Renting a car is easy. It’s finding the best deals that require a little bit of work. Here are some tips from industry insiders that will help you save on your next road trip.
Earlier is Better
Booking last minute isn’t going to help you save money. If you’re booking for peak season, the smart thing to do is book as early as possible. Rental car companies often reward travelers for planning beforehand with lower prices. Also, ensure that you book a flexible or refundable rate and keep checking in case the price drops.
Try to download a reliable browser extension that keeps searching the internet for fair-game coupon codes and automatically applies them to your shopping cart. If no discounts are available, the tool should let you know whether or not you’re checking out the cheapest available price.
If you’re not on a tight schedule, adjust your pickup and drop-off times to see if the prices change. If you’re near a weekend or close to five days, you may qualify for a cheaper weekend or a weekly rate. Longer rentals also work out cheaper.
Even if an SUV is cheaper to rent than a sedan, consider how much you’ll be driving and how much gas costs in that area. If you’re going cross country, then focus on overall savings, but if you’re just puttering around town, then go for the cheaper car.
Credit and Insurance
Always check if your existing insurance policy covers car rentals. If it does, then there’s no need for you to purchase additional insurance from the rental company. Your credit card may also offer car rental insurance. Confirm whether the rental insurance is primary or secondary and what coverage is included and what is not.
Compare rental rates for savings between 12% and 15%. Use online tools.
If you work for a big company, are a member of AAA or AARP, or Amazon, you could have access to discounted rentals, free upgrades, and free additional driver on your contract. But don’t use discount codes that don’t apply to you. It’s risky. If you get into an accident, then your insurance claim could be denied.