Getting from point A to point B almost invariably requires a car, and if you're short one, the best thing to do is rent -- wisely.
- Step 1: Don't pick up or drop off your car at an airport -- it will be more expensive to do so due to taxes and fees. Try to find an in-town branch to pick up and drop off your car.
- Step 2: Become a member of their club. Rental companies often sponsor clubs that distribute valuable coupons and offer special discounts. Club membership will also help you stay current on deals and get you the best price for your car rental.
- FACT: Teenage drivers account for only 7 percent of all licensed American drivers, but are involved in 20 percent of all crashes.
- Step 3: Beware of fees like age-related surcharges, gas-fill up fees, second driver fees, and insurance fees. And decline unnecessary upgrades that can cost you more in fuel.
- Step 4: Watch out for insurance you don't need. Check your homeowners insurance and auto insurance policies to see if you're already covered.
- TIP: Look closely at the car rental companies websites. There are often links to discounts, coupons, and more.
- Step 5: Rent your vehicle during off-peak times. Rental prices are often determined by demand. For example, during the holiday season, prices go up, and weekend rates are generally cheaper than weekday rates.
- TIP: If you plan to use the car for an entire week, consider the weekly rate -- it may save money.
- Step 6: Shop online and compare prices before booking anything. Use travel booking website, or you can go directly to a car rental company's website.