London Hotels Articles

April 13, 2010

Car Rental: Make the Right Choice

When you travel to a new city, bear in mind that a rental car isn’t your only option. There are many cities in which you can easily get by without one. However, if your plans do necessitate getting a rental, keep these nine tips in mind in order to get the best bang for your buck at the rental company.

1. Additional transportation options. Cities like New York, Philadelphia, London, Seattle, Paris, and Las Vegas, for instance, offer inexpensive and readily-accessible mass transit systems. Cities that lack mass transit systems may still offer tour buses for the traveler’s use. Why pay for a rental car, parking, and gasoline when you could opt to ride a subway to your point of interest? You should also weigh out time spent searching for reasonable prices, and the potential for time spent in traffic congestion.

2. Rental Location: When renting a car, consider the costs associated with specific locations. Airports often charge fees to the rental agency that get passed on to you in the form of higher rates. In addition, the demand for cars at the airport allows agencies to charge top dollar. Renting from a car rental agency near your hotel may save you a lot.

3. What sort of car? Consider renting a compact car. You’ll save money on the rental, on gasoline, and it will be easier to park in a crowded city. If you apply for a compact car, rental agencies will often upgrade you to a mid-size car if they no longer have available compact cars on their lot.

4. Small companies: Research smaller, local car rental companies in your travel destination to see if they have better rates than the national chains and/or are offering any good deals.

5. Coupons. Since a number of rental agencies have special discounts in case you have a certain insurance or work for certain companies, you should look for websites which offer car rental discounts.

6. You should shop around and buy the vehicle’s fuel yourself instead of buying it at the car lot. You are likely to spend less money, and you probably won’t need a full tank for using the vehicle.

7. Length of rental. Only rent a car when you actually need transportation. If you’re in a new city for a full week and you only need the car on two days, rent the car only for two days.

8. Existing Coverage: You should verify coverage with your automobile insurance provider and your credit card company so that you are prepared if the rental vehicle is damaged.

9. Add-On Services: Choose additional services wisely: In order to turn a profit, car rental employees will offer high mark-up add-ons. Do not feel compelled to accept each one.

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