Renting a car through a rental agency is a great way to secure transportation during your vacation or business trip. Most people are happy to pay the charges for their rental car, but these fees may seem monstrous if you are on a budget. Thankfully, you can lower the costs of your vehicle by avoiding some of the common mistakes that renters usually make. Read through some of the mistakes below and learn how you can keep your rental vehicle costs as manageable as possible.
Mistake #1 – Renting a Car at the Airport
You need to make a multitude of arrangements when you go on vacation. You must find a flight, a hotel, and you also need to plan your activities. Most people know that they can deal with rental car arrangements when they arrive at their destination, but securing a vehicle at the airport can increase your costs substantially. Your costs are increased, because the vehicle business must rent space at the airport and these costs are passed on to consumers in the form of taxes and higher daily rental rates. In some cases, daily tax rates can exceed $20.
Also, when you rent a car at the last minute, the car rental facility may not have inexpensive compact cars available. This is especially true if you are renting a car during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday season or if you have chosen to travel during spring break. If cheap cars are not available, you will be asked to choose a luxury vehicle that is far more expensive than a sedan.
Rent in Advance or Find an Off-site Business
If you want to save yourself some money, consider renting your car in advance and picking it up at the airport when you arrive. This will help to cut down on tax rates. You can also look for a rental business with a lot a mile or two away from the airport. These rental businesses such as Jamieson Rentals are generally much cheaper than airport facilities, because you are not paying for the easy rental convenience. Both taxi cabs and shuttles can transport you to the rental business. You will need to pay the taxi driver, but the costs will be far less than your overall rental car savings.
When you arrive at the rental company, rent your car for the duration of your trip even if you do not need the vehicle for the full one or two weeks of your vacation. Typically, daily rates are reduced significantly the longer you rent your car. This means that overall fees may be similar for a five day rental as they are for a seven to ten day rental.
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Mistake #2 – Purchasing Rental Car Insurance
Contact Your Auto Insurance Company
It is always wise to make sure that every vehicle you drive is fully covered in case of an accident or theft. This does not mean that you need to purchase rental car insurance though, because you may already be covered. Many auto insurance companies offer basic damage coverage on rental cars, so check with your insurance carrier to find out if this is the case before you rent your car.
Speak With Your Credit Card Company
Some credit card companies also offer insurance protection as long as you use the card to rent your vehicle. If you are planning on using your credit card to pay for your rental car, contact the company beforehand to see if they offer protection. The credit card company will offer either primary or secondary coverage, and you should be aware of the coverage type before you rent your car. Primary insurance covers the vehicle repair costs directly while secondary insurance covers expenses that are not paid for by your automotive or rental insurance.
Consider Travelers Insurance
Securing travelers insurance is another good way to make sure your rental car is covered in case of an accident. Travelers insurance covers rental car and personal property damage and it also offers protection against medical expenses and legal costs. This means that the insurance covers much more than rental car insurance and you can tailor an inexpensive plan to your needs. Also, you only need to pay for the insurance during your trip.
Renting a car is often necessary if you need to travel around a large city during your vacation. You do not want to pay too much for your car though, and this means you need to avoid airport rentals and you should consider skipping the rental car insurance.