Summer is the ideal time for most of the people to travel not only nationwide but also internationally. Whether it is the memorial day or the independence day weekend in the U.S. or the Canada Day or Civic Holiday weekend in its northern neighbor or the labour day or Christmas weekend this is the time when most of the of North Americans want to travel alone or with families to make the best use of it.
A large number of travelers end up renting a car at their vacation destination. Depending on how long in advance you book the car or the destination, a car rental can cost you anywhere between $10 to $100. This doesn't include all the add ons that are sold you at the counter. By the time you are done your car rental will cost you twice as much. We all wonder how to save money on your car rental whether it is Fall, Spring, Summer or Winter. Bank Yogi has a few tips for you on how to save money on your summer car rental.
Avoid Airport Fees
Most of the Airports charge an additional convenience fee you pick up the car at the airport. For example, San Francisco airport has a $20 fee for the airport train to shuttle you to the car rentals. However, if you are willing to take a bart that will cost you much lesser you may be able to save money. For example Sears Auto Center on El Camino Real in San Bruno, CA is only a 2-3 minute bart ride from the airport and you get to do away with all the airport fees and taxes. There are several car rental companies in that area which can offer you a bargain. For destinations other than San Francisco you can take a short Uber or Lyft ride to rent the car and save a bunch.
Beware of Local Toll Roads
More and more cities are managing their toll roads via cameras than the traditional toll booths. For example, if you are visiting the Greater Seattle area you are required to pay a toll fee on the 520 bridge while going back and forth for Seattle to Bellevue. Similarly you may have to pay toll while traveling in the express lanes on the 405 going from Bellevue to Bothell. While you may not have an issue with paying toll, since it is a rental car you will find out the actual fees only a few weeks after your travel is done. Rental car company may decide to charge you extra for processing the fees. The best option is to avoid toll roads. For example, in Seattle you can take the I-90 bridge that runs parallel to the 520 bridge and can take you to Bellevue in the same short time 520 bridge is. If it really comes down to traveling through the toll road for example going from New York to New Jersey, it is hard to skip the NJ Turnpike you should ask the rental car company for the best options.
Plenty of Discounts
You can get plenty of discounts through AAA, AARP, USAA, Costco and BJ's to rent a car. We think that it is only a matter of time that Amazon will start offering car rental discounts too. Several coupons and deal sites can also offer you some great discounts. Most of the times if you book your car on an online portal such as Expedia or Travelocity you can get a car rental for cheaper than the actual rental car company's website.
Return the Gas Tank Full
Most of the times a car rental company will provide you a car with full gas tank. You should try your best to make sure that you return it with the same. Car rental companies can charge you a surcharge for the fuel if the car is not returned in the same state. Also try avoiding the upfront payment for the fuel that the booking agent my try having you pay for.