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We recently needed a rental car while our car was in the shop. I checked the online deals and they were all very high, perhaps because it is summer or perhaps our locale. I remembered that U-Haul advertises $29.95/day rentals. This does not include mileage, so be sure you will not be driving many miles.
Your best choices are a large van or a large pickup truck. They are not the easiest to drive, but our total was way less than the bargain car rentals. Also you do not need a large credit card deposit, only the estimate of the actual cost.
By Katherine C. from Reno, NV
Normally I have been able to get better deals than the U-Haul, but not this time. Thanks for your feedback.
When you rent a car, figure out how to work everything before you leave the lot. This includes the headlights, heater, air conditioner, windshield wipers, windows, and trunk. If you have questions, you can get answers from the rental agent.
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
Renting a car allows you to drive yourself places when you are on a trip and don't have your own car. However, renting a car can be quite expensive. Here are a few tips to save money on renting a car:
Awhile back, I noticed if you asked about adding the extra driver (even though it was a spouse) they would say it was so much extra per day. When you say, is it correct that the spouse is free ... they say yes! No extra charge.
So watch it ... car rentals are looking out for their revenue!
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How do I minimize car rental charges and fees?
Johnp from Naples, Florida
Make sure to check your credit cards. Be sure to use a card that has free rental car insurance so you don't have to pay for their expensive coverage.
Always book ahead of time. Stopping at the counter at the airport, and they will gouge you. I just came back from a two week trip. Our car was about $300, someone next to me paid $1,200 asking for a similar car at the airport. YIKES!
Also, use a comparison tool like kayak to compare all of the different rental agencies. Do online searches for coupon codes.
Sign up for the rental car clubs before you rent, sometimes you get added bonuses. :)
I have worked for a car rental agency for 7 years and we are always
willing to help customers, especially this time of year when traveling slows
down drastically. Be sure you ask how much their taxes are, what mileage
is included, if it's okay to travel out of state(if applicable) and if they offer
discounts ie: AAA, AARP, weekly, weekend, etc. Shop around, look for smaller
independent places, take a smaller car if you can and don't be afraid to
ask questions. If you will be a regular customer of a company let them know
that also. Good Luc