The spring/ summer season is almost upon us and that means only one thing- fun in the sun! Whether you’re planning to enjoy a cross-country road trip or are travelling to another country, you’ll probably have to hire a car at some point.
We’ve all heard horror stories of people getting ripped off by car hire companies and paying way more than they should for their rental. It’s probably why you’re reading this article right now. You want to find out how to rent a car while travelling without getting the short end of the stick.
Luckily for you, we interviewed Joe from carhiremaltagroup.com and we’ve put together a list of suggestions
Don’t Prepay For Gas:
Although it seems like a good deal, prepaid gas works out pricier than filling up the car yourself. Your best bet is to fill the car up right before you drop it off. Just make sure to avoid gas stations that are situated close to the airport, as they’re usually more expensive because of the demand.
Rather look for a gas station that’s a little further away from the drop-off point and airport. To find the cheapest gas station nearest to you, download the GasBuddy app and get access to a fair comparison of the different options available to you.
Join a rental car loyalty rewards platform
If you’re someone that travels frequently and has to rent vehicles regularly then you’ll benefit from joining a rental car loyalty scheme. It comes with benefits like free upgrades and it’s usually free to sign up.
The platform you sign up on will make a record of all your rental preferences so that they can help you secure the right rental deal with only 2 hours’ notice from the time you take the request.
You may also get rewards points and discounts with every vehicle you rent out. A few examples of trusted loyalty programs include Avis Corporate Rewards and Hertz Business Rewards.
Car rental coupons will save you a considerable amount of money in rental fees. Luckily, coupon hunting is not that difficult thanks to companies like Avis, Hertz, Zipcar, Payless Car, Budget and Sixt who all offer different coupons.
Alternatively, you can use your frequent flyer miles to get a discount code for your rental car. Also, don’t be shy to ask the rental company if they offer discounts as well. Perhaps one of the associations you belong to (e.g. AA) is eligible for a price break.
Use an online deal aggregator
Compare different deals from various service providers using a deal aggregator like Kayak.com, Priceline and CarRentals.com. They do all the research on available car rental deals and discount offers in your area so that you don’t have to.
Read the fine print:
Like any other business, car rental companies need to put their bottom line first in order to stay in business. Unfortunately for some companies this means luring customers in with “low fees” without disclosing all the other hidden costs that you’ll have to pay once you sign on the dotted line. So make sure to read the fine print and find out if there are any hidden taxes that you may need to pay and avoid paying more than you should.
Reserve the car for longer than required:
It’s not uncommon to fly into a destination with the intention of staying for a set amount of days, only to extend your trip later on. That’s why it’s always a good idea to book your car for a few extra hours or days than what you expect to spend at the destination. That way, you’ll get a lower base rate and you might even get a prorate refund if you decide to leave earlier than the set date.
Don’t pay for unnecessary insurance:
Most of the car rental companies you come across will try and sell you on the “benefits” of buying extra insurance cover for things like personal effects and loss damage waivers. Although this seems like a good deal, it can add as much as $30 to your original fee. Besides, it’s much cheaper to organize your own insurance from a reliable independent provider.
- Don’t pay for Satellite radio when you can play music from your iPhone
- Avoid car seat and GPS fees by bringing your own SatNav and baby car seats
- Checks for costs related electronic toll collection systems
- Unless you’re travelling as a family or group of friends, pick a small city car that’s fuel efficient and cheaper to rent.
For great deals on car rentals in Malta, check out Car Hire Malta Group, one of the island’s most trusted car rental service providers.