Saving money when renting a car at your destination.

     A reservation at a car rental company simply secures a vehicle at a specific price upon arrival, but the non-reservation price can change before arriving without your knowledge. Check every few days or weeks after the initial reservation asking for the current rental rate for the same vehicle during the same time. You will discover the price will change constantly. If the price has increased, don’t worry you already have a reservation that locks the lower price. If the price has decreased, then secure a new reservation at the cheaper rate and cancel your initial reservation. Do not provide your airline flight information or airline frequent flyer information at the time of the reservation. Instead, provide the information when picking up your car or after the car has been returned. The reason is because some car rental companies may charge an additional airport tax since you are renting a car as a result of traveling on an airplane as opposed to picking up a car as a local resident.

     Take advantage of coupons or discounts offered which will provide a reduction in the rental price. For example: AAA® offers discounts for rental companies and will occasionally have discount coupons offering additional savings. The Entertainment Book®, credit card companies, and other membership organizations will also offer discounts and coupons. Use the discounts to your advantage.

     After making a reservation, contact another rental car company asking if they can beat the price from another company. State any discounts you think you may be eligible to claim, since there are numerous available.

     Don’t request the option for prepaying a tank of gas, even though the gas is offered at a discount when compared to the gas station prices outside the airport. The reason is because you will be charged for a full tank of gas even though you may return the car with half a tank. There is no way you are going to be able to gauge when all the gas will be used in the rental car particularly when you can't gauge the same for your own car you've been driving for years. Fill the car at a gas station before returning the car. Don’t be frightened by the car rental agent stating the nearest gas station is 30 miles away. When filling the tank, top off the gas tank near the top allowing you to travel upwards to 50 miles or more before the gas tank will pass the FULL mark. The nearest gas station to the airport is typically the most expensive. Drive a couple of blocks farther to find a gas station offering prices up to $.10 per gallon cheaper.

     The car insurance purchased through a car rental company is usually unnecessary. Check with your car insurance agency to find out if they cover rental cars. Also, check if the credit card holding your reservation provides coverage as part of the card's service. Don’t pay for the same insurance coverage twice!

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