ll also be backed by their great customer service and access to a wide variety of cars with different features.

Members will also receive special perks like discounts on GPS navigation systems, discounted roadside assistance coverage, and more. And this just one of many examples of car rental deals and services you can find.

Go Travel and Save On Car Rentals This Year

Make 2023 your year for incredible travel experiences without breaking the bank. Our top-notch tips will show you how to stretch your budget further without sacrificing quality.

And if you enjoyed reading this post, check out some of our other blog posts below!

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You don’t need a good credit score to have great car insurance!

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