Category Archives: Car Rental Tips

AAA Projects Lower Rental Car Rates for Labor Day Travel

According to a report from AAA, there is some good news if you are planning to rent a car for your Labor Day travels. AAA projects that the average weekend rental car rate over Labor Day will average $43, which represents a drop of about seven percent from last year. AAA also says it expects more people to drive to their destination rather than fly, likely due to the rising cost of air travel. As always, gas prices are also expected to impact travel plans.

“AAA is projecting a decrease in the number of Labor Day travelers as some Americans react to recent economic uncertainty and increasing air fares,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. “While automobile travel is expected to increase slightly, if recent declines in gasoline prices continue through Labor Day, we could see an increase in last-minute holiday weekend travel.”

The combination of falling gas prices and falling rental car rates makes Labor Day the perfect time to take one last trip before summer is gone. You can check the lowest Labor Day rental car rates at RentACarNow.com.

10 Ways to Save Money When Renting a Car

Planning to hit the road this Labor Day weekend? So are most vacation-minded Americans: AAA estimates 27.3 million people will travel by car for this last end-of-summer weekend. Want to save even more money on your trip? Whether you’re connecting to your destination after a flight or forgoing planes and trains in favor of the open road, RentACarNow.com has a list of crucial tips for motorists looking to save cash when renting a car — and avoid costly mistakes at the rental-car counter.

1. Don’t miss out on discount codes and special deals.

You might already be eligible for a rental car discount and not even know it. AARP or AAA members can often get a discount of 10% or more, and government employees or members of the military are also eligible for reductions in price. Before you rent, be sure to check major rental car companies’ websites and look for their current special discounts.

2. Don’t supersize your rental car.

The thought of driving down the highway in a luxury vehicle, pricey convertible, or giant SUV can be tempting, but resist, especially when a rental-car employee tries to upsell you to a nicer vehicle. Remember those few extra dollars a day, plus the extra taxes and fees, can easily add up to a nice chunk of change over the entire rental period. Plus, renting a larger car than you really need, means paying more for gas — not to mention having a harder time squeezing into parking spots.

3. Secure your car early, but also check for last-minute deals.

Unlike airfare, it’s generally quick and easy to cancel a rental car reservation and rebook it without penalty. That wiggle room can save you major bucks: Reserve your rental car as early as possible, even if you’re not totally sure of your exact travel dates. Then, as your vacation approaches, check online to see if rates have changed. If you find a better deal, call and see if you can cancel your existing reservation and make a new reservation at the lower rate.

4. Book off-airport rental cars.

Renting a car at the airport is convenient, but it often comes with the added expense of airport rental-car taxes and extra fees. When booking a car in your hometown, it can be a smart financial move to rent from a neighborhood location instead of at the airport. Compare the cost of each option, including all fees and taxes. If you find a cheaper rate away from the airport, you can often take a free shuttle or a short taxi ride there and save big money.

5. Check for unlimited mileage.

If you plan to drive a significant number of miles, ensure that your rental car has unlimited mileage so you can avoid overage charges. Most rental cars include unlimited miles, but there are exceptions. Also: Check ahead to be sure you can take your rented car where you need to go: Sometimes car companies have restrictions about taking the vehicle to other states.

6. Watch out for one-way rentals.

If you can, avoid one-way car rentals. Often there are hefty drop-off fees that go along with a one-way rental. Be fully aware of any extra fees when planning your trip.

7. Ask to waive additional driver/underage fees if needed.

Tell the rental car company about any additional drivers (especially anyone under age 25) who might operate the car other than the person whose name is on the rental agreement. There are often extra fees that go along with extra drivers, but sometimes you can get them waived just by asking, especially if you have rented from that company in the past.

