Top rental car tips to save money and travel with no stress

rental-cars-save-money-top-tipsPeople rented cars not only for the purpose of vacation transportation. These days, things have changed. Airport rentals have historically been the main revenue driver, but that segment has remained virtually flat over the past decade and a half; the industry’s growth is due almost entirely to the explosion of the renting from a neighborhood location. People are wiser when renting a vehicle, that’s why today we are going to underline some rental car tips to save money and travel with no stress.

Those renting from neighborhood locations do so for different reasons. Some need an extra-large truck for that move across town, some need a truck for a cross-country family road trip or a weekend of furniture shopping. And others crave a glamorous car for a funny night out. Whether you’re an airport renter or a home-city renter, there are some good tips that you can consider to saving money and stress.

Few tips to save money and stress when renting a vehicle

As is the case with many purchases, you’ll usually find the best rates on the Internet. Buying online will afford you the luxury of seeing what rates look like on any vehicle your heart desires. Many companies offer special discounts to people who rent online. Rates will obviously vary from company to company, depending on vehicle availability, location and other factors.

But rates aren’t the only variable to consider. Consider hours of operation, for example; some companies may close earlier on weekends. Depending on your schedule, this might be a crucial issue for you. Rates are typically cheaper on weekends. If you’ve got some flexibility with your rental arrangements, opt for weekend rental, you could save money.

weekWeekend rates are great, but weekly rates are usually the best of all.

That same car could be rented on a weekly basis saving of more than 30 percent if you used the vehicle for all seven days, and more than 10 percent if you returned it after five days. If you plan on using the vehicle for five days or more, choose the weekly rate.

Check your policy or call your insurance agent to verify coverage before signing up for a vehicle. Book on time: the early bird really does get the worm, and he usually gets it much cheaper than everyone else. Rates depend on how many vehicles the company has on the lot at the time the rental is made, so sooner is better.

gas-64Reserve your car at least a week in advance. Typically, renters have two choices when it comes to fuel: you can pay for a full tank of gas in advance and bring the vehicle back empty (or less than full), or you can opt to refuel it yourself just before returning it.

Rental car companies suggest that paying in advance will add convenience and that the low rates offered will save you money. Well, they’re right on the first part but wrong on the second. Paying in advance is an added convenience; if you want to save yourself the hassle of a trip to the gas station or avoid a last-minute rush when you’re trying to make a plane, pay away.

But unless you plan on using the entire tank of gas, prepaying will cause you to pay for more fuel than you’ve actually consumed. From a financial standpoint, prepaying is a bad idea unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll use the full tank.

van-64Sometimes, rental car companies will offer free upgrades to larger vehicles. They do this mainly because compacts tend to be in high demand. This sort of upgrade may seem like a great deal for you, the renter. If having a larger vehicle will genuinely enhance your rental experience, then take the upgrade. But if you have no real need for the extra space, it’s cheaper to decline.

Larger vehicles burn more gas. Picking up a rental car at the Airport can be more expensive due to taxes and fees, but you will gain comfort and time. If you just want to save money when you rent a car, try looking at nearby neighborhood locations.