Some people come across car rental often, the others do not have any idea how much it costs because they have always used their own vehicle or public transportation. However, car rentals exist and do well. In the last year many companies, especially the ones by airports raised their rates up more than $20 per day: if a one-day rental of a midsized car was $76 a year ago, this summer the same deal costs about $100.
This year rental companies also have poorer choice than they used to. The fleets were reduced by 20 percent on average, so it is better to order beforehand if the traveler is specific about the brand or model.
These facts will scare away a lot of customers, but some people cannot avoid having to rent a vehicle. If these people do not want to become bankrupt by renting a vehicle, they should be prepared beforehand and make a good long search for the best offers.
Here are a few tips how to save on car rentals:
1. Search and study. Modern technologies allow learning about car rentals all over the world while sitting in a comfortable chair at home. Every traveler should spend time to find the best deals, to learn about options offered by different dealers and to get discounts.
If a person does not k now where to look for prices, the easiest way to go would be travel operators like Orbitz, Expedia, Vroom Vroom Vroom, Travelocity and others. In the course of study other links will pop-up offering better deals. The experienced searchers know the websites they trust to and have an idea where to get the best offers.
2. Use coupons. There are a lot of organizations which offer discounts on car rentals. The coupons can be found in many places: on travel sites, at credit card companies, on discount sites like AAA.com, Costco.com and others. The coupons might be offered by book-stores, banks or local clubs. Being attentive to coupons in various places one can save a lot on pricey car rentals: they are so high now that even such things as 5-10% discount save a lot.
3. Chose weekend travels. Since car rentals are mostly used by businessmen on weekdays, the rentals are significantly higher then. If there is a possibility to chose week-end over work days, do so, because it is significantly cheaper. As a rule car rental companies offer 50% lower price on week-ends.
Big packages like weekly rentals might be considered too. In many cases paying daily for five days is more expensive that accepting a weekly package. The websites which offer information about car rentals usually give an option of various rates.
4. Book beforehand. There are several advantages of booking the rental early. First of all the price will be lower than for the same deal in the last minute. Secondly, there is always a broader choice of vehicles available. With the recent fleet shortage this option is important.
If the person booked several weeks before the trip, but later found a better deal it is fine to cancel. In the majority of cases cancellation is accepted without penalty fee, but a person can always check this option before booking.
5. Chose by price not car model. If there is not much difference what kind of vehicle the traveler prefers, there are sites which give information by the preset prices. Such online search machines as Priceline.com or Hotwire.com find the best price deals and then explain what brand and model the person will receive. For many travelers it is not a big deal whether to drive a sedan or a hatchback.
6. Stay away from air-port car rentals. Although the companies located near air-ports are most widespread, known and very convenient, they are the most expensive ones. If there is a chance to find something different, lower price is almost always guaranteed.
Some rental companies agree to help for additional fee and bring the car to one of the city hotels where it can be picked up and dropped off. Calling them and asking for options will allow staying away from expensive air-port rentals.