If you have little or no experience in renting a car, it’s completely understandable that you’re nervous and confused about the whole process. After all, you aren’t sure how much all of it can cost you and you’re worried about driving somebody else’s car, since any sort of damage on it can create additional cost that you aren’t sure how you’d cover. Fortunately, you can make the best of the wisdom of those who have rented cars more time that they’d like to admit. Here are some tips to help get the best price for your car rental.
Do Your Homework
Renting the car from the first website that pops up in your browser search could be a huge mistake and cost you much more than you actually need to spend. Sometimes, if you rent the car from the agency’s website, you may end up paying more than you would from a third-party company’s website. These discount websites often have excellent deals that you could benefit greatly from. However, even with such websites, you should still visit several of them and compare the prices they offer. Aside from that, don’t just look at the daily or weekly price of the car, but the total price of the rental, as some fees and taxes are later added to the prices listed on the site. In addition, look into the differences between the daily, weekly and monthly charges, as you might actually save some money by taking the car for an entire month, rather than for only two or three weeks.
Don’t Wait Too Long
Waiting till the last moment to book a car online or just walking up to the car agency and asking for one won’t only cost you more, but can even mean that you can’t get the kind of car you need or, for that matter, any car at all. Many agencies will charge you extra if you try to rent a vehicle less than 24 hours in advance. Book your car at least six to eight weeks before travelling, so as to get the best deal. Plus, that way you’ll be able to choose a full size car rental for your entire family, if that’s what you need. In addition, if you’re early enough, you’ll get to choose between petrol and hybrid models, so that you drive the car that suits your needs best. Finally, the better agencies don’t charge for additional drivers and they offer long-term car hire. This might work for some people, as it means more flexibility and excellent value for your money. Contacting the agency well in advance will usually provide you with a wider variety of cars to choose from and at a better price, which is something you should definitely keep in mind.
Don’t Prepay for the Car
The rates for renting a car vary significantly from one location to another, even in different branches of the same company. Furthermore, the price can change from the moment you book to the moment you come to pick up the car. With this in mind, it’s never a good idea to prepay for the car, since merely reserving the car gives you the chance to cancel your reservation or change it before you actually show up at the agency’s counter. By prepaying, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to rent the car at a cheaper rate, if one pops up at some point. The only exception is if a rental company has a huge discount at the time you decide to rent, so prepaying in order to lock in on that rate is in your best interest.
Don’t Prepay for Gas
Another thing you shouldn’t prepay for is gas. Mind you, the agents will let you know that’s an option, but it’s one you should pass. Even if they offer you an excellent rate on the gas, you’ll still have to pay for a full tank, which you might not end up spending. What’s more, they’ll tell you about the low price of the gas, but they won’t always let you know there are certain charges added to that price. Finally, when filling up the tank, do so at a location which is as close as possible to where you’ll drop the car off, no more than 10 miles, so that the gas needle shows a full tank upon your return, and always keep the receipt, to avoid any additional fees.
Renting a car may be stressful, but with these excellent tips, it truly doesn’t have to be. As long as you don’t rush into anything and you do your research, you’ll be fine and you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest or make the best of your business trip in the car you find most comfortable.