Finding the best deal on renting a car can be frustrating, since searching for rental cars can turn up thousands of results. So where do you start?
With planning, of course! Finding a great deal on a rental car is no different than tracking down discounts on airline tickets and other vacation purchases.
What agencies are available?
The major car rental agencies are Hertz, Avis and Enterprise, although not all agencies are available in every location.
If you’re traveling to a large city like Chicago or New York City, there might even be rental agencies available that you’ve never even heard of. Having a list of the rental car agencies operating in your destination will help in your search for the best deal.
How flexible are your travel plans? Are they set in stone or do you have some leeway built in to your trip? If you’re traveling on business, you probably don’t have much flexibility in terms of time, date or pickup location, which could limit some of the rental car deals available to you.
But if you do have some flexibility with your traveling plans, you can save quite a bit of money by just adjusting your schedule a little.
If the rental agencies you’ve listed have websites, start there. Find out what their prices are without going through any of the travel booking websites like Expedia.com or Orbitz.com. Find out when their weekend rates start and end.
Depending on the type of car you’d like to rent, the rates could be higher or lower if any portion of your travel includes the weekend. For example, if your trip will occur Tuesday through Friday, it could be only a matter of hours when it comes to saving money.
If the agency’s weekend rate begins at noon and it’s a higher rate than the weekday rate, schedule your return before noon if your plans allow.
Contact your credit card company
Renting a car requires using a credit card for payment. Since you already have to use it, call your credit card company and see if they have any member specials for renting cars.
You’ll also want to ask them if they offer collision coverage on rentals. If they do, then you only have to purchase liability for your rental. For example, American Express is one of the companies who do supply this when you use your card for the rental car.
You may also be able to cash in credit card rewards points and buy gift certificates for the major rental car agencies.
Are we done yet?
If you’re happy with one of the deals you’ve found in your search, go ahead and book your rental. But if you’d like to see if you could do even better, call the rental car agencies.
Many times, the representative you’re talking to can offer you deals that aren’t advertised anywhere else. It may seem intimidating to call the agency, but this simple call can save you lots of money when booking your rental car.
About The Author
My name is Jason Clark and I have been writing for motorcities for more than 7 years now. My passion about cars has led me to the research, development and contribution to the automotive industry.My aim and goal for the future is to focus on the development of greener transportation and making it popular globally.