Whether you are on a business trip or vacation, renting a car is cheaper than buying one. However, finding a good deal on a car renting website sometime is difficult. Plus, there are many car renting companies out there that can confuse you. The advantage of renting a car is that you can drive different cars and choose the one that best serves your needs. The car renting websites have different rates depending on how long you need the car. In this article, I will share the 20 cheapest ways to rent a car in 2022.
20. Assessing the Type of Car You Will Need for Your Trip
You will need to thoroughly assess your trip to determine how much room you will need. Besides the room, you need to know how many people will join you on the trip. These two aspects will help you know the type of car you will need to rent.
Some car renting companies offer great deals for family cars and solo trip cars. However, some renting agents may try to upsell their luxurious cars to you; do not fall for their trap. Choose an economical car that will save you money to do other things.
19. Using Your Toll Road Transponder and GPS Instead of the car renting company
Did you know you are allowed to rent both the toll road transporter and GPS from the car company? However, they both have a daily fee. But if you have a smartphone, you skip renting the GPS. This is because you can access Google Maps, and you will be saving $ 15 daily.
The transponder costs up to $25 daily, depending on the different charges in each state. Therefore if you find yourself in a toll-heavy region, consider buying an EZ Pass at a store. Its cost will be $25. However, the advantage is that you will use it as often as you want.
18. Comparing the Weekdays and Weekend Rates from Different Companies
There are car renting companies that charge less for weekends and more on weekdays. In other companies, renting a car for a week rather than four working days is cheaper. According to Scotts Cheap Flights, business trips happen on weekdays, making renting expensive a car on weekdays.
Therefore if you are planning to rent a car, the weekend deals are the best if you can reschedule. If the car rental company charges more for renting a car for four days than a week. Choose the week option to save your money. Ensure you check with the company, so you are not charged extra fees for returning the car early.
17. You Should Avoid Renting Cars at the Airport
Car renting companies take advantage of their convenience and charge you an extra 10% to 30% fee. To save money, take a cab and go to the various car rental companies for a better deal. You can opt to stay in the airport hotel as you search for the best deals for rental cars.
You can compare the pickup locations and the charges you will incur. Most rental companies have good deals if you intend to use the car for a long period. Therefore do due diligence to ensure it is a legit company and their terms and conditions favor you.
16. Utilizing the Deal Finder Websites to Find Cheaper Rates
Online travel aggregator websites such as Expedia and Kayak are known for comparing the rates of hotels and air travel. However, you do not know that these websites can help you find car rental deals. Their websites easily toggle between the various search functions and filters to find the best deal.
You can set various calendar parameters to find the cheapest deals if you have flexible travel dates. It will also help you to know which specific dates the car rental company offers cheap rates. With this information, planning your trip at a lesser cost will be easy.
15. Consider Leasing the Car Instead of Renting if it is for Long-Term Use
Car rental companies offer better deals if you plan to use the car for the long term. It can be a month or more. Therefore some companies will give you better leasing rates than renting. According to Trends and Tactics, the leases comprise roadside assistance and maintenance.
So, you will not have to worry about repairs that can make you stranded on your trips. Some leases allow an extension if you are unsure how long you will use the vehicle. Other companies will charge you the same rate if you extend the lease.
14. Searching for Discount Codes and Coupons on Various Sites
You can search for coupons and discount codes for car rentals. It is not different from any other online purchase you are used to making. You will find various deals, such as $25 off for every rental amount. You may get a free day if you book the car for the whole week.
You can check out their weekend deals; they are the cheapest. This is because on weekends a few people rent cars compared weekends. You must keep checking the coupons and discount codes because they keep changing with time. This will help you make a reservation on time.
13. Do Not Pay Insurance for the Car That You Want to Rent
Most rental car companies will try to lure you into paying for their insurance. Paying for their insurance will add cost to the total amount you will pay. Therefore, do not buy their insurance if you want the total cost to be less.
You can check with your credit card companies to avoid the extra fees. They normally have free insurance. You can check your existing car insurance; to see if it extends rental cars. Therefore call them to confirm.
12. Stick to a single Driver during Your Trip to Keep the Cost Down
When you are traveling, you need to check the cost that comes with a driver. The best way is to stick to a single driver. If you decide to add an extra driver, you will be incurring an additional cost of $13 daily. According to Current School News, some companies waive the driver’s fee for spouses provided the addresses on the driver’s licenses match.
You can also avoid the fee by being in a loyalty program. The fee is normally waived if you have an immediate family member in the program. Or you can book using your company or organization account for the fee to be waived.
11. Paying Upfront to Get the Best Discounts on Rental Cars
Paying upfront will get you the best discount on a rental car. The discount can be as high as 35% of the total amount. Most rental car companies do not offer a refund when paying upfront. Therefore, you must be sure you need the car on the dates indicated on your reservation.
