Getting the Best Car Rental
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated March 29, 2012)
There are many different reasons that you can find yourself needing a rental car. For example, you could be going on a romantic getaway and would like to have a nice car to help complete the scene, or you could have your regular car in the shop getting fixed. Whatever the reason, there is one common theme that usually crops up when trying to get a car rental—the price. Getting the best car rental can sometimes seem like a pipe dream, but if you keep a few things in mind you will be amazed at how low of a price you can actually find.
- Avoid the airport. While you can always find a large number of car rental places at the airport, if you are looking for a good deal then this is the one place that you do not really want to go. In large part because they see such a high volume of customers that they rarely need to lower their prices, or offer special deals. In addition, most car rental places that operate out of the airport typically have higher expenses, so therefore have to charge more in order to compensate.
- Name brands don't always work. Despite what many people like to think, going with a "brand name" car rental company doesn't necessarily mean that you will get the best deals. The lesser known brands can often offer a much better deal for their customers than the larger brands. In large part this is because the smaller companies are trying to compete with the larger ones, and as such will offer more competitive pricing.
- Look online. Often times you can find a decent deal online, simply by looking at places like Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, or any of the other similar sites. While you can get a good deal through them, often times you can get a matching deal by calling the company directly after noticing the price online. The reason for this is that this way the car rental company will get the entire amount of money that they will charge, rather than a percentage of it.
- Take a look at the contracts. It is an unfortunate state of affairs, but there are quite a few things that can be added to a contract which will add significantly to the overall price. For example, one of the most expensive items that can get added to a contract is the extra insurance. Typically, having this added onto the price an increase the overall cost by about fifty percent. Make sure that you are only getting what you want, and what you think that you will need.
- Refill the tank. Prior to returning your rental vehicle, make sure that you take the time to refill the gas tank. Allowing the car rental place to refill the gas tank can add significantly to the overall price. When the car rental agency refills the gas tank they not only charge you for the gas, but also for the time and effort involved in filling it up.