8. Don’t pay for unnecessary conveniences.

It might seem easier, but it’s almost always a bad deal to pre-pay for gas or bring it back less than full and pay the inflated fees that the rental car companies charge for gas. A recent article in USA Today reported that some rental car companies charge as much as $9.29 a gallon when a car is returned without a full tank. If you take a few extra minutes to fill up the tank yourself, you can avoid that inflated price. Also, if you have a non-smoking car (which is the standard for most rental cars now), it’s a bad idea to light up, as you could get hit with a cleaning fee of $200 or more.

9. Avoid paying for insurance from the rental company.

For most people it’s unnecessary to purchase insurance at the rental car counter because of pre-existing coverage included with their auto insurance policy or credit card, so make sure to do your insurance research before you pick up the car. Not only is the rental car employee not an insurance expert, but he or she also has an incentive to sell you insurance, so double check take make sure you don’t have more insurance than you need.

10. Save time and money by booking online.

You can almost always find the cheapest rental car rates by booking online rather than by phone or at a rental car counter. Plus, when you book online, it’s simple to compare rental car rates for all the top rental car companies and find the best deal. Use a site like Rent A Car Now to compare all major car rental vendors at once.

Enjoy your end-of-summer vacation with the extra cash!

10 Ways to Save Money When Renting a Car

Planning to hit the road this Labor Day weekend? So are most vacation-minded Americans: AAA estimates 27.3 million people will travel by car for this last end-of-summer weekend. Want to save even more money on your trip? Whether you’re connecting to your destination after a flight or forgoing planes and trains in favor of the open road, RentACarNow.com has a list of crucial tips for motorists looking to save cash when renting a car — and avoid costly mistakes at the rental-car counter.

1. Don’t miss out on discount codes and special deals.

You might already be eligible for a rental car discount and not even know it. AARP or AAA members can often get a discount of 10% or more, and government employees or members of the military are also eligible for reductions in price. Before you rent, be sure to check major rental car companies’ websites and look for their current special discounts.

2. Don’t supersize your rental car.

The thought of driving down the highway in a luxury vehicle, pricey convertible, or giant SUV can be tempting, but resist, especially when a rental-car employee tries to upsell you to a nicer vehicle. Remember those few extra dollars a day, plus the extra taxes and fees, can easily add up to a nice chunk of change over the entire rental period. Plus, renting a larger car than you really need, means paying more for gas — not to mention having a harder time squeezing into parking spots.

3. Secure your car early, but also check for last-minute deals.

Unlike airfare, it’s generally quick and easy to cancel a rental car reservation and rebook it without penalty. That wiggle room can save you major bucks: Reserve your rental car as early as possible, even if you’re not totally sure of your exact travel dates. Then, as your vacation approaches, check online to see if rates have changed. If you find a better deal, call and see if you can cancel your existing reservation and make a new reservation at the lower rate.

4. Book off-airport rental cars.

Renting a car at the airport is convenient, but it often comes with the added expense of airport rental-car taxes and extra fees. When booking a car in your hometown, it can be a smart financial move to rent from a neighborhood location instead of at the airport. Compare the cost of each option, including all fees and taxes. If you find a cheaper rate away from the airport, you can often take a free shuttle or a short taxi ride there and save big money.

5. Check for unlimited mileage.

If you plan to drive a significant number of miles, ensure that your rental car has unlimited mileage so you can avoid overage charges. Most rental cars include unlimited miles, but there are exceptions. Also: Check ahead to be sure you can take your rented car where you need to go: Sometimes car companies have restrictions about taking the vehicle to other states.

6. Watch out for one-way rentals.

If you can, avoid one-way car rentals. Often there are hefty drop-off fees that go along with a one-way rental. Be fully aware of any extra fees when planning your trip.

7. Ask to waive additional driver/underage fees if needed.

Tell the rental car company about any additional drivers (especially anyone under age 25) who might operate the car other than the person whose name is on the rental agreement. There are often extra fees that go along with extra drivers, but sometimes you can get them waived just by asking, especially if you have rented from that company in the past.

8. Don’t pay for unnecessary conveniences.

It might seem easier, but it’s almost always a bad deal to pre-pay for gas or bring it back less than full and pay the inflated fees that the rental car companies charge for gas. A recent article in USA Today reported that some rental car companies charge as much as $9.29 a gallon when a car is returned without a full tank. If you take a few extra minutes to fill up the tank yourself, you can avoid that inflated price. Also, if you have a non-smoking car (which is the standard for most rental cars now), it’s a bad idea to light up, as you could get hit with a cleaning fee of $200 or more.

9. Avoid paying for insurance from the rental company.

For most people it’s unnecessary to purchase insurance at the rental car counter because of pre-existing coverage included with their auto insurance policy or credit card, so make sure to do your insurance research before you pick up the car. Not only is the rental car employee not an insurance expert, but he or she also has an incentive to sell you insurance, so double check take make sure you don’t have more insurance than you need.

10. Save time and money by booking online.

You can almost always find the cheapest rental car rates by booking online rather than by phone or at a rental car counter. Plus, when you book online, it’s simple to compare rental car rates for all the top rental car companies and find the best deal. Use a site like Rent A Car Now to compare all major car rental vendors at once.

Enjoy your end-of-summer vacation with the extra cash!

What to do if your Rental Car Breaks Downs

As a general rule, rental cars are exceptionally well-maintained and rarely break down. It just makes good business sense for the rental car companies to keep their vehicles in perfect working order, because they can’t rent a car that is not running and it always makes for a bad customer experience if a car breaks down. So the rental car companies are diligent about maintenance and oil changes, probably much more than you are with your own car (how many times have you gone beyond the recommended mileage an oil change?). Even so, breakdowns do occasionally happen, either for mechanical reasons or just a blown tire caused by an unavoidable object on the road.

It can be a scary experience to have a breakdown in an unfamiliar area, so it pays to do a little advance thinking. Many rental cars now have a 24-hour toll-free roadside assistance number printed right on the vehicle, either on the driver side window or sometimes on the windshield corner. You might also find it on the rental car contract or jacket that it comes in. Either way, it’s a good idea to check for the number when you pick up the car, and if it’s not printed right on the car, go ahead and save it in your phone just in case. You’ll probably never need it, but if you do then you’ll be glad that you have it.

Save Wear and Tear on Your Own Vehicle by Renting Instead

Every now and then you probably have the need to take a long road trip in your own car – maybe you are taking one of the kids off to college or going to see grandma a few states away. Whatever the case might be, it’s a good idea to check the rental car rates in your area before putting all that extra wear and tear on your own vehicle. For every mile you put on your car, the value drops and you are one mile closer to needing that next oil change, maintenance service or new set of tires. So in many cases it can be a good idea to just rent a car and let the rental car company worry about all that.

As a general rule, each mile on your car costs about .50 in wear and tear. So if you are looking to take a 400-mile trip, or 800 miles round trip, that adds up to about $400. Obviously the rental car rate will depend on the type of vehicle and the length of the rental, but it’s pretty easy to find something for less than $400 at RentACarNow.com for most situations. So before you take that long trip in your own vehicle, add up the cost of wear and tear and see if you can find something cheaper with a rental car.

Check Weekend Rental Car Rates to Find the Best Deals

There are a lot of different ways to save money on a rental car, and of course booking your rental car reservations through RentACarNow.com is a good start. Here’s another easy tip – if your plans are flexible, it’s almost always cheaper to rent a car over the weekend as compared to a weekday rental. Obviously if you are traveling for a business meeting on a Wednesday this tip isn’t going to be of much help, but if you have some flexibility it makes sense to check rates for a few days before and after your original plans so that it includes a weekend.

You can sometimes find weekend rental car rates are as much as 50% or more off the weekday rate, simply because there isn’t as much demand so the rental car companies try to drive business with lower rates. And rental car companies often offer special weekend deals at the last minute, so that gives you the perfect trip to take a little road trip without putting wear and tear on your own vehicle.

Why it’s a Good Idea to Rent a Car before You Buy It

Buying a new car, or even a late model used car, is a huge investment and one that is likely to only be second to your home in cost. That’s why it’s surprising how many people buy a car after only taking a short test drive around the block. Inevitably some people end up regretting that car purchase after a few days when they notice it has a huge blind spot, an uncomfortable seat or annoying road noise. While some dealers will let you keep a car overnight if you are serious about buying one, you are unlikely to get much more than that. So that’s why many people decide to rent a car first after they have decided on a make and model.

Of course this doesn’t work with every car depending on the model, but you’ll discover that for most common vehicles it’s pretty easy to find one for rent from any major rental car company. While it is a small expense to rent one over the weekend, it certainly can be worth the peace of mind before throwing down $20,000 or more to buy a new one. Weekend rentals are generally pretty cheap, especially at RentACarNow.com, so if you have a particular car in mind that you are looking to buy, why not rent it for a few days and make sure you are making the right decision.

How a One-Week Rental Can be Cheaper than Six Days

We all know that there are seven days in a week, so it stands to reason that it would be cheaper to rent a car for six days rather than seven. But as with many things in the travel industry, logic is not always in total control. One such example is in the rental car industry when it comes to renting a car for a week versus renting a car for just short of a week. Nearly every rental company has special rates for a week-long rental, and oftentimes those rates are cheaper than the total daily rate spread over five or six days.

So if you have flexible travel plans and your total trip is in the 5-7 day range, it makes sense to check the rental car rates for the specific time you need as well as rounding up to a full week and seeing how that rate compares. If you find that it’s significantly cheaper for a full week, then it might even make sense to extend your trip. You can also try booking the full week rate and then returning the car early, but sometimes the rental car companies will then revert back to the daily rate so it’s a good idea to ask first. At RentACarNow.com we make it easy to check the rates for different time periods so that you can find the cheapest car rental rates.

Enterprise Introduces Electric Car Rentals at Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco

Enterprise Rent-A-Car continues to roll out electric vehicles for rent with the latest location being the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. That makes Enterprise the first rental car company to offer electric car rentals at a hotel in the city.

“Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is Enterprise’s first hotel partner in San Francisco to offer electric vehicles to its guests through our rental program, which speaks to our shared commitment to provide our customers with the highest quality offerings and service,” said Leonard Almalech, San Francisco vice president and general manager of Enterprise, in a news release. “This is a chance for our customers to experience EV technology, whether it is for a quick test drive, a fuel-efficient rental or just to learn more about the new technology.”

The Four Seasons location will offer the Nissan Leaf for rent at about $90 per day, and the vehicle has a range of approximately 100 miles on a full charge. While these special vehicles are not yet available to be booked through RentACarNow.com, you can still view a full menu of the lowest rates on San Francisco car rentals.

Fox Rent A Car Makes Things Easy on Younger Renters

If you are under the age of 25 and have tried to rent a car, you know that it can be quite difficult. The policies vary by rental car company, but if you are between the ages of 20 and 25 then Fox Rent A Car might be the best choice for you. The company has one of the more liberal age policies and recently changed their policy to now rent to drivers as young as age 20. While there still may be an additional fee if you are between 20 and 25, many other companies simply will not rent to anyone under age 25 so Fox is hoping to cater to younger drivers.

“We are a discount rental agency,” said Jakub Kopiczak, Marketing Manager for Fox, in a news release about the policy change. “Our low prices are attractive to everyone, including budget minded students and youth. By allowing this age group more options, we feel we’ll attract a larger clientele base. Our goal is to be a low cost value leader across the board.”

If you are a younger driver in a location not served by Fox, some companies will waive the under 25 rule for corporate rentals or if you work for the military or government. So it’s a good idea to check the specific policies of a particular rental car company you are planning to use.