Rental Rates Change Quickly and Often

by Greg Hansward

When traveling, one of the biggest expenses you have to plan for is car rental. The same is true if your own car has broken down and you need a temporary replacement. It costs money to basically borrow someone else’s car. So what should you do?

As the old adage says, failing to plan is planning to fail. You need to research your options as much as possible before you rent a car. Go online and see what is offered there. Ask your friends and family members. Surely some of them have rented a car. What companies did they use? Did they like them? How were their rates?

Also be sure to check advertisements. Car rental companies like to advertise their rates in order to attract customers like you. But also be sure to dig some more. Surprisingly some of the best deals are hidden. Try to find out what deals the company has offered in the past and ask the rental agent if that program is still available. Or ask if there are any new deals available that aren’t well known. Car companies are in businesses to make money. Most of them are willing to bend a little if it means gaining a customer. Some companies have loyalty programs: the more often you rent a car, the lower your price will be.

Another way to look for car rental deals is to check for affiliate deals. Airlines and hotels are often affiliated with specific car rental companies because they share so many customers. If you are flying, ask the airline if they are linked with a car rental firm, likewise for hotels and motels. Major auto repair companies may also have a relationship with a rental company. If you work for a large corporation, your employer may also have a deal with a car rental company.

Another place to look for deals is entertainment books and travel guides. Those freebie guides are intended for tourists, so they may have coupons that will help you as you prepare for your trip.

If you belong to an automobile club, it too may have an affiliation with a car rental company. Your auto club membership may get you a very nice discount on rental rates. That’s part of what your membership fee pays for, so take advantage of it. This could help whether looking for a car hire in Alicante or in Washington, DC.

Remember, nothing is certain in the world except change. That great deal you heard about six months ago may not exist today. That’s not necessarily bad: the same company may have come up with an even better program for you. But it does mean to keep looking until you have found the very best deal.

Researching car rental rates is worth it: the more money you save on rental rates means more money you can spend on the fun parts of your trip.

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