Money Saving Tips for Booking Rental Cars
by Maranda Gibson, special to VroomVroomVroom
As a former car rental agent, I know the perception that people have when they walk up to the counter. That’s okay – you’ve probably rented a car a hundred times and you know the things that I’m about to say to you, what I’m going to offer, how I’m going to talk to you about the optional rental coverage. The truth is that for many agents, we really are trying to educate and caution you on what you might not know about the process. So even though I work in a different field and for a new company now, here are some of the tips and tricks that I picked up along the way that I now use any time I book a car.
Research Rental Locations
I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that the airport location is the best place to rent your car. Airports are convenient for travelers but they can also be more expensive, depending on additional fuel surcharges and excise taxes. Before you book to rent at the airport, do a quick search to find locations that might be a short cab or public transit ride away from the airport location. Just moving off the property can save you on your rates and your taxes. Yes, it might be inconvenient to take a cab from the airport to pick up your car, but the savings could be vast.
Get the Best Rate
Much like air travel, the dates you want to reserve your vehicle can make a difference to what your rate will be. Holiday rentals will be a higher rate, because rentals are in greater demand. Booking in advance can save you money versus booking at the last minute. Shop around and compare prices and availability from company to company. Also, don’t forget to get your applicable discounts. Members of organizations like AAA or USAA qualify for discounts, but there are a lot of companies like VroomVroomVroom that work with rental companies to mutually help clients. If you book your reservation over the phone, make sure you tell the agent some of the different organizations you are a member of.
Consider Your Insurance Limitations
Yes, you have insurance on your car, but do you understand how it transfers? State laws can vary about your personal insurance and how the coverages transfer. Ask your insurance provider about renting a car if you are not sure about exactly what was going to transfer to your rental. If you find that only your liability insurance transfers it means the only coverage extended to you will be coverage to damages on other vehicles. In some cases, depending on the length of your rental and how your coverage transfers, you might want to consider taking the optional coverage. (The same goes for your credit card coverage, it might not cover what you think it does.)
What I would suggest to get the best deal on your rental is to be sure to know where to go and how to shop around. You should always check a couple of different rental companies as well as different sizes of vehicles. Good luck and happy travels!
Maranda Gibson is the social media manager for AccuConference, a conferencing company located in beautiful Fort Worth, Texas. She writes feverishly for the AccuConference communications blog as well as being the voice behind their Twitter and Google+ accounts. She loves to meet new people so don’t be shy and stop by to say hello.