Summer season is always a great time for a vacation and this always opens the floodgates for travelers to search for the best accommodation deals. However, as the season approaches, the mad rush increases and frustrations reach the climax as many people easily discover that few quality options are available but at a very high cost.
Apart from accommodation, travel planning is the other aspect that builds frustration in many vacationers and getting the right deals isn’t always easy if you do not research. If you are not careful, it is easy to spend a lot of money on road transport. However, cheap car hire can help save the day thus making it easy to manage your budget stress-free.
There are various ways to make your vacation cheaper and more enjoyable ranging from prepaying for cheap car hire to using reward programs for different locations as given by rental agencies. The following tips will help make your car rental experience even more enjoyable while at the same time helping you put back some dollars to your wallet.
- Use coupons to increase your savings
Check out for the best deals and coupons before searching for cheap rental cars. Coupon codes can be combined with your frequent flier discounts from affiliates of your car rental agency, to help increase your savings during the car hire. Always remember you include your coupons whether booking the car over the phone or online. Different car hire companies such as National, Hertz, Dollar and Budget have coupons and deals that could benefit you greatly.
- Join loyalty reward programs from car rental companies
Joining such programs is free and easy and will help you avoid long queues or even get free upgrades. You can accumulate redeemable reward points and redeem them for upgrades or free rentals or get cheap car hire within a short notice. Since it doesn’t cost you anything to join such a program, it is worth trying. Some car hire agencies will accept to transfer your status from other programs thus making it more advantageous on your part as a traveler. You can also benefit from great discounts from programs such as Travelauto.com offering discounts of up to 50 percent especially on all prepaid car rentals online.
- Take advantage of deal aggregators online
You can track down some great cheap car hire deals with some car rental marketplaces like Travel Auto. With numerous providers under their banner, the aggregator normally helps you to find the best deals any season. Also check with off-brand agencies as you might be able to save handsomely compared to what you get when dealing with the big brands names.
- Prepay for more savings
Prepaying your rental car with websites such as Travelauto could help you enjoy huge discounts of up to 50 percent. You can search for the right car and pay for it upfront thus maximizing your savings in the process.
- Avoid airport car hire
Don’t rent at the airport if you don’t mind linking between the airport and the offsite car rental outlets. The distance is small but the savings could be huge enough at times ranging between 10 and 30 percent of the entire car hire fee. It is true that you will need to put up with some slight inconveniencing but it doesn’t do any harm to use public transport or complimentary bus services to get you to the offsite car rental offices. At the end of the day, the money and time you save will be worth it.
- Check for partner benefits from credit card companies and frequent flier programs
Using your credit card and frequent flier programs can help with additional insurance coverage while at the same time providing you with discounts and waiver for some fees. It is also possible to earn miles when you rent a car. You will need to be an elite or plus member with some of the cheap car hire companies to enjoy some of these benefits.
- Avoid additional insurance from car hire companies
Additional insurance like Personal Effects Coverage and Loss Damage Waivers are optional in some states but could account for between extra $20 and $40 daily on top of your car hire fee. Always check with your insurer, credit card companies or AAA to see if they are able to provide the required coverage for the car rental before buying from the rental company.
- Book for prolonged period
You can add a day or a few hours on top of your reservation to lower your overall rental rate but only if you return the car much earlier than indicated in the rental contract. This way, your rate will be discounted by the system especially if your reservation extended to the weekends especially Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, some car rental agencies will give prorated refunds when you return the car early. Always check before making such as arrangement especially because some companies will charge a certain fee for early return.
- Scrutinize the deal and avoid shifty fees
Return the car with a full tank otherwise, you might be charges unreasonably regardless of the gas in the car when you return it. Always inspect the car for any damages and scratches before leaving the parking lot and notify the car rental company’s representative. You should also take photos of such dents using a camera showing date records. Always confirm about fees associated with electronic toll collection systems, GPS and baby car seats. Always avoid any extras that you do not need.
- Identify your car rental needs
Consider your needs before booking a rental car. Are you really in need of a premium SUV, a sporty car or will a compact mini car be enough for your travel? Do you need additional space for your luggage? Car rental agents will at some point try to upsell their premium cars, insurance policies and packages with the hope of getting more money from your wallet. Just define your needs before starting your search for cheap car hire and restrict yourself to what your budget allows. Once you know what you need, getting the right deal will be easy and cheap.
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