Monthly Archives: September 2010

Another Rental Car Money-Saving Tip: To GPS or not to GPS

Whether you are on vacation or taking a business trip, that last thing you want to do when you rent a car is to get lost. That’s why so many people opt to get a GPS system with their rental car. But is that a smart move financially?

Let’s assume you are taking a trip to an unfamiliar city and you plan to do a fair amount of driving. It certainly makes practical sense to have a GPS with you, but does it make financial sense (or cents) to rent one? One thing to consider is that rental car companies will charge you anywhere from $10 to $25 a day for a GPS. For a one or two day rental, that’s not really a big deal, but over the course of a week or more those charges can really add up. So let’s look at two easy ways to save money on a rental car.

One option is to bring your own GPS system. If you already have one at home, then your problem is solved. You can also try asking a friend or co-worker if you can borrow theirs. In some cases, it might even make sense to buy a GPS before your trip. You can pick up a decent one for about a $100, and that might be less than you’d pay to rent one for a full week, plus you get to bring it back with you.

A second option is to check out the GPS capabilities of your mobile phone. Most smart phones have a built-in GPS option, and it generally doesn’t cost much to activate it. Some phones have a monthly GPS fee, but many can be easily cancelled. So you could sign up for the month when you are going to need it and then cancel it when you don’t. Just make sure you give it a test run before your trip so you are familiar with how it works.

Hopefully this tip will help you save a little money on your next car rental. And of course RentACarNow.com is ready to help save you even more with the lowest rental car rates available for just about any city or airport.

When to Decline a Rental Car Upgrade

You get off your plane, have your RentACarNow.com confirmation in hand, and get up to the rental car counter and get offered a fabulous deal – a free upgrade to a larger rental car! Surely this is a deal that you can’t decline, right? Well, not so fast. We all like to get something for nothing, but sometimes a free upgrade is not really free at all.

First, let’s look at why the rental car company might be offering you an upgrade. Maybe the rental car agent liked your smile and wants to make your day, but more likely it’s simply that the rental car company is running out of smaller cars and is trying to get some of the bigger cars and SUVs off the lot.

So if you were on the fence about paying a little more for a larger car, and you really need the extra room, then by all means go ahead and take the free upgrade. But make sure you consider whether you really need it. Don’t forget that you are going to get reduced gas mileage from a bigger vehicle, and if you are not used to driving one you might find it difficult to operate or park. That added cost for gas might mean that your free upgrade really isn’t free at all.

So before accepting that free upgrade, just take a moment to consider if you really need it and if you want to be paying more for gas. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with declining the upgrade. And if the rental car company no longer has the class of car you reserved and needs to put you in something bigger, you can insist on a discount to offset the extra expense you will have because of increased fuel use.

The Do’s and Don’ts: How to Avoid a Big Rental Car Charge

Everyone is looking to save money nowadays. Since you’ve already found RentACarNow.com, you already have a pretty good start, because at our site you are sure to find some of the lowest rental car rates anywhere. But once you get into your rental car, there are some nasty fees that you’ll want to avoid. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

One thing you want to do before you leave the rental car lot is to check the car for damage. Make sure you walk all the way around the outside of the car and look for dings, dents and scratches. If you notice anything, return to the rental counter and have that damage noted on your contract. Otherwise, when you return the car you could get stuck with a bill for the damages.

If you or any of your passengers plan to smoke in the rental car, make sure you specifically ask about the rules. Some car rental companies have smoking cars, while others have gone completely smoke-free. If you smoke in a car that is non-smoking, you could be hit with a hefty cleaning fee when you return it.

If you are renting a car in Kansas, this probably is not an issue, but make sure you know the rules about leaving the country. Oftentimes taking a rental car into Canada is no big deal, but the same cannot be said for Mexico. Many rental car companies specifically prohibit taking their cars into Mexico, especially certain areas of the country, and in most cases neither your own insurance nor any insurance purchased through the rental car company will be valid in Mexico. So check with the rental car company first if you plan to head south of the border.

Another Rental Car Money-Saving Tip: To GPS or not to GPS

Whether you are on vacation or taking a business trip, that last thing you want to do when you rent a car is to get lost. That’s why so many people opt to get a GPS system with their rental car. But is that a smart move financially?

Let’s assume you are taking a trip to an unfamiliar city and you plan to do a fair amount of driving. It certainly makes practical sense to have a GPS with you, but does it make financial sense (or cents) to rent one? One thing to consider is that rental car companies will charge you anywhere from $10 to $25 a day for a GPS. For a one or two day rental, that’s not really a big deal, but over the course of a week or more those charges can really add up. So let’s look at two easy ways to save money on a rental car.

One option is to bring your own GPS system. If you already have one at home, then your problem is solved. You can also try asking a friend or co-worker if you can borrow theirs. In some cases, it might even make sense to buy a GPS before your trip. You can pick up a decent one for about a $100, and that might be less than you’d pay to rent one for a full week, plus you get to bring it back with you.

A second option is to check out the GPS capabilities of your mobile phone. Most smart phones have a built-in GPS option, and it generally doesn’t cost much to activate it. Some phones have a monthly GPS fee, but many can be easily cancelled. So you could sign up for the month when you are going to need it and then cancel it when you don’t. Just make sure you give it a test run before your trip so you are familiar with how it works.

Hopefully this tip will help you save a little money on your next car rental. And of course RentACarNow.com is ready to help save you even more with the lowest rental car rates available for just about any city or airport.

