Friday, November 30

Ways to Save on your Vacation Car Rental

Anytime some money can be saved while taking a vacation it seems to make the trip even better. Many travelers spend a great deal of time finding ways to save on the hotel room or airline flight, but don’t put as much effort into trying to reduce the amount they will pay for a rental car. While it may have been assumed that there is no option to save money hiring a vehicle, there are ways to do so.

Hiring a car is often necessary when on vacation because it allows some freedom to get around an unknown place and to visit nearby attractions. It can seem like the traveler is at the mercy of the rental agency, but in fact there are ways to pay less for a rental vehicle.

* It can be very easy to get right off the plane and go to the nearest rental agency to hire a vehicle. It can also be very costly. These facilities frequently have higher taxes and fees levied against them and they will pass these costs on to the consumer. If possible, take a taxi or subway to a rental agency a few miles away from the airport and arrange to rent a vehicle there.

* Try to time the rental so it is made through the week, when rates are cheaper, rather than during the weekend, when they are increased. If necessary, arrange for the activities that will require the car to be scheduled during the week.

* Look online ahead of going to the counter to rent the vehicle. Companies may offer special discounts at different times of the year that are only available on their website. There may also be online-only coupons available.

* Don’t just check into one of the larger, name brand rental agencies. Individual companies may not have the reputation or stock of the bigger ones, but they may be more willing to offer discounts. On the other hand, a larger company may be willing to price match if presented with a better deal from a competitor.

* Consider renting a car only on the days when it is needed, rather than signing up for a whole week all at once. If the vehicle is not used every day, then that is a waste of funds.

* Try to do some haggling. See if the agency is willing to come down on the price or make some other offer. It might not work, but one never knows until they try.

Renting a car while on vacation is often a necessity in order to be able to get around and enjoy the full experience. Doing so can be expensive, so finding ways to reduce that cost can be the difference between a dream trip and one that is just okay. The money save can be put towards a fancy dinner or a fun activity.

Jane Simpson writes for a site that has advice on car loans for bad credit and a useful online tool for calculating the monthly cost of purchasing a new vehicle.