While a road trip can be a great way to get you away from the everyday hustle and bustle, don’t jump into booking cheap car rental without proper research.
There are indeed many companies offering cheap car rental. Always be careful and consider the following tips. We will try to help you find your best deal so you can hit the road and start exploring.
1. Book in advance
When you book in advance you will almost always get a better deal than at the counter. And it’s easier and quicker. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is deal with rental car companies at the airport and negotiate a deal.
Be sure to take all your documents with you as proof of hire and your rates to avoid any hassles (scan and save in your email account).
2. Read the paperwork thoroughly
Before fixing the deal for cheap car rental, make sure that the paperwork is thoroughly studied by you. While rushing through it, you may miss on some important terms and conditions which might turn out a major surprise for you once you are back from your trip. Do not leave room for any doubt or uncertainty. This will save you from paying the extra charges, which we are sure no one really wants.
3. Check the insurance
Most of the cheap car rental come with full insurance. However it is always better to check that you are being covered from every aspect. This will help you understand whether there will be any excess charges or not. Ask the hire company what is your excess in case of the accident. It is important to know what happens if it is a “one vehicle” or “not at your fault” accidents.
Here at Low Cost Car Rental in Sydney we always read the important terms and conditions to our customers. If you hire a car from someone else, make sure you ask those questions before driving away.
4. Stick to the known cheap car rental companies
If you are hiring cars frequently, we suggest you to find one company and stick to it. For example, Low Car Rentals always give some discounts to our return customers. It is not always a money value. Our repeat customers often get free car delivery, GPSs or extra kilometres at no charge.
5. Keep a tab on discounts
There’s no issue if you aren’t regular with the car hire, you are still entitled to get discounts and other free extras. The only thing you have to do from your part is to ask for it. Also, don’t forget that most of the companies offer “Price guarantee” policy. Get a quotation from another car rental company where it clearly states what car they offer, kilometres allowance and insurance excess amount with the price in the local currency (e.g. AUD in Australia). You will most probably get the same deal from any other place. Low Cost Car Rentals often beat price by offering further discounts. Unfortunately it is always a subject to the cars availability and might not work with another discount or offer (e.g. free GPS or Unlimited kilometres package).
6. Check the fuel policy options
Almost all rental car companies will require you to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had in the tank at pick-up. Others operate a fuel policy where you, the renter, must purchase the first tank of fuel and may drop the car off empty. In this case, there may be no refund for unused fuel.
Where the car hire company charges for fuel, the cost may be higher than it would be at a local petrol station.
7. Age requirements
In most locations, the minimum rental age is 21 years. Additional fees can apply with certain car rental companies for drivers aged under 25 years or over 65 years. They are defined as more at “risk” drivers.
If you’re not yet over 25 years but are traveling with a companion who is, have them be the designated driver to save on this cost.
8. Additional driver fee
Extra fees typically apply for additional drivers. If you can get by with having only one designated driver you’ll typically save $15 per day. Of course, NEVER run the risk of driver fatigue, a few extra bucks is nothing when it comes to your safety and that of others on the road!
9. Additional state taxes and admin fees
Be aware of additional state taxes and fees that may apply if you cross state borders. And don’t lie about where you are taking the vehicle, because if you have an issue you probably won’t be covered by insurance! Always ask the rental company of any restrictions of the vehicle use. Don’t forget to ask if the quotation you got includes all the administration fees and is final. So you will not be mandated to pay extra money when picking up the car and will be in the situation where you have no choice but paying it.
Here in Low Cost Car Rentals, all our prices and quotations we issue are final. Remember it is often issued with an assumption that you are over 25 years old and hold a full Australian Driver Licence. If you don’t meet the age requirement or still on your Ps, make sure to tell the rental company about in advance.
10. Don’t use your debit card
Book using your credit card. Not only for added consumer protection and rewards points if it’s a rewards card, but rental companies tend to hold a larger deposit for use of debit cards and the hold on your deposit may take days to be returned.
11. Inspect your car before driving away
Do a thorough inspection of your rental car before driving out of the lot. If you find any damage fill in the documentation (get a copy) and take pictures with your phone so you have a time & date stamp. You don’t want to be held liable for damage from a previous driver.
Remember, You are entitled to do any checks you feel required. You can start the car, check the lights and air conditioning are working. Obviously all the car rental companies supposed to offer only safe cars to drive and perform all-around checks of the vehicles before offering to you. However, especially in the peak season, it is better to take the extra 15 minutes and have a proper look of the car you intend to hire.
12. Extra day may be cheaper
Cheap car rental often start when you hire a car for long term. Sometimes a 7-days deal can be cheaper than a 6-days one.
Often if you pick up the car at 9am and return at 10am, it can count as an extra day. Make sure you ask the car rental staff on how you can save on your rental prices. May be you can drop a car a little earlier to avoid paying the extra day. Sometimes, dropping off the car on a public holiday can involve the holiday surcharge.
If you can make a note of these points, can help you comparing the car rental prices from different companies. Also, you will be able to save money on car hire along with enjoying a leisure trip.
Cheap car rental deal is a good way to start your journey.