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Ways to Save Money on Car Rental

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Dec 21, 2021 02:36 PM EST

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Ways to Save Money on Car Rental

(Photo: Shoaib rehman)

As corporate demand grows, so is the demand for air travel. According to a new report, the global car rental value is expected to hit $124.56 billion by 2022. Where there's demand for flying, there is demand for car hire, which is expected to increase by 3.9 percent globally in 2022, according to the GBTA CWT Global Business Travel Forecast. As travel picks up, car rental prices are expected to increase due to increased demand. With that in mind, how do you save money when renting a car in the future? This post shares a few tips to help you make wise decisions when renting a car.

Compare Prices Early and Book Early

Car rental prices tend to fluctuate depending on the demand. Checking prices in advance, especially before the holidays, is often cheaper than booking during the travel periods. Check sites like JFK car rental to compare your options and narrow in on the best deal. If you are early enough, you might even be lucky to get a steep discount. While booking early can save you a few dollars, it doesn't guarantee that you will get the exact car you want. Similarly, booking during the peak season robs you of the power to choose. You will be left to go with the available car.

Book Multiple Reservations with Free Cancellation

The surest way to get the best deal in town is to shop around, choose your rental companies, and book in advance. Make reservations as soon as you know you're taking a trip and take advantage of the bonus if there are any. Don't stop there. Take a look around at other car rental companies and see what they're offering. Once your trip date gets closer, cancel other bookings you no longer need and keep the lowest price. Always double-check whether the companies offer free cancellations to avoid extra fees.

Travel with a Credit Card that Includes Car Rental Insurance

Another great way to save is using a travel credit card to book your rental car. If your credit card includes rental car insurance, you don't have to use your rental company's insurance which comes at a cost, and you also don't have to worry about accidents. When selecting a credit card, you also need to consider the coverages offered. Many credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance, which can only be used if the rental company's insurance is not enough. Secondary car rental insurance might not be helpful if you're looking to save some money, as your rental company insurance will still need to be used first. Go for primary car insurance, which kicks in immediately. Make sure you understand the difference well enough to handle any issues that arise during your trip. Credit cards also earn you points off your purchase which can be redeemed for cash back or travel.

Book a Car at the Airport

Many car rental companies have locations set up at airports. These can add convenience, especially if you're in a foreign location and need to go far. Rental companies at the airport provide a safer means of transport and often have discounts when you book early. However, you might want to rent a car before the travel season. During the peak season, renting a car at the airport tends to be expensive due to the surcharges added by cities. These surcharges come as fixed dollar figures. You can also find them as a percentage of your overall rental amount. An increase in prices by airport car rentals is also associated with the increased demand. Always book early and compare discounts to get value for your money.

Bring Your Own Child Seat and GPS

Rental companies charge you for GPS and child car seats. You can bring your own child car seat and GPS or use the maps on your smartphone to avoid paying extra to hire one from the company. Hire charges are typically added daily and can quickly mount up if you will be away for long. Most companies allow you to carry your own baby equipment free of charge.

Always Inspect for Damages Before Driving

While rental companies often recommend doing a quick review of the car you're renting once you receive it before leaving, many people are often in a rush to leave and have to deal with false claims later. Instead of checking and nodding, make it a habit to document existing dents, scratches, and other cosmetic flaws before using the car. You can never be too thorough in such an examination if you're in a hurry. The fastest way to do this is to take photos and videos of the car as soon as it's in your hands.

Check the Discounts Eligible for You

Rental companies are always offering discounts to attract customers. Check whether your potential car rental company offers CAA or AAA-related discounts. Your bank or credit card can also offer car rental discounts with specific companies, which can save you 20 percent or even more off the listed price. Check what your credit card offers before choosing a rental company. Some offer coupons via email if you book a flight or hotel reservation.

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