This is written by Charlotte Evans.
Ground transportation at your destination often comes as an afterthought when you’re booking a trip, with flights and accommodation seen as the important parts to plan ahead. This makes sense seeing as they tend to cost a lot more. However, if you’re not careful, you can end up paying a whole lot more than you expected for your vacation, business trip or family visit transportation. Luckily, there are opportunities out there for discounts on car rentals.
You just have to know where to look…
These days it pays to plan ahead. Luckily there’s a whole range of websites available to help you find the best discounts on car rental if you’re planning to drive while you’re on vacation.
Beware of the hidden fees
It’s always a good idea to read the small print when signing on the dotted line for a rental car. Many companies will add in taxes and fees that you didn’t even know existed. Often a great deal on the surface can turn into a money pit when you delve into the detail.
Avoid the airport
Renting your ground transportation through a company based at the airport is extremely convenient… but it’s the last place that you’re going to look for finding discounts on car rental. You’ll pay extra for the luxury of stepping off the plane and into the driver’s seat. If you can, arrange your rental online or through your accommodation. Often you’ll be able to take advantage of your lodging’s shuttle service, so you really won’t encounter too much extra hassle. You also enjoy the added benefit of saving money.
Top up the tank
Another important tip in the quest for discounts on car rentals is to make sure that you top up the tank yourself when you return the car. It’s common for unsuspecting rental drivers to be hit with hefty penalties for failing to return a full tank of gas.
Go for the combination deal
You can often find discounts on car hire, as well as your hotel and flight, if you opt for a combination package. Search online for flight + car rental deals and you’re almost guaranteed to save some cash. Add your accommodation into the deal and the savings can be even greater.
Trust your instincts on insurance
The staff at rental car counters have the task of convincing you that you can’t possibly risk leaving without their expensive — and often unnecessary — insurance. To avoid the uncertainty and worry, check before you travel. Your current car insurance, travel insurance, or perhaps even credit card may already cover you.
Don’t simply sign up for the first deal you come across. Sign up for alerts on a website that follows the fluctuating prices, and search the web for discount codes and coupons. It’s time well spent.
Vacations can be expensive, but planning ahead can cut out a lot of hassle and expense. Researching and booking beforehand can make life easier for you, translating into a much more relaxing break for everyone instead of returning stressed and angry. Now go out there and grab that vacation!