Businessman with smartphone rents a car in the street via carsharing service. Carsharing service, short periods rent, best taxi alternative concept. Pinkish coral bluevector isolated illustration
To rent a car is a huge convenience over having to wait for public transportation or paying for a taxi any time you need to travel farther than walking distance. But hidden costs can put a crimp in your wallet if you’re not aware of them. This list will help you go in prepared.
How to get a great deal
Rental companies often offer seasonal, limited time promotions. When the summer is slow, you can get a great deal and there will be plenty available. But when the rush season rolls around, the prices will usually increase.
If you can afford to plan ahead and go during the slower time, there will be plenty of cars available.
How to calculate your deal
A good way to tell if a deal is right for you is to calculate the total cost of renting the car. If the total is less than the annual mileage allowance, you’ll save money. For example, an annual mileage allowance of 15,000 miles is generally safe to use for business travel. If the price for a rental for 14,000 miles is less than the mileage allowance, you’ll be overcharged for the rental.
What to do before you go
Before you travel, call and arrange a free pick up from the hotel. Ask the local car rental company if you can bring a car back to the hotel instead of paying for an extra rental at the airport. If you can, do it. Sometimes the car rental places require you to call to get one when you arrive.
Insurance and Car Rental Rules
You might want to consider insurance before renting a car. Car rental companies require you to bring a physical copy of your rental agreement. You’ll need a copy of your insurance certificate and proof that you are covered by a third party company. You should also make sure your car rental agreement states that your vehicle is always covered, and that any vehicle defects or damage will be the responsibility of the rental company.
What to do after you rent the car
Check on return rates and rentals. Renting a car can be a great option for business travelers. However, before you start the booking process, do a quick check for customer reviews. Use Google Reviews and TripAdvisor. The latter is a particularly good site for customer reviews.
The company has to provide the same kind of experience to all of its customers. So, if you don’t find a review about the car you rented or the agent, you might want to question the level of service. Don’t blame the customer – blame the business. Check the reviews about the service provided by the car rental company and the company’s website. Look for a general trend of poor customer reviews. If you find that a lot of customers complain, then you should pass on the car rental business.
Tips for avoiding scams
Like any good scam, the price of the rental car isn’t as you thought.
Airbnb can work, but beware
Don’t let one good experience lure you into anything more, especially because many competitors in the rental car market, such as Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, and National, rent out lots of cars. Hertz, for instance, lists the price of a basic sedan or compact SUV for $42 per day. But even with some of these companies, how much you pay depends on what you want to pay. Alamo, for instance, touts its lowest rates on annual contracts, but any customer who signs up for that plan has the option to buy an “extended rental plan” for an extra $120 per day, according to one “extended rental plan” brochure. In most cases, you should make your own booking for the best price.
Business travel can be stressful. Knowing the ins and outs of your local area will help ease the burden as much as possible.
Do you think your city has a lot of hidden costs? Are there any tips you use to save money on business travel?