Paying upfront increases your chances of getting more discounts in the future. Most of the time, these companies will keep you posted on the various coupons and discounts. Other rental car companies go to the extent of designing different discounts for their customers depending on your regularity.
10. Returning the Rental Car Early to get Lower Rates
If you want to get the cheapest trick, you must use this trick. But you will have to check with the various rental car companies to ensure you get a refund. Some other rental companies will charge you extra for returning the car early.
To get a lower rate, make a long reservation, including a weekend. The best thing about weekends is they have even lower rates. Therefore you can return the car early and get your pro-rated refund. Unfortunately, some companies like Hertz will make you spend more for returning the car early.
9. Do not accept the Prepaid Gas Being Offered By the Rental Car Companies
Most of these car companies have higher prepaid gas prices than normal ones. The price is normally 10% to 25%. Therefore you have to check their terms to ensure you do not incur this extra cost. According to nerdwallet, you can use GasBuddy to compare fuel prices with the rental car company.
Therefore the best way to save money is to fuel the car yourself. Some companies allow you to return the car when it is half full, provided you buy their prepaid gas. However, do not fall for this trick, buying your gas to save some money.
8. Avoid Renting a Car during Weekdays, Especially on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid renting a car on these three days. However, if you can avoid renting a car on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday you will save some money. Renting car companies make a lot of money during these three days.
Therefore if you can balance your travel to ensure you travel during the week, you spend less. Other expenses like accommodation and flights will also be cheaper. If you want reduced rates, book a car from Friday to Sunday, and you will get the best rates.
7. Allow the Oldest Person in Your Group to Drive the Car to Get Cheaper Rates
Many car rental companies charge people extra if the individual driving the car is under 30 0r 25. These companies consider young drivers a liability and are incapable of taking care of their cars. This is why they charge extra in case something happens to the car.
Therefore if in your group of friends you have someone who is 30 years and above, let them drive. At least way you will be charged less, and you will get to save some money. Some companies even charge based on your years of experience in driving vehicles. The more experience you have, the less you will pay.
6. You Can Decide to Rent someone’s Car Using Turo Website
Turo allows people to hire personal cars of other people and use them at a lower price. You have to be eighteen to sign up on the website. The entrance of Turo into the market has disrupted the dynamics of car renting. According to insider, the price rate varies depending on the model of the car, location, and the make.
The various add- ons you want in the car will increase the price. They include adding insurance or the owner driving the car to your location. Some renting companies’ cheapest rate starts at $25 daily; however, some owners even offer lower than that. Some owners also have long-term discounts.
5. Looking for a Package that Includes a Hotel, a Flight, and a Rental Car
If you plan to go for a vacation, such packages will save you a lot of money. Some websites offer the three elements as a package, especially if you are vacationing. You need to check your options and see if booking these three elements will be cheaper or more expensive.
The three elements in one package offer the cheapest rate. You will find that overall you have saved money from each element. Websites like Expedia or Orbitz.com can help you look for such packages.
4. Use the Rewards in Your Credit Cards to Book the Cheapest Rental Car
There are credit companies that give their customers points for flight reservations, hotel, car reservations, and regular purchases. The best way to get the cheapest rental car is to use the accumulated points.
Therefore spending money will save you money in the long term. However, not all credit companies have this offer, only a few. They include the Chase Sapphire (Preferred Card) and the Capital one (Venture Reward Card).
3. Renting from the Local Firm instead of Renting from the Big Companies
Many car companies are in the renting business, and some have become big players in the industry. You might think that these big car renting companies have the best deals. However, you will be surprised to find the local renting firm has better deals. According to which, local firms are cheaper because they have lesser overheads and offices in cheap locations.
The big companies charge more expensive because of their convenience. These companies have offices all over the world to cater to their different clients in various locations. Therefore keep your options open and always use the local firms to rent a car if available.
2. Book Your Rental Car Early to Get the Cheapest Rates
You must book the car early if you want to rent at the lowest price. For example, you may book the car four to eight weeks prior to your trip. This will help you secure the best rental car deal and save money for your trip.
However, if you book on the last day before your trip, you will be charged more. The laws of supply and demand govern the car renting market. Therefore booking ahead of time allows you to check if the prices will keep falling or remain constant.
1. Adjust Your Drop-off and Pick-Up Times to get Lower Cost
Saving yourself from incurring extra costs, ensure you return the rental car on time. If you do not adhere to the time, you will drop off the car late, and you will be charged additional costs. Some companies will charge you extra for late pickups.
You can experience cheap rates by returning the rental car one hour before your flight. Do not be caught up in the last minutes rush that will make you be charged an extra fee. Learn to avoid extreme early pickups and late drop-offs to get a cheap deal.