Ways You’re Making Car Rental More Expensive

Renting a vehicle on your next travel excursion can be a great way to get around your new locale and save money on transportation. Unfortunately, without even realizing it, many of us make vehicle rental far more expensive than it needs to be. In fact, certain mistakes stand to make renting a car pricier than getting around via rideshare services throughout the duration of your trip. Cost-conscious travelers looking to keep car rental comfortably affordable would do well to heed the following pointers.

Refusing to Explore Your Options 

To say that vehicle rental options are abundant would be an understatement. From well-known chains to independently-operated businesses, there’s shortage of services from which to rent cars. As such, if you’ve only stuck with a single rental service and have never bothered exploring your options, there’s a good chance you’re passing up better deals. 

So, before renting your next vehicle, fire up your favorite search engine and do some research into what car rental options your travel destination has to offer. You may discover that you’ve spent a lot more on previous rentals than you needed to. In addition to reviewing the rates and policies listed on their respective websites, make a point of seeking out customer reviews for various rental services. After all, the best way to get an accurate accounting of a place’s business practices is to consult actual patrons. Fortunately, consumer feedback applications like Google Customer Reviews make conducting this research easier than ever. For instance, Georgia-bound travelers who will soon be making a trek to A-Town can benefit from “searching for “car rental Atlanta airport.

Failing to Review Insurance Policies 

There are two ways rental insurance stands to make car rentals needlessly pricey. For starters, if you already have auto insurance, there’s a good chance it provides some degree of rental coverage. As such, purchasing insurance from your preferred rental service often represents a pointless expense. 

Additionally, if your current auto insurance plan lacks rental coverage, not buying rental insurance is liable to cost you a pretty penny. Should any damage occur to the vehicle while it’s under your care, you could be looking at a heft repair bill. This is why it pays to carefully review your current policy before coming to a decision on whether or not to purchase rental insurance.  

Not Asking About Discounts 

You may be eligible to receive a large number of car rental discounts and not even realize it. For example, certain types of AAA memberships include convenient discounts on vehicle rentals. Similarly, many credit card companies provide car rental discounts to cardholders. Rental discounts are also included in quite a few travel packages. Keep in mind that in order to take advantage of these discounts, you may need to take the initiative and ask about them.  

Returning Vehicles with Depleted Fuel Supplies 

There are many reasons people fail to fill up the tank before returning rental cars. Sometimes, they’re in a huge hurry and simply don’t have the time to spare. In other cases, it’s the result of good old-fashioned human laziness. However, regardless of why you return a vehicle with its fuel supplies depleted, you can expect to be hit with a hefty fuel service fee. It’s also worth noting that these fees tend to exceed the cost of filling up at a gas station.

To avoid having to deal with such fees, take care to fill up the gas tank before returning your next rental car. If you think schedule constraints may be a problem, leave earlier than you originally intended to give yourself some extra time. You can also save a little bit of money by filling up at stations that aren’t located in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

A reliable rental car stands to make your next big trip considerably easier. Having access to a dependable vehicle ensures that you’ll be able to make your way around your new locale with ease. On the flipside, having to rely exclusively on public transit and rideshare services can be both cumbersome and costly. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways we inadvertently make renting a vehicle much pricier than it needs to be. A few seemingly inconsequential mistakes can have a huge impact on how much you pay for your next rental car. In the interest of keeping car rental affordable, steer clear of the missteps discussed above.

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.