Car rental tips to avoid breaking the bank
Car rental is a big consideration when you are travelling on business or holidays and it seems a fairly simple activity to follow. But like most transactions in today’s modern world, it can be fraught with pitfalls and you have to be careful when going through this process. This article picks it way through these issues and offers a few useful tips along the way.
Misconceptions – The Mother Of Mistakes
Assuming that car rental rates are fairly uniform is an expensive mistake to make, because they can be very different depending on where you hire your car from. Before you go abroad, how much time do you spend looking at the best possible deals for your flights and hotel rooms?
You demand the best bang for your hard earned buck, and you deserve it. So why do you just tend to take the first car hire deal that you come across? You should use a money comparison website to select the best deals, and they allow you to change the vehicle specification until you have the perfect match.
Once you have the best deal, don’t be too lazy to wander over to the service provider site and see if they have any special offers going on.
Read The Small Print – Buyer Beware
Rental car companies are notorious for adding on a whole host of extras to the original price, the information is all there in the contract, but you really need to search for it. They will happily punish the unobservant amongst us, and they do it with a big smile! If you decide to cancel your pre-booked arrangement, please read the conditions first.
Many car rental places offer a big fat zero refund when you cancel. When you hire a car on the weekend, you are probably attracting a nice mark up, up to 25 per cent in some cases. Sometimes an extra day can bump the total price up by over 40 per cent!
Hiring a car at the airport seems like a very convenient way to continue your onward journey in style, but there is sometimes a nasty catch. Compare the airport hire charges with other depots and the price hike can sometimes be rather alarming.
An airport fee is usually added and this is not a welcome addition. You can often use a free airport shuttle to ferry you to the downtown office, try this if you are interested in saving a few dollars. If you have just crawled off the plane after an arduous long haul flight, the airport option makes more sense though.
Car Rental Insurance
Most travellers are aware of this fact, but it never gets too old to remind everyone. When you are offered extra insurance at the booking desk, you should decline politely. If you have booked the car on your credit card, the card company will usually cover you for any accidents.
The extra insurance can easily increase the hire price by over 50 per cent. Just check with your card company before you heed this advice. Your own motor vehicle insurance may cover you as well – just check first.
Author – Josh Hart works for europcarparking.com.au, a firm providing budget airport parking. He is a voracious reader and a travel bug. Writing is his hobby and is a regular feature on many blogging sites.