Finding The Right Car

How To Be Money-Smart When Renting A Car

by Ellie Beck

You can buy or lease a car on a budget fairly easily. The pricing of features, options, and incentives is easy for you to plan for and to tailor to your liking. But when you only need to rent a car for a short while, getting a good deal, or even knowing the amount you'll end up paying, is anything but easy.

Renting is similar to buying in at least one regard though; you could end up spending far more than you've bargained for if you go ahead with a rental agreement without knowing what you're paying for. The following guide will help you to get the most out of your money when renting a car from a company like Whitehorse Subaru.

Compare Rates and Promos First

The daily (or, in some cases, hourly) rates for rental vehicles are the easiest cost element to compare between rental providers. Identify the vehicle of your liking and compare the providers' rates as they pertain to the same vehicle. You can expect all providers to charge more for a Corvette than they would for a Nissan Versa, but one provider may have better rates for SUV/crossovers, while another may have better rates for entry-level luxury sedans.

Promotions are one of the most overlooked resources when it comes to renting cars. Check providers' websites over the course of a few days before choosing one to rent from. Check for promos especially towards the end of the month, as the franchise owners have goals they need to reach and will incentivize you to choose their service.

Avoid Big Companies Stationed at Airports

Follow this rule of thumb: the bigger and more conveniently located a rental company is, the more it will cost. People often choose the company with the biggest possible selection of cars, but in exchange for higher rates. Rental companies pay big money to airports for the exposure that comes from having their rental locations within terminals. Even though it is very convenient for you as a traveler, you will pay far more there than you would when renting from a provider located away from airports and major highways.

Keep Your Driving Record Clean

Renting a car can be expensive, but the amount you pay is nothing compared to the cost of the entire vehicle. For that reason, rental providers want to make sure that customers will keep their investments safe. They do this by checking customers' driving records and turning away those that have a history of unsafe driving. If there are any violations still on your record, ask the provider if they check records. If they do, pick some other company to avoid the extra charges for your rental.

If you hunt for the lowest rates, biggest promos, small, isolated providers, and you keep your driving records clean, you will get lower rates than most people.