When to Decline a Rental Car Upgrade

You get off your plane, have your RentACarNow.com confirmation in hand, and get up to the rental car counter and get offered a fabulous deal – a free upgrade to a larger rental car! Surely this is a deal that you can’t decline, right? Well, not so fast. We all like to get something for nothing, but sometimes a free upgrade is not really free at all.

First, let’s look at why the rental car company might be offering you an upgrade. Maybe the rental car agent liked your smile and wants to make your day, but more likely it’s simply that the rental car company is running out of smaller cars and is trying to get some of the bigger cars and SUVs off the lot.

So if you were on the fence about paying a little more for a larger car, and you really need the extra room, then by all means go ahead and take the free upgrade. But make sure you consider whether you really need it. Don’t forget that you are going to get reduced gas mileage from a bigger vehicle, and if you are not used to driving one you might find it difficult to operate or park. That added cost for gas might mean that your free upgrade really isn’t free at all.

So before accepting that free upgrade, just take a moment to consider if you really need it and if you want to be paying more for gas. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with declining the upgrade. And if the rental car company no longer has the class of car you reserved and needs to put you in something bigger, you can insist on a discount to offset the extra expense you will have because of increased fuel use.

The Do’s and Don’ts: How to Avoid a Big Rental Car Charge

Everyone is looking to save money nowadays. Since you’ve already found RentACarNow.com, you already have a pretty good start, because at our site you are sure to find some of the lowest rental car rates anywhere. But once you get into your rental car, there are some nasty fees that you’ll want to avoid. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

One thing you want to do before you leave the rental car lot is to check the car for damage. Make sure you walk all the way around the outside of the car and look for dings, dents and scratches. If you notice anything, return to the rental counter and have that damage noted on your contract. Otherwise, when you return the car you could get stuck with a bill for the damages.

If you or any of your passengers plan to smoke in the rental car, make sure you specifically ask about the rules. Some car rental companies have smoking cars, while others have gone completely smoke-free. If you smoke in a car that is non-smoking, you could be hit with a hefty cleaning fee when you return it.

If you are renting a car in Kansas, this probably is not an issue, but make sure you know the rules about leaving the country. Oftentimes taking a rental car into Canada is no big deal, but the same cannot be said for Mexico. Many rental car companies specifically prohibit taking their cars into Mexico, especially certain areas of the country, and in most cases neither your own insurance nor any insurance purchased through the rental car company will be valid in Mexico. So check with the rental car company first if you plan to head south of the border.

How to Avoid Hidden Car Rental Fees

Whether you are a seasoned business traveler or just take an occasional family vacation, you know that the travel industry has gone fee crazy. Even if you find a low airfare, you might have to pay an extra fee to check your baggage, have something to eat on the plane or even get a pillow.

Rental car companies have also become pretty creative when it comes to charging new fees, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay them. If you are looking to save money on a rental car, your first step should be to check out our website, RentACarNow.com. We always provide rental car rates from several companies to help you find the best deal.

After you find the best rate, then you need to put on your fee-finding glasses. Two of the most common fees are extra time and gas. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Even though most rental cars are priced by the “day,” you have to remember that in the rental car world there are not always 24 hours in a day. So if you rent a car from 11 a.m. on Friday until 3 p.m. on Sunday, that’s actually three rental days because the rental companies round up to the next day after just a few extra hours. So pay attention to the time your rental starts and stops, and remember that shaving a few hours off on either end can sometimes save you a nice chunk of change.

When it comes to fuel, rental car companies are quick to offer the “convenient” option of pre-paid gas, but as with almost any other convenience, it comes at a price. While it sounds enticing to just pay for the full tank of gas upfront, it’s unlikely that you’ll use the whole tank and you’ll have a hard time siphoning out what’s left to bring back home (not to mention having a bit of trouble at security). It almost always makes more financial sense to fill up the tank yourself before you return the car. But just don’t forget, because there’s also a fee for not returning the car with a full tank.

Luckily for you, rental car companies are not quite as fee crazy as the airlines, so with a little advance planning you can easily avoid paying anything more than your original rental rate.

How to Avoid Hidden Car Rental Fees

Whether you are a seasoned business traveler or just take an occasional family vacation, you know that the travel industry has gone fee crazy. Even if you find a low airfare, you might have to pay an extra fee to check your baggage, have something to eat on the plane or even get a pillow.

Rental car companies have also become pretty creative when it comes to charging new fees, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay them. If you are looking to save money on a rental car, your first step should be to check out our website, RentACarNow.com. We always provide rental car rates from several companies to help you find the best deal.

After you find the best rate, then you need to put on your fee-finding glasses. Two of the most common fees are extra time and gas. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Even though most rental cars are priced by the “day,” you have to remember that in the rental car world there are not always 24 hours in a day. So if you rent a car from 11 a.m. on Friday until 3 p.m. on Sunday, that’s actually three rental days because the rental companies round up to the next day after just a few extra hours. So pay attention to the time your rental starts and stops, and remember that shaving a few hours off on either end can sometimes save you a nice chunk of change.

When it comes to fuel, rental car companies are quick to offer the “convenient” option of pre-paid gas, but as with almost any other convenience, it comes at a price. While it sounds enticing to just pay for the full tank of gas upfront, it’s unlikely that you’ll use the whole tank and you’ll have a hard time siphoning out what’s left to bring back home (not to mention having a bit of trouble at security). It almost always makes more financial sense to fill up the tank yourself before you return the car. But just don’t forget, because there’s also a fee for not returning the car with a full tank.

Luckily for you, rental car companies are not quite as fee crazy as the airlines, so with a little advance planning you can easily avoid paying anything more than your original rental rate.