Although there are impressive mass-transit systems in some cities and metro areas, America remains largely a car-based culture. This is more so if you are planning to venture out of the big cities.
In that case, renting a car offers the biggest flexibility for your traveling plans. Although hiring a car is fairly straightforward, ensuring you get a good deal takes some time and effort. However, when you plan, put your negotiation skills to use, and use a bit of common sense, you will be sure to save some money on your car rental expenses.
Select “Return Full” with fuel
When you are booking the car, you will want to pay special attention to the level of gasoline in the car. Black Car Service Houston has an option where you can return the car even when the gas tank isn’t full and paying a predetermined fee for it and returning it with the gas tank full.
But most people consider the gasoline fee to be more expensive compared to refilling the tank. You should only cough this amount up if you forgot to fill up the tank before returning it.
If you go for the “Return Empty” option, make sure you do precisely that and not try to sputter out before getting to the lot.
Look out for Cheaper Fuel Prices
Gas stations that operate near airports always charge more for fuel than others just further down the highway. You will save a couple of dollars by fueling up at these stations in case you opted for the Return Full choice. It is generally a good idea to try fueling at stations farther away from the airport.
The price of gasoline tends to vary considerably in the US from one town to the next. You can do searches on the internet to find out the cheaper options. Fuel comparison apps also let you find the best gas prices.
Refuse the insurance if you already have other alternatives
Before you arrive to get your rented car, confirm whether your car insurance company will cover you when you are driving a rented vehicle. Do not blindly trust what the guys at the counter tell you but do your research. Most likely, they are mostly getting a commission for selling you unnecessary extras.
In case you are not covered by your auto insurance, check with your credit card or traveling insurance. Where neither of this provides cover, you will want to take the insurance you are being offered.
Where your credit card company car insurance or travel insurance provides car coverage, come along with evidence to avoid any hassles with paperwork. For more details, you can also check out Lavish Ride.
Check if you have roadside assistance protection already
Find out if your auto insurance carrier or roadside assistance company provides coverage while driving in the US. While it is not mandatory to have roadside protection, you shouldn’t worry if you are already covered. If you have to pay it through your rental car company, you can be sure that they’ll charge a premium for it.
Come with your extras
Like most car rental agencies, Black Car Service Houston is happy to provide a couple of extras to make your ride much less daunting. These include GPS driving guidance gadgets and child car seats among other things. However, the rental costs tend to be quite high priced.
Most smartphones can double up as a driving guidance device. But if you are coming into the US, you need to ensure in advance that your phone will work while you are in the country.
If you intend to travel with a child, carry your car seat if you have one. The good thing with bringing yours is that you already know its safety standards and history. Also, you can easily include it on a flight as checked baggage.
Take a photo of the car
Don’t be in a rush to get inside your rented car before first walking around it and taking its photos, both outside and inside of it. Ensure your pictures include background evidence showing that the car is photographed at the lot and time stamp. This will help you later should you be wrongly accused of causing damage to the automobile that was already on it.
If you are asked to write a pre-rental inspection report, describe the condition of the car as meticulously as possible. Do not allow the agent to convince you otherwise.
Go with the smallest car that meets your needs
Although upgrades cannot be guaranteed, in the US at least, you have a fair chance of ending with a midsize rather than the subcompact that you booked.
You might have been lucky before but this still doesn’t mean that you should take a chance. If a subcompact cannot sufficiently accommodate all your traveling stuff and entourage, do not book it hoping to get an upgrade.
Ask for a discount or an upgrade at the counter
In most cases, rental agents won’t accept that there is a leeway to get a better car or a better deal. They’ll insinuate that there is none but this isn’t always the way it is. And if you don’t ask, you will never find out. Go to the counter and ask for yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that they will say no. At best, you will wind up with a better value for your money.
To push them to the wall, mention that a competitor is running a promotion that gives you a better deal. If possible, produce evidence to that effect and you are good to go.
It takes a smart person to get save money on car rental. Without doing research, you won’t know that you are being fleeced. Black Car Service Houston, always advise customers to do their due diligence first before hiring a rented car. They are simple steps but they can go a long way into putting more money in your pockets.
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