Cheapest Way To Rent a Car
You need to rent a car but don’t want to spend so much cash that you end up not being able to enjoy your vacation or feel like you were gouged at the rental desk. Good news: there are some cheap ways to rent a car, although it usually involves combining several strategies together to get the best deal.
Today, let’s break down the cheapest way to rent a car and get great rental deals, whether you choose to rent with Advantage or any other rental car company in your area.
Reserve Your Car Ahead of Time
For starters, you may be able to save yourself some serious cash if you reserve your car for pickup ahead of time. This is very company-dependent, but many car rental agencies will charge you extra fees in addition to rental prices if you try to rent a car on the day that you need it.
Why? Because it’s a little less convenient for the car rental company since they’ll have to update their books quickly and may have to move their vehicles around to get you the car you want.
If you try to reserve a vehicle ahead of schedule, the rental car company will have an easier time fulfilling your request, and may offer you lower rental rates. As an added bonus, renting your car ahead of time will be easier and more convenient for you as well!
For example, you plan where to park for cheap, how long you’ll have the car for, and other factors that could cut down on your overall costs significantly.
Join a Company’s Membership Program
If you have a car rental company you tend to go with more often than not, it might be a good investment to join their membership or loyalty program.
Rental company programs usually charge you a monthly or annual fee. In exchange, you may see several benefits:
- Priority access to special cars in the company’s fleet or lots
- Special rewards or bonuses
- Flexibility regarding late fees or other charges
- Cheaper rates when renting cars, especially for longer periods of time
If you rent cars from one company over and over, it might be cheaper, in the long run, to upgrade with a membership program and take advantage of the discounted daily fee. However, if you only occasionally rent a car, joining a membership program may not be the most budget-friendly idea.
Choose a Discount Brand
There’s no denying that some rental locations are more expensive than others. These include Enterprise, Hertz, and so on. But on the other hand, there are plenty of discounted convenience brands including Advantage Rent a Car, which have cheaper than average rates while still maintaining excellent and varied fleets of affordable, top-tier vehicles.
Choosing a discount car-rental brand could save you quite a bit of cash, especially if you compare the daily rates from these companies to the rates of their direct competitors. Discount brands don’t have major downsides that come with the lower rate, despite what their competition may have you think!
For example, Advantage renters in Colorado can usually secure a rental car for less than $50 per day. That’s incredibly affordable compared to the $100+ rates you might find at other rental agencies.
Bottom line: take a hard look at the actual costs of car rental companies before signing on the dotted line so you can get the best price.
Choose an Economy Vehicle
Next, carefully consider the vehicle you drive. Economy vehicles, which are those designed for endurance driving or for excellent gas mileage, are usually cheaper in two ways:
- They are cheaper when you sign them out of the lot
- They are cheaper in gas prices
If you have to drive a significant distance, and through tolls, to get to your destination, non-economy vehicles may be much more expensive than economy vehicles because their gas prices will simply add up over time. In contrast, economy vehicles can be a cheap car rental that will give you much better gas mileage, and they may even take more affordable types of gas instead of pricier gas.The best car doesn’t need to have extras like a navigation system or GPS, so if all you need is a satellite radio, the priceline of an economy vehicle may be for you.
The reverse is true for sports cars, luxury vehicles, and other more expensive rides. So if you really want to cut down on costs and rent a car as cheaply as possible, go for an economy vehicle for your next road trip. Odds are you’ll be able to find a quality economy vehicle at Advantage or any other rental agency you go with.
Assign One Driver to Your Reservation
Furthermore, you can rent a car on the cheap by only assigning one driver to your reservation rather than adding an additional driver.
The vast majority of car rental companies will charge you an extra fee if you have more than one driver assigned to the car. That’s because they have to take on more liability for any accidents and may have to accept additional insurance coverage if multiple people reserve a vehicle.
If only a single driver reserves the vehicle, the rental company takes on less risk, so you won’t have to pay the extra fee.
If you are traveling with one or more companions, figure out who plans to rent a car and who will be doing all the driving. Keep in mind, as well, that if you only sign a single driver to your reservation contract, another person driving the car could technically be illegal and may result in very high fees if you are caught.
Use Personal Car Insurance
Last but not least, another getaround to save money when renting a car by using personal car insurance. To rent a car cheaply, use your personal insurance policy for your rental vehicle and make sure that it has coverage for rental accidents and costs before signing a rental contract.
All car rental companies will provide you with some add-ons for extra insurance, but you won’t need this extra fee if you already have insurance under your name. However, it could still be a good idea to take a look at the ancillary insurance policies offered by your rental company, such as personal effects protection or a collision damage waiver.
Additionally, never drive a rental vehicle without insurance of some type. While you might think you are saving money by driving without insurance, you’ll quickly discover the truth if you are ever in an accident or if your rental vehicle sustained damage.
If you don’t have insurance and your rental vehicle is damaged, you’ll be on the hook for any costs incurred by that accident, whether it is just a couple of hundred dollars or several thousand dollars in total.
As you can see, the cheapest way to rent a car is to think about your rental plan ahead of time and to reserve your one-way car rental before you need it. That decision, in conjunction with the above tips, will ensure that you get the best rates for your rental vehicle, whether you need to rent it for a single day or several weeks while your personal vehicle is being repaired.
Want to make sure you get excellent prices for quality vehicles? In that case, Advantage Rent a Car is here for you. We offer an affordable fleet of one-way rental cars that car owners can pick up at many of the most important airports, helping you get where you need to go quickly and affordably. Check out our rental vehicle fleet and contact us today to reserve your car!