How To Save Money When Renting a Car

by Allie Moore

May 20, 2019

© Colicaranica | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Renting a car is one of the best ways to see and familiarize yourself with a destination, but after adding extras like insurance, car seats and taxes, the price can really add up. In order to lessen the potential monetary burden of a rental car, arrive at the rental car counter armed with the tips below.

 

Reserve before you arrive. Some last-minute travelers prefer to wait until they arrive to sort out the rental car details, but booking weeks in advance can help you get a better rate, especially if you’re traveling during peak travel seasons when the availability of vehicles may decrease. Waiting to reserve a car at the airport can also come with fees like city taxes.

 

Use credit card benefits. Before booking, check to see if any of your credit cards come with travel perks like rental car insurance. This can save you big bucks as you won’t have to purchase the rental company’s insurance plan, but make sure the plans are comparable and you’ll be covered for the basics.

 

Memberships like AAA, AARP, Costco or BJ’s Wholesale also can come with travel benefits through their partnerships with rental car companies. Check their travel portals to see how membership in these organizations can lead to rental car savings.

 

Don’t forget about discount sites. Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial often have travel deals, which can include discounts on rental cars. Browser extensions like EBates and Wikibuy can help you find discounts or rebates for your rentals, as well.

 

Take photos. Before driving off on your adventure, inspect the car thoroughly with a rental car agent and take photos of any dents or blemishes to avoid being sacked with damage fees at the end of your trip.

 

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