There’s a common misconception that renting cars and vehicles will always cost you a lot of money. Yes, it’s true that hiring cars and vehicles can be expensive, especially if you rent from companies that charge ridiculously high prices. But if you rent your vehicle from the right people and are smart about it, then it can actually be much more affordable than you may have thought.
Here are some practical rental tips that will help you save you more money and prove naysayers wrong:
Do your research
Like any other product or service, it’s always best if you compare the rates of different companies. The more research you do beforehand, the more likely you’ll be able to find the best rates for your car rental.
These days, you’ll find several different companies offering a variety of rates and packages for car rentals. Narrow down your choices according to your preferred budget and cross-check the value you get for what you’re paying. When it comes to vehicle rentals, a little research can definitely lead to huge savings.
Renting on weekdays
Most car and vehicle rental services have their peak periods on weekends. If your schedule allows it, consider renting your vehicle on weekdays when demand is lower and rates are cheaper. Many rental services routinely offer weekday promos and packages that make rentals a bargain for those who take advantage of it. Depending on your needs and schedule, you may find it worth modifying your itinerary to avail these lower weekday rates and promos.
Check car condition before leaving
Before taking your rental vehicle out on the road, make sure you do a thorough inspection of it. Doing an inspection beforehand protects you from unnecessary fines and repair fees that the car rental company may charge you upon returning it.
Take as many clear photos as you can and record any damage or issues that you find. It’s also best to go through an inspection checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. Here at Abel, we provide an inspection checklist to every customer so they’ll always remember to check the car before using it.
Consider long-term rentals
Depending on how long your trip will be, it might be worth considering getting longer-term rentals instead of renting it for the exact number of days of your trip. Similar to bulk pricing in many commercial goods, many rental companies offers packages for long-term rentals that inevitably make daily rates cheaper.
Of course, this depends on your needs and situation. But it’s always worth considering especially if your trip lasts for more than a few days. For example, if you need a vehicle for around 5-6 days, you might find it cheaper to rent it using a company’s weekly package rather than renting it per day.
Choose the right vehicle type
How much space will you need throughout your trip? Will you be transporting heavy equipment along the way? Do you have the proper licences for driving that type of vehicle in your location? Ask yourself these questions beforehand to determine the right type of vehicle for your needs. This way, you can avoid overspending on the wrong type of vehicle.
Keep in mind, however, that getting the right vehicle might also mean getting a bigger vehicle, even if it costs a bit more than a normal-sized car. For example, if you’re transporting several items or handling large items throughout your trip, then a ute, van, or even a truck may be best so you don’t have to go back and forth between locations. Get the right type of vehicle from the beginning to avoid unnecessary costs and expenses later on.
Consider the rental location
The location of your rental service can make a difference in how much you spend overall. Ideally, you want to choose a service that’s centrally located or at least near your primary location. That way, you won’t have to spend too much getting to and from the rental office. After all, what good are low rates and cheap packages if you’ll have to spend a substantial amount of money just to get your vehicle?
Fill up with petrol before returning
Always fill up your rental vehicle with petrol before returning it. Many rental companies like to charge customers for refuelling costs after the rental cars have been returned, and as you would expect, these refuelling costs are normally priced excessively. So save yourself the money and stress by making sure you refuel your rental car before returning it.
Avoid airport rentals if possible
By now, it’s practically common knowledge that airport car rentals are more expensive than most car rental services. But you’ll be surprised how often people still use it. In some cases, it may be entirely unavoidable – sometimes you just have no choice. But if you do have a choice between an airport rental and one from a third-party service, the latter will often be the more affordable choice.
Of course, this also depends on the location of the third-party rental service and the convenience it provides. Many car rental companies like ours have branches very near the airport so renting a vehicle right after landing will be fast and convenient.
Drive responsibly and follow rules
This may seem like common sense, but it’s worth the reminder either way. Not only will driving responsibly keep you safe on the road, but it’ll also help you avoid fines throughout your trip. Remember: no matter how cheap your rental car is, it won’t matter much if you end up paying fines because of traffic violations, or worse, get into an accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Yes, insurance is one of the most dreaded and avoided expenses for car rentals. But what if you actually need it? We’re not saying that you should always get extra insurance for every car rental. What we are recommending is that you at least consider it, depending on your needs.
You may find that getting that extra insurance will come in handy especially for extended rental periods and long-distance trips. When something does happen and you need insurance to cover it, you might find that extra protection to be worth every penny.