- Tim Spafford
Actionable Tips for Reducing Car Rental Costs
Vacations are meant to be fun. You can share amazing moments with your family and friends while unwinding from everyday stress. However, they too can be a source of stress, especially when you spend beyond your budget. In fact, 4 in 10 budget-conscious travellers who set their budget using the Mint personal finance app ended up spending more than they had planned for.
Worst of all, the extra cash spent mostly comes from unaccounted for expenses such as Wi-Fi and gym fees. Lucky for you, choosing to rent a car (or even a camper van from somewhere like Rent.is) instead of using public transport can be a great way to cut the cost of travelling. Even better, it can be pretty easy to lower the cost of renting the car, freeing up some cash for the unexpected expenses you incur.
Here is why renting is a convenient option and how to reduce the cost of renting a vehicle:
Why You Should Rent
As long as you possess the necessary driving skills, renting a car both locally and internationally, can be a cheap option. Of course, you will need to meet the threshold requirements for driving in a foreign country to rent a car. If you choose to rent, you will pay a fraction of the cost that you would have paid as a group for public transport fare.
Also, the car depreciation cost that comes with driving for long distances will be transferred to the rental car, instead of your own car, that is if you are weighing between renting and driving your own vehicle. As long as you can choose an efficient car, you can also save on fuel. As for comfort, renting a car is a great choice as it allows you to control all aspects of the trip, unlike public transport. You get to control the radio, the number of stops you can make, and the sites that you can see during the limited travel time you have.
Watch Out For Insurance Loopholes
If you are looking to make renting a car even cheaper, be wise when it comes to insurance costs. Most rental car companies offer insurance coverage to their customers, which can, at times, be at a higher rate than what is in the market. Some companies might also fail to cover certain aspects of the vehicle, leaving you in charge of offsetting damage costs.
The good thing is that credit card, travel insurance, and personal car insurance companies might, at times, offer enough rental car coverage for you during your trip. However, you should read the fine print of these insurance policies to ensure that you are getting optimal coverage. In other cases, you can look for companies that offer car rental insurance at a fraction of the cost of these rental companies, without skipping the necessary coverage aspects.
Use Lesser-Known Rental Companies
If you don’t care much about the rental car brands, then it might be cheaper to rent from lesser-known brands. Most of these brands offer discounts to their customers as incentives. In fact, some might also offer better services to ensure that they can keep up with well-known brands.
Some of the brands require you to be a member to access their members-only discounts, which might be worth the try. However, be sure to research the company and read online reviews to understand what you are getting into, especially when renting a car abroad.
Consider Prepaying For the Rental Car
Nowadays, car rental companies are offering discounts for renters who prepay for their cars. On the flip side, prepaying is budget-friendly, as it eliminates the chances of getting surprised by high car rental rates at the last minute. Most companies also make cancellation free for a specified period.
Every penny you use during your vacation should go into making the experience amazing enough. Individually, the tips above might shed off a significant amount from your budget, and their impact can be even bigger when combined. Consider using the tips above to increase the chances of sticking to your budget.