From a vacation to a road trip, there are plenty of reasons to rent a car. The central idea is to save money, not add too many miles on your own personal car (which depreciates its value) and to enjoy the occasion. But did you know that there are some added costs that you might be subconsciously paying for when you rent a car? There are proven hacks that people around the world employ to evade these unnecessary sub costs. Here they are:
1. Don’t Sign up for the Insurance
If you are paying the rent through a credit card, there is absolutely no reason for you to sign up for insurance since almost all major credit cards will already cover it for you. Unfortunately, many people just are not aware of the benefits their credit card has to offer and end up wasting money – and the rental businesses couldn’t care less.
Besides, dealing with your credit card’s insurance plan is a lot easier than any other third party insurance plan. Those plans are designed to favor business owners more often than not anyway. So when you are renting a car next time, always say no insurance.
2. Never Rent the Car on a Daily Basis
Daily rates are always more expensive than their weekly counterparts. Some people might think of this proposition this way – What am I going to do with the car for an entire week when I only need it for 4 days?
Well, let’s do some math.
According to Eastex Auto Rental, the top auto rental company in Beaumont, Tx, most car rentals charge at least $30 per day on an average. For four days, that would add up to $120. On a weekly plan, the charge per day drops down to $12 to $15 on an average. This is half the cost. So you’re going to pay $95 and own the car for an extra 3 days. This is a bargain even if you choose to return the car midway through the week. Always evaluate all your options before you zero in on a plan. Then only you would be able to choose the best plan available to you.
3. Don’t Return the Car With an Empty Tank
A common practice among car rental companies to is to charge customers ridiculous amounts of money if they return the vehicles without completely filling the fuel tank. If you are a tourist in a different part of the world, only God can save your wallet. There are no metrics here – a slight variation is all that they will look for. You could be billed hundreds of dollars unfairly. All this hassle will not only spoil your mood but will ruin your holiday. Make it a point to always fill the tank completely, with their choice of fuel before you return the car.
4. Abide by Traffic Rules and Don’t Overspeed
Where is the thrill in going out of town for an adventure when you can’t even drive fast? Well driving fast on a highway is different from careless driving. Keep in touch with local traffic rules and ride cautiously. If you get pulled over by a cop, you will have to deal with a speeding ticket plus a special fee that your rental company will levy on you for whatever reasons. Again, this extra fee could range well over $100. If you are a fast driver and does not really care about traffic rules, there will be a deep hole in your pocket by the end of the day.
5. Collect Reward Points on Rentals and Gas
Some credit cards offer reward points on both car rentals and gas. Run through current offers and reward programs being offered by each of your credit cards before you finalize on a deal. If you do have a credit card that is running a rewards program, then use that card to pay for the above-mentioned services. This might sound like something that you can pass, but you will be surprised at how much you will save through reward points alone. Imagine accumulating reward points every time you rent a car or pay for gas – that is a lot of money!
6. Keep an Eye out for Promotional Offers
Every major car rental business runs promotional offers throughout the year. If you are booking the car online, you will most likely post a promo code box which accepts secret code in exchange for discounts. Most of these “secret” codes are already leaked on multiple websites. All you need to do is scroll through a few web pages and try your luck. In some cases, these codes are readily available on the company website simply because the owners want more people to rent their cars. Sure, from a marketing perspective these discounts may be an illusion, but the final amount that you will end up paying is way lesser than the amount you will be forced to cough up at their front desk.
7. Airport Pick-Ups Are A Rip Off
Who does not want to jump straight into their rental after a long flight? The real question is, who wants to pay an extra $30 as airport fees? Does that even make sense? Nobody in their right mind would be willing to pay this fee, especially if they are renting the car only for a day or two.
Let’s break this down. The average cost of renting a car for one day is around $30 to $40, and you’re paying 90% of this fee only for the convenience of getting into your car as you arrive, that is a clear rip-off.
The question is not about whether you can afford it, it’s about asking yourself – was that worth it? If your goal is to save money, take the local bus and head down to your rental car dealership. That’s $30 saved.
If you managed to pull off at least 4 of the above 7 hacks, you will end up saving in excess of $100 guaranteed! There is a lot of things you can do with a hundred dollar bill. So go ahead and try your luck. After all, a dollar saved is a dollar earned!