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How to Save Money on a Rental Car

The good news is that with the right planning and preparation, you can get the car of your dreams for less than you might expect. Use these tips for renting a c

Call around.

When it comes to renting a car, you’re going to have a lot of options. But that doesn’t mean you should just go with the first company that offers you the best deal and forget about others. To save money on your rental car, call around and ask questions to find out what rental companies offer the best deals and customer service.

  • Ask about rates from different companies: If one company has too high of a price tag or makes you feel uncomfortable when they ask too many questions, remind yourself that there are plenty more options out there and move on without regret.
  • Find out whether or not they have good customer service: You’re going to be spending time with these guys over the course of your rental period—you want them to be friendly!
  • Consider how easy it is for them to pick up/drop off cars: Some places require pre-arranging pickup dates (or even times), which can make planning difficult unless you plan ahead; other locations are open 24 hours per day so no matter what time of day or night it is when you need the vehicle—they can accommodate!

Book early, but not too early.

  • Book early, but not too early.

If you're looking to save money on a rental car, booking early is one of the best moves you can make. If your travel plans are flexible and there's no urgency to book quickly, wait until at least 30 days before your trip (ideally 60 days) before booking your car. This gives you time to do some research and ensure that the best rate will be available for what you need when it comes time to book.

However, if something changes in your itinerary—maybe an important meeting has been added or canceled—make sure that there's still time left on the reservation so that it won't automatically be cancelled by the rental agency if changed.

Ask about discounts.

Asking about discounts is one of the easiest ways to save money on a rental car. Some companies have special deals for seniors, military members, AAA members and more. And if you're renting for more than a week or even longer, you may be able to get an even better deal.

You should also ask if there are any special offers available at the location where you're picking up your car—this can sometimes result in huge savings!

Get your own insurance coverage.

If you're planning to rent a car, it's important to know that many rental companies will charge a lot more if they have to add an insurance policy on top of the cost of your rental. You can save money by getting your own insurance coverage. This is most common with renting cars in Europe, where they are required by law to provide you with third party liability protection and a collision damage waiver (CDW) when you rent from them. If this is the case for you, it may be better just to get some travel insurance online before leaving home and then take care that there is no gap between the end date on your policy and the start date of your rental agreement (so as not to void any coverage).

Seek out packages and bundles.

You may be surprised to learn that cheaper rental car packages and bundles are actually available. While this option is not highlighted on the rental car company's website, it can be found elsewhere. For example, many customers do not know about the possibility of bundling their flight and rental car together at a lower price than if they booked each separately. Another popular bundle includes putting your hotel stay with your rental car reservation or even adding on an insurance package for extra protection in case of damage or theft during your trip.

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When booking through third-party sites such as Hotwire or Expedia, check for bundled options before you complete your purchase to see if there are other ways you can save money on both your airfare and lodging!

Prepay online and choose the right car rental company.

Prepay online

If you can, the best way to save money on a rental car is by prepaying for it. You'll typically get a discount of 10% or more if you book in advance, so this is a big chunk of change that can help you get more value out of your vacation. However, some companies only offer this discount when renting for seven days or more and/or for certain types of cars (i.e., SUV vs sedan). If these cases apply to your trip, then be sure to check before booking! Choose the right car rental company

While paying online may help reduce costs overall, it's not always possible—or necessary—to use one specific company at every destination. So how do we know which company will give us the best deal? Many travel websites provide user reviews from previous customers; these are often found under each business' contact information on its website or via third party sources like TripAdvisor and Yelp . This information can be helpful if we want an unbiased opinion about whether or not another traveler would recommend using them directly - but keep in mind that these sites aren't always accurate either! It's better just googling "best [location] car rental" instead; here we'll find multiple competing websites listing different businesses offering great deals on short-term rentals where ever they're needed most - because there's no one size fits all option here either!

You can save money on a rental car if you plan ahead

There are many ways you can save money on a rental car, but the most effective one happens before you even leave home. Simply by doing some research and calling around to different rental car companies, you can get the best deal possible. In fact, with just a little bit of planning, you might even be able to bring down your costs by as much as 50%. Here are some simple tips:

  • Book early in advance – The earlier that you book your car rental reservation, the more likely it is that they will offer discounted rates or incentives (such as free upgrades). However, remember that booking too far ahead has consequences too! This means that if something comes up and causes an unexpected delay in travel plans, then there may not be any spaces left at all because everyone else beat them to it.
  • Ask about discounts or special offers – Many customers simply assume that a particular company will always have high prices when really there might only be one location offering those higher prices while everywhere else offers lower ones so long as customers know where/howto look for them first! This makes comparison shopping especially important when trying not only save money on a rental car but also find better deals elsewhere!


I hope these tips help you save some money on your next rental car.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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