7 tips to save money on a car rental for your summer vacation
You may have already heard of the high costs of renting a car. In 2020, many companies sold their vehicles due to the lack of demand due to the pandemic. Now that more people are vaccinated, more people are going on trips. This increased demand has led to exorbitant prices for rental vehicles.
If you are going on a summer trip and need to rent a car, there are steps you can take to avoid draining your bank account. Read on to see some of our favorite car rental tips for saving money.
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1. Book your car now
If you know you’ll need a car for future travel, now is the time to book. As the travel date approaches, stocks are more likely to be low and prices to be higher. You can get a lower rate by reserving your car rental in advance.
2. Use a carsharing service
If you are not happy with the rental prices that you see, you may want to consider using a carpooling service to hire a car. Companies like Turo allow car owners to lease their vehicles to people. Prices vary, but it can be a good way to save on car rental costs. It can also ensure that you have a car for your trip, as many traditional rental companies run out of vehicles to hire.
3. Don’t forget the discount codes
Discount codes and promo codes can save you a lot. Before making a reservation, don’t forget to inquire about the discounts offered by the company. Here are some examples that may be available:
- Costco Members
- Military discounts
- Discounts for Union members
4. Consider a rental location outside the airport
Many car rental companies have locations set up at airports. While it can be convenient, these locations typically charge more for their services. If you want to lower your next rental rate, look for rental locations that are far from the airport. You can do the math and figure out how much an Uber or Lyft ride would cost you to and from the airport. Renting your car this way can still be a lot cheaper.
5. Book multiple reservations with free cancellation
Another way to save money is to make multiple reservations. Start by booking as soon as you know you are going on a trip. Take a look at other car rental companies and see what they have to offer on the same dates. You can then make another reservation. When your travel date approaches, cancel reservations you no longer need and keep the cheapest reservation. To avoid unwanted additional charges, be sure to book reservations that offer free cancellations.
6. Use a travel credit card with rental car insurance included
Another way to save is to use a travel credit card to reserve your rental. If you use a credit card that includes rental car insurance, you can deny rental company insurance without worrying about accidents, saving you additional expense.
When deciding which credit card to use, consider the type of coverage offered. Many credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance, which means that insurance will be available once you reach the maximum coverage provided by your regular auto insurance company. If you are using a card with primary auto insurance coverage, that coverage will take effect immediately. You will want to be aware of the differences so that you know how to handle any accidents or potential issues during your trip.
When you use a credit card to book your reservation, you can also earn points on your purchase. You can then redeem those points for travel or cash back. Doing this is a smart and easy way to save money now and in the future.
7. Rent from a car dealership
Did you know that you can rent cars from car dealerships? If any of the above suggestions do not work, you can contact the car dealers in the destination of your choice. Call and see what the prices are for your dates. You can get a lot.
Ready to book a trip? Don’t pay too much when booking a car rental. Follow the tips above to save money when booking a car for your next vacation plans.