The first thing that people will do once this lockdown ends is to rent a car and go on a road trip. But no one can predict what car rentals will cost, and there is a very real chance that you might need a few tips and tricks on saving big.
Regardless of why you need a car rental, you should understand what you’re getting into before sliding the credit card and signing a contract. So, for the sake of helping out, we’re here to give you the 7 tips & tricks for saving big on car rentals.
Without further ado, let’s start.
1. Joining a Loyalty Rewards Program
If you consider yourself a frequent car renter, then your best way to save tons of money might be by joining a loyalty rewards program. These loyalty programs are designed to give the user certain perks whenever renting cars.
Usually, the perks get more favorable the more you rent cars and some of them include the likes of skipping lines and even free upgrades.
Joining these loyalty programs is 99% free and it will take nothing but five minutes of your time. Once you join one program, the car rental company will look at you as their most important customer.
What this means is that they will know your choice of vehicles and will notify you whenever ones’ available. They will even guarantee that one will be available for you at all times.
But these are only one of the perks that come with joining such a program. As we mentioned, the more you rent the more points go into your loyalty program. You can use these points to redeem sweet rewards. But probably the most exciting part of this loyalty program is the fact that the more you rent cars the higher you go in the program.
Naturally, this has its own benefits and perks and we’ll leave that for you to explore on your own as every program is different from the rest.
2. Coupons & Deals
Walmart isn’t the only one that offers sweet deals and coupons for their products. Literary every business can use these types of deals to secure more customers, and car rental companies are no exclusion to this.
Coupons and deals are a great way to knock a pretty hefty chunk of money off your total sum whenever at checkout, and you can even combine them with your loyalty program perks.
This can accumulate a lot of savings, with some going as high as 50%. Although finding these coupons is rather difficult, since these companies don’t offer them at all times, it’s still a great way to save big.
3. Ask For Discounts
Asking a simple question can be very beneficial whenever entering the car rental shop.
The fun fact is that all you have to do is ask since they won’t suggest it themselves. But usually, these companies do offer discounts on new and returning customers.
So it wouldn’t hurt to simply ask the question “Do you offer any discounts?” In many cases, they might offer discounts for certain demographics such as seniors, military, veterans, college students, etc.
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4. Use a Rental-Friendly Card
It goes without saying that certain cards are better for paying for certain services and goods.
In the case of paying the first-rate off your new rental, there are a few credit card issuers that perform the best for this task. This has the potential to save you a lot of money, and it’s definitely worth spending the time in obtaining one.
Here is our list of the most rental-friendly credit cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- United Explorer Card
All three come with benefits and signup bonuses and are great for your next car rental.
5. Compare Prices Online
The beautiful thing online is that you can visit all of your local companies and compare prices for the same or similar vehicles.
This is exactly what you should be doing whenever making a big purchase. In this case, there are certain websites that offer you the chance to do so without having to open 20 tabs on Google Chrome.
Sites such as carretnals.com, Priceline, and kayak are excellent for doing so. Not only do they allow you to compare prices, but they’re also updated every day.
The process is the same as you would look for accommodations online or airline tickets. You can find some excellent gems here and knock off a pretty huge price off your total.
This one nicely adds up to the previous tip and this is something that you should definitely be doing whenever browsing online.
Namely, these companies will always show you two prices. The first one is the total price of renting, while the latter is a discounted 20% if you chose to prepay.
Prepaying means paying before getting the car and it is a great way to save big! 20% isn’t a small percentage, and this is something that every car renter should be doing whenever needing a vehicle for a road trip.
7. Don’t Rent at the Airport
A golden rule of vehicle rentals is to never do it at the airport. Companies that provide this service at each airport make a ton of money by having inflated prices for unsuspecting tourists.
That’s because everything is significantly more expensive at the airport. The McDonalds or Burger Kings are more expensive, the exchange office offers significantly unfavorable rates, and the car rental company charges significantly more.
Your best bet when renting a vehicle in a foreign country or another State would be to schedule a pickup with one of the local rentals. This is a great way to save tons of money, and a mistake that everyone should stop doing.
These were some of the tips and tricks on how to save big when renting vehicles. Although these aren’t all of the tips and tricks, they are some of the more popular ones.