If you live in the big city, then you are likely one of many people who don’t own an automobile. Unfortunately, when driving season arrives – sunshine, warm temperatures, and clean roads – you don’t have a vehicle to initiate a road trip, or just head up to cottage country.
For those that do own a vehicle, perhaps it is too small, or it is in the garage getting repaired.
Whatever the case, you may finally decide to rent a car, and it may not just be for fun and games. You may want to pick up some stuff for the new baby, the new house, or the new apartment.
Before you head over to a car rental establishment, you need to employ a series of cost-saving measures to ensure that you save some dough on your sedan, sports, or SUV rental. This will ensure you get the best value for your money, and the opportunity to enjoy the open road.
Here are five ways to save money renting cars this driving season:
1. Comb Through Fine Print to Avoid Charges
How many times have you signed a document without fully reading the fine print and tiny text? If you have done this on numerous occasions, then you know you paid dearly for that error.
Ditto for car rental agreements.
Even if the agent is hovering over you, waiting for you to sign on the dotted line, you should take the time to thoroughly read the terms of agreement, whether it is one page or 10. By doing this, you can avoid hidden charges and the wide array of dubious fees.
2. Return the Car with a Full Tank
There is one thing car rental companies detest: customers returning the cars with an empty tank. In fact, if you do bring back the vehicle without any gas, then you will be charged, sometimes it’s even double (do they use premium instead of regular?)
The solution? Fill the rental car with a full tank of regular gas at the cheapest possible station.
3. Don’t Speed & Be Careful How You Drive
From the moment you leave the lot to the time you return to the business, you should obey all speed limits. By doing this, you avoid accidents or penalties by the company.
Moreover, be careful and vigilant how you drive. In other words, drive defensively, pay attention to your surroundings, and don’t take any unnecessary chances. Yes, this does involve not eating during rush hour – how many road rage incidents could have been avoided if motorists ate?
4. Select Economy & Tap One Driver
To get the cheapest possible rental bill, all you need to do is choose economy and select only one drive. If you rent a more expensive brand and type, then you will get the cheapest rates. In addition, if you only assign one name to the car agreement, then you’ll save money, too.
5. To Insure or Not to Insure – That is the Question
To insure, or not to insure…that is indeed the question. If you ask 100 different auto experts that question, then you will get a 50/50 split.
But here is a compromise: if you already have auto insurance coverage, then you might already be covered for the rented car. On the other hand, if you don’t have any insurance, then it would be prudent and responsible to pay for the insurance from the company.
Hey, accidents happen – it’s always the other person’s fault! – so you don’t want to foot the bill.
Nobody really wants to rent a car when it is snowing outside, Old Man Winter has inflicted us with subzero temperatures, or ice continues engulfing roads. However, once spring or summer is in the air, then we are far more likely to desire driving the open roads. If you contract the driving bug and decide to rent a car, just make sure that you are approaching with money-saving caution.