Ready to hit the road and save some dough on your rental ride? Here are five ways you can get the most bang for your buck!
Get your own insurance coverage:
One of the major costs associated with renting a vehicle is the optional insurance offered by the rental company. They typically offer several different types of coverage such as liability, collision, and personal accident insurance. The good news is, you can avoid paying this fee if your own car insurance policy already includes the coverage you need. For a relatively small price, you can add an endorsement to your policy to extend your existing coverage so it will cover damage to the rental vehicle in your care. Talk to your licensed car insurance broker to make sure you have the coverage you need before you rent a vehicle. It’s important to check if your policy covers rental cars and that it covers the specific location you’re renting from.
Skip the airport rental:
While it might seem convenient to grab your suitcase and head straight to your rental car after a long flight, keep in mind that companies often charge extra fees for vehicles rented at airports. These fees can include things like parking, taxes, and airport surcharges. To avoid these added costs, compare quotes before deciding whether it’s a better deal to pick up the vehicle at the airport or get a shuttle to your hotel and pick up a car nearby. Make sure you do your research and consider the cost of transportation and parking at the hotel vs the airport.
Don’t share driving duties:
Adding another driver to the contract can significantly increase the cost of your car rental, so sticking with just one driver (if it makes sense for your trip) could help you save. Make sure to check the rental company’s policy on additional drivers, as some may require an additional fee for any additional drivers, even if they don’t plan on driving.
Shop around for deals:
Most vehicle rental companies offer discounts or special packages when you’ll be renting for specific lengths of time (an entire week, for example), when you’re staying at a particular hotel, when you have a membership with an automobile association or big-box retailer, or when you pay the rental fees in advance. Make sure to do your research and compare prices from different rental companies, you might be surprised by the deals you can find. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate, sometimes they’re willing to offer discounts or upgrade your car for a better price.
Make a stop at the gas station:
If your rental agreement says you need to return the vehicle with a full gas tank, make a stop at a nearby gas station rather than filling up on the rental lot. Gas prices at rental car lots are typically higher than at local gas stations, so you can save some money by filling up before returning the vehicle. If you forget to fill up before heading back (or if you have the rental company fill it up for you, which is often an option), you could be charged a premium for fuel. Make sure you check the rental company’s policy on returning the car with a full tank, some companies offer a full-to-full policy where you return the car with the same amount of fuel as you received it with, while others have a different policy.
So, before you hit the road, make sure you talk to your car insurance broker and find out what kind of coverage you already have. That way you can avoid any unexpected expenses and have a worry-free vacation! Happy travels!