Some people assume that when they fly to a new city they will have to rent a car. This is not always the case. If they do need to rent a car, there are some tips to help keep the rental cost as low as possible. Nine factors to consider:
1. Additional transportation options. Cities like New York, Philadelphia, London, Seattle, Paris, and Las Vegas, for instance, offer inexpensive and readily-accessible mass transit systems. Cities that lack mass transit systems may still offer tour buses for the traveler’s use. Why pay for a rental car, parking, and gasoline when you could opt to ride a subway to your point of interest? You should also weigh out time spent searching for reasonable prices, and the potential for time spent in traffic congestion.
2. Where to rent? For a more affordable rate when renting a car it is perhaps better to locate an agency near your hotel or around it. Renting a car at the airport is more expensive because of operating fees levied by the airport which is usually passed on to the customer. Also, because of the high demand at the airport the agencies also charge a higher rate.
3. Which type of car? Perhaps you’ll want to consider renting a compact car. There are several benefits to renting a compact car: the rental will be less costly, you’ll spend less on gasoline, and parking in a big city will be easier. Also, rental agencies will frequently upgrade you to a mid-size car, at no additional cost, if there are no compact cars available.
4. Small companies: Research smaller, local car rental companies in your travel destination to see if they have better rates than the national chains and/or are offering any good deals.
5. Car rental discounts can often be found online. Do a search of rental agencies for discount codes. There are codes available for business discounts or insurance discounts.
6. Gasoline. Don’t purchase gasoline at the lot. Purchase it yourself. You might not need a full tank of gas and you’ll probably get a better price per gallon by searching around.
7. Car Rental Duration. Why pay for a rental car for a full week if you don’t need it for the full week? Determine how many days you actually need the rental car, and arrange a rental for the determined length of time.
8. Insurance. Make sure you are covered if something costly happens while driving the rental car. Your personal car insurance and your credit card company are good resources.
9. Additional services. Do not agree to every add-on that the customer service person suggests to you. Car rental employees are looking to turn a profit, not necessarily to help you.