There is never any need to spend money on a luxury rental car, no matter what your travel plans may be. As long as it’s comfortable, safe, and capable of decent mileage, what more could anyone want? Whether you’re going out of town for a weekend business trip, want to spend a few nights in a big city like Vegas, or heading for the beach with your family, here are a few things you need to know about finding cheap rental cars:
1. Unless you have no choice, don’t rent a vehicle right at the airport. More often than not, it’s a lot cheaper to rent one at an “off-airport” site. Compare the rates of various rental companies throughout the city carefully. Consider other transportation methods to get to your hotel from the airport until you are able to get to the rental car center.
2. Find out if you eligible for any club / membership discounts. A lot of corporations have a company code that can be used for getting travel-related discounts. There are also perks for AAA members, government employees, etc.
3. Beware of hidden fees. A deal might sound nice on the offer page, but after you’ve begun the checkout process, the price could go up a lot more than what you calculated due to sales tax, “vehicle license fees”, “arena fee”, or any number of hidden fees. This is especially likely to occur for deals that sound too good to e true, such as “Less than $20 a day” type of offers. Also, find out before hand if you will be required to return the car with a full tank of gas, as you might be charged a penalty if you do not. If it is a requirement, then make sure it’s filled up for you once you arrive.
4. Don’t fall for “horror stories” the clerks will try to tell you in order to get you buy insurance. For most drivers, it’s an unnecessary add-on. All you have to do is call your own insurance company beforehand and confirm that you are already covered for rental cars. Some credit card companies also provide collision coverage. However, if you are traveling outside of the country, the chances of your auto insurance and/or credit card company providing you with international car rental insurance are reduced. In this instance, you might have to have it included in your rental agreement.
5. Use online price comparison tools to show you a list of all available vehicle rentals at once for your planned travel dates. It’s a lot easier to do this than to check with each rental company one at a time just to see if they are offering cheap rental cars on the dates you need one.
The ideal place to find and compare rental car prices is Travelocity. The site helps you find deals on everything from pickup trucks to convertibles. If you’re not picky and just want to check out some cheap rental cars, you’ll find plenty.