10 Tips Get the Best Deal For Car Renting
Are you planning a road trip or looking to explore a new city by car? Renting a car can be a convenient and cost-effective way to achieve this, but finding the best deal for your car hire can sometimes be a confusing and daunting process. With numerous car rental companies, various vehicle options, and hidden fees lurking around every corner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Worry not – we have your back! We’ve put together six essential car hire tips that will get you on the road to the best deal available without any unnecessary headaches. So buckle up, hit the brakes on your worries, and let’s steer you in the right direction for your next car rental experience. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time renter, these tips are here to help you secure the best possible deal to enhance your journey.
1. The Rise of Road Trips During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the travel industry, leading to a surge in road trip popularity. As apprehension over air travel and public transportation grows, people have been opting for road trips as a safer and more affordable vacation option, resulting in an increased demand for rental cars.
2. High Demand = Low Rental Car Supply
The high demand for rental cars since the pandemic has led to a lower supply, making it trickier to find a good deal. With travel rebounding and rental agencies trying to replenish their fleets, it’s essential to think creatively and explore various options to secure an affordable rental car for your next trip. 
3. Rental Car Prices Still High
Although rental car prices have dropped from their pandemic peak, they still remain significantly higher than pre-COVID rates. In March 2023, average US rental car prices were up by an astounding 53% compared to the same month in 2019. As a result, travelers must be vigilant in searching for deals in order to save on their vacations. 
4. Skip the Airport for Cheaper Rentals
Skipping airport rentals can lead to significant savings on car hire expenses. Airport rental locations often charge extra fees and surcharges due to higher demand and operational costs. Renting from downtown locations instead can save you roughly 26% on average, making it well worth considering off-airport rental options during your travels. 
5. Shop Around Online for Best Deals
When searching for the best car rental deal, it’s essential to shop around online using websites like Kayak, Priceline, and Cheapcarrental.com. These sites help compare various options and could lead you to lower rates, especially with pay-now options. Keep in mind, non-refundable rentals may be cheaper, but you’ll lose flexibility in case of changes. 
6. Discount Brands Not Always Cheapest
Surprisingly, discount car rental brands such as Dollar and Thrifty may not always offer the cheapest rates. It’s essential to do a thorough comparison between various rental companies, including big-name brands, to ensure you secure the best deal for your needs. 
7. Leverage Memberships for Savings
Leveraging membership benefits is a smart way to save on car rentals. Memberships with companies like Costco, AAA, and frequent-flyer programs can offer attractive discounts on rental cars. For instance, AAA members enjoy discounts with Hertz rentals and no underage driver fees for ages 20-24. Always check if these affiliations can help you score a better deal. 
8. Timing is Key
Timing is crucial when searching for the best car rental deals. Being proactive and booking early can secure lower rates, but waiting for last-minute offers might also yield discounts. However, delaying too long may result in limited options and higher prices. Monitoring and comparing prices regularly can help you find the perfect balance to score a great deal. 
9. Check Membership and Airline Programs
Many travelers overlook the benefits of membership and airline programs when renting a car. By checking if your memberships, such as Costco or AAA, offer rental car discounts or if your frequent-flyer program has partnerships with car rental companies, you can often save money and enjoy additional perks like free additional drivers or reduced underage fees. 
10. Try Car Sharing or TransferCar Platforms
Car-sharing platforms, such as Getaround and Turo, allow you to rent cars directly from the owner. Alternatively, consider TransferCar, a service that connects travelers with rental companies needing to relocate their vehicles to specific destinations. Both options can result in considerable savings and unique rental experiences.