How To Save Money on Car Rentals

how to save money on car rentals

An Guide To Save Money On Car Rentals

With four small kids, four big car seats and four kids’ worth of stuff to bring everywhere we go, we don’t do a lot of road trips. Also, I don’t love road trips. We travel often, and we take our kids much of time, but we fly. However, that leaves us with a small problem when we reach our destination; we need to rent a car. It’s always been something we’ve taken for granted since we had no kids, then one child, then a second child and we were always able to just rent any SUV or sedan and never worry about space. Then the twins came and that fourth baby really was a game changer – we have to have an extra long SUV everywhere we go.

We have to have it for the space and we have to have it for the luggage we bring with us. We don’t mind, but we don’t love paying for it. Driving one of my own, I already know this, but it kills me to rent one and spend over $1000 on a rental car for less than a week. However, that’s life for us with these kids. That’s why I’ve become a self-proclaimed car rental expert. I can find a rental that’s far less expensive than any others without much effort, and I’m going to share with you how to do the same.

Book Rental Cars Early

I’ve found that the further in advance we book a rental car, the more we save. When I need one last minute, it’s always a bit more expensive than it is when we book well in advance. Last minute trips can be more expensive for a rental, so I book as soon as we know when we are going and when we are departing. It’s saved me hundreds in the past.

Bid on a Car Rental

Several times I have used Priceline to bid on a rental car. I just enter the airport where we land and depart, the type of vehicle I want and then I tell them how much I want to pay. I’ve sometimes gotten the SUV we need for as little as half price. It’s easy since you don’t care which rental agency it comes from since they’re all in the same location as it is.

Pay For A Car Rental In Advance

When I find the best price, I pay in advance. There are several car rental agencies that will do this for you, allowing you to save significantly. It’s easy, and you know what you are getting and there is a guarantee that you will get it when you land.

Skip The Car Rental Insurance

Did you know that your car insurance policy very likely already covers the cost of rental car insurance, too? Check with your company to be sure and learn to skip the rental insurance when it is offered to you.

Don’t Sign Up For The Car Rental GPS

If you have a cell phone, you don’t need to rent a GPS unit. If you have car seats and you’re traveling with kids, did you know you can check them free of charge rather than paying everyday to rent one? These little things are big savers when it comes to car rentals.

Photo Credit – Getty Images