Road trip season is upon us, and for many travelers, that means negotiating the ins and outs of the rental car contract. From rewards programs to selecting the best pick-up location, there are numerous ways you can save money on your next car rental.
Follow these five money-saving tips for keeping you on the road this summer.
1. Show Your Loyalty: Many companies offer loyalty clubs where members receive certain perks and privileges. For example, Hertz has several tiers of its Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® program, in which members enjoy special benefits and additional savings.
2. Determine Your Needs: Determine ahead of time what ‘extras’ you may need and do the math to make sure the costs fit within your budget. Items to consider:
- Car Size: Consider the size of the car you are renting. Do you really need a larger car?
- Car Seats: If you’ll be traveling with children, you can save money by providing your own child safety seat.
- Insurance: Contact your insurance company to verify that your policy covers rental cars; bring your insurance card with you. Also, contact your credit card company to see if using their card provides coverage.
- Parking: Take into consideration parking once you have the car – does your hotel charge parking fees? Are there other parking alternatives close to the hotel?
- Navigation System, Satellite Radio, etc.: Consider additional extras and the cost.
3. Understand the Rental Conditions: Is there a penalty for no-shows? How much are you charged if the car is returned late? Is there a fee for additional drivers and do their names have to be listed in the contract?
4. Airport vs. Off Airport Rental Locations: Determine if it’s easier/more cost effective for you to rent a car at the airport, or at an off-airport location. Many times you can rent a car close to your hotel and you can conveniently arrange a hotel shuttle or public transportation from airport to front desk.
5. Rental Timing: Determine how long you need a rental—sometimes a weekly rate can provide savings vs. shorter rentals. Also, consider pick-up dates for the car—sometimes weekday rates can provide cost savings. Hence, try a number of combinations when selecting your rental period.
For more information, visit www.hertz.com/nar.