After being cooped up for so long, scores of people are heading out on vacation. However, when booking a rental car, many are greeted with the shock of high prices. Like many other things these days, rental cars are expensive. However, there is a remedy for this financial hit. Try these three secret tips to get a cheaper rental car rate.
Try lesser-known aggregator sites to get a cheaper rental car rate
Car rental sign | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The first tip to getting a cheaper rental car rate is to try your luck on a lesser-known aggregator site. Often, the most expensive rates are the ones on your car rental company’s site. However, an aggregator site might offer a better deal.
A good one is Costco Travel, which frequently has lower rental car rates than the major online agencies. Another one is AAA, which has specials for Hertz rentals. However, to access these deals, a membership is required.
If it doesn’t matter which company you rent a vehicle from, then consider sites such as Hotwire and Priceline. Both of the sites offer significant discounts. However, Hotwire and Priceline don’t show the name of the rental agency until a customer makes a nonrefundable purchase, as detailed by Travel + Leisure. Another site that’s worth checking out is AutoSlash, which provides the best price by searching through a database of coupons.
Sidestep hidden fees on your next car rental
Budget Car and Truck Rental | Tim Boyle/Getty Images
The second tip for getting a cheaper car rental rate is to sidestep hidden fees. This includes fees for collecting frequent-flier miles, satellite radio, and a toll transponder. Another one is for a GPS navigation system. Instead of paying extra for a GPS navigation system, most people can just use their smartphone.
Also, many rental car companies will price their vehicle in unusual ways. This includes charging extra for vehicles that are rented at the airport — due to added fees and taxes. To avoid this extra cost, you can rent a car from an off-airport location.
Avoid paying extra for car insurance
The third tip for getting a cheaper car rental rate is to avoid paying extra for insurance. In most cases, your personal car insurance should provide coverage for your rental car. Your credit card or travel insurance might provide coverage as well.
To avoid paying extra for car insurance, read the fine print in the contract before you rent a vehicle. Doing so could result in savings of $15 to $25 per day. Also, be sure to bring along your proof of insurance coverage. Many car rental companies will ask for proof of coverage before you can drive the vehicle.
Also, if you don’t have coverage for a rental car with your personal car insurance, a credit card, or travel insurance, then, as an alternative, head to a site like Insuremyrentalcar. You can get a stand-alone insurance policy that usually costs significantly less than what you’ll be charged by a rental car company.
If you’re looking to pay less for a rental car, then try the three secret tips. Get a cheaper rate by booking a vehicle on a lesser-known aggregator site, sidestepping hiding fees, and avoiding paying extra for car insurance.