The Best Deals for your Summer WheelsJune 14, 2011 | in Defensive Driving Tips
If you need a rental car for your summer vacation or road trip, you may need to put in some extra effort this summer season to keep the rental from busting your travel budget. Rather than rethinking your travel plans, we have compiled a list of the best ways to help you cut costs and find savings with your summer car rentals.
Avoid Unnecessary Fees
Opt out of any unnecessary extra rental fees such as additional insurance. Your existing auto insurance should provide adequate coverage, but you should definitely check with your carrier before opting out. The Independent Traveler, a travel website, also recommends checking with your credit card company as your card membership may offer rental car insurance as a member perk. You can also save on the cost of the GPS addition by bringing your own or using a GPS application on your smart phone.
Join Company Loyalty Programs
Consider joining a membership or loyalty program at your favorite car rental company. These memberships, which are often free, can pack a punch in the savings department as the points you earn from your car rentals can add up to considerable discounts, VIP benefits and even free reward rentals.
Shop around for the best possible deal by starting early and reserving ahead, but also continuing to comparison shop until the last minute. Some travel sites and rental companies will offer last minute discounts if they have leftover cars, and at most locations you do not pay until your pick-up your vehicle, so you are available to take advantage of last minute pricing slashes.
Look for Online Deals
Monitor travel blogs and vacation and travel websites such as Orbitz or Travelocity to find special online deals and discounts. Your diligence may also pay off by finding your codes or coupons for upgrades to a better car or additional amenities.
Buy Your Own Gas
Think twice before taking advantage of car rental companies that offer to fill your gas tank for you in advance because you run the risk of not using all the gasoline and getting your money’s worth. Additionally, be sure to fill up the tank before returning the car to the rental agency. Not only will they charge you a fee to refill the tank, but you are also not able to shop around for the best gas prices.