Monthly Archives: February 2011

Save Money by Checking Rental Car Rates Before Booking Airfare

Most people book their airfare first and then start shopping for the best rental car deals, but in many cases it makes sense to reverse that order. Let’s say you are taking a trip to New York City and you find that airfare is a little cheaper at JFK as compared to LaGuardia or Newark airports. But if you save $20 on the flight and then spend $100 more than you have to on a rental car, then you really didn’t save any money at all. So anytime you are flying to an area that has multiple airports, make sure you check RentaCarNow.com to get an idea of how the rental car rates compare at each location and then use that information when you are deciding which airport to fly into. You can sometimes find significant differences that will more than offset any difference in airfare.

If you are flying somewhere without an alternative airport, it makes sense to check other rental locations that are located close to the airport. Sometimes you’ll find that a location just a few miles from the airport can save you 25% or more on a rental car, especially when you consider those locations won’t have the extra fees and taxes that airport locations often charge. And while it might be a little inconvenient to take a taxi to pick up a rental car from the airport, it might well be worth it if that $20 taxi ride saves you $100 on your rental car.

Save Money by Checking Rental Car Rates Before Booking Airfare

Most people book their airfare first and then start shopping for the best rental car deals, but in many cases it makes sense to reverse that order. Let’s say you are taking a trip to New York City and you find that airfare is a little cheaper at JFK as compared to LaGuardia or Newark airports. But if you save $20 on the flight and then spend $100 more than you have to on a rental car, then you really didn’t save any money at all. So anytime you are flying to an area that has multiple airports, make sure you check RentaCarNow.com to get an idea of how the rental car rates compare at each location and then use that information when you are deciding which airport to fly into. You can sometimes find significant differences that will more than offset any difference in airfare.

If you are flying somewhere without an alternative airport, it makes sense to check other rental locations that are located close to the airport. Sometimes you’ll find that a location just a few miles from the airport can save you 25% or more on a rental car, especially when you consider those locations won’t have the extra fees and taxes that airport locations often charge. And while it might be a little inconvenient to take a taxi to pick up a rental car from the airport, it might well be worth it if that $20 taxi ride saves you $100 on your rental car.

Advice for Returning a Rental Car After Hours

Depending on where you rent a car and when you return it, you might run into a situation where you need to return the car when the rental company is not open. Now this won’t be a problem if you are renting from a major airport, because many of those locations are open 24 hours or at least during all hours when flights are scheduled. But that’s not always the case at smaller airports or non-airport locations. Particularly if you are taking an early morning flight and arriving early to get through security, you might just have to park the car and return the keys and paperwork in a drop box. In that case, the rental car company will process your paperwork and rental charges later that day and either e-mail or mail you a receipt. This is generally no big deal, but it’s a good idea to take a couple precautions to avoid any chance of extra fees. First, if you have a phone with a camera, take a quick photo of the gas gauge and odometer and be sure you fill in those blanks on the return slip at the drop box. While it’s not likely that there would be a discrepancy, it never hurts to have a photo just in case. Also, when you park the car, make sure you find a good spot and stay well within the lines. If you park haphazardly and someone else pulls in and gives the car a nice dent or door ding, then the rental car company could claim that damage occurred while you had the car.

It’s also a good idea to keep your rental car confirmation handy along with a phone number for the rental car company. If you are flying into a smaller airport and are going to be significant delayed, especially if your flight is going to land after midnight, call the rental car company to make sure they will be open when your flight lands. If they know you are still coming, they can often make sure someone is available to handle your rental.

Advice for Returning a Rental Car After Hours

Depending on where you rent a car and when you return it, you might run into a situation where you need to return the car when the rental company is not open. Now this won’t be a problem if you are renting from a major airport, because many of those locations are open 24 hours or at least during all hours when flights are scheduled. But that’s not always the case at smaller airports or non-airport locations. Particularly if you are taking an early morning flight and arriving early to get through security, you might just have to park the car and return the keys and paperwork in a drop box. In that case, the rental car company will process your paperwork and rental charges later that day and either e-mail or mail you a receipt. This is generally no big deal, but it’s a good idea to take a couple precautions to avoid any chance of extra fees. First, if you have a phone with a camera, take a quick photo of the gas gauge and odometer and be sure you fill in those blanