Tips to Save Money on a Vacation Car Rental

Christy | 12:10 AM |

Once your vacation destination and dates are set, it is time to arrange some of the smaller details of vacation planning so that sufficient money can be budgeted to take care of every aspect of the trip. One way to reduce the amount spent is to take great care in booking a vacation rental car. Because of the fierce competition between the many rental car agencies, getting a good deal may be relatively easy although it may take some time and research. The following information may be useful in helping you to save money on vacation rental car fees:

Compare Prices

Spend some time doing online research and then call major carriers to see if they are offering any special deals. Then, ask questions. Ask whether renting a basic car without any frills such as a GPS will be cheaper than renting one with luxury features. Ask whether discounts are offered for particular groups, such as seniors or AAA members. Question the representative about special pricing that may be connected to certain credit cards or days of the week. During these calls, be sure to mention prices that have been quoted by other rental companies and ask for a better price.

Read the Fine Print

The contracts that must be signed to get a vacation rental car may be long and tedious, but those who read them could save money in the long run. For example, some contracts specify that returning a rental car even a few minutes after the deadline adds an additional day’s cost and arriving late for the pick-up may cost extra as well. Other contracts charge for rental car insurance, but many consumers are already covered for a rental under their own personal automobile insurance. These small additional charges can make a big difference in the overall price of a vacation rental car so it is always best to take the time to know what the contract says and question add-on fees.

Examine the Vehicle Carefully

Before taking off in a vacation rental car, it is best to inspect it carefully and record evidence of any visible damage. In fact, in this age of cell phone photography, it might be a good idea to snap a picture of any surface scratches, bangs, or dents. If this seems too much trouble, at least have the agent note any damages before the car leaves the lot. This will prevent any additional charges from being added to the bill for damages that were done by a previous driver.

Other ways that tourists save on rental cars is by booking their car as early as possible and using coupons to bring down the cost. These can be found either online or in area papers and tourist booklets. Some tourists have found that hotel concierges can be helpful in locating the lowest prices on vacation car rentals as well.

By taking the time to research prices and read the small print, it is possible to get a rental car for less, leaving more money to spend on fun vacation activities.

This is a guest post from Charlotte Fletcher, who writes on behalf of, a site that compares car insurance prices and has tips for driving in the UK.

Image courtesy of artemisphoto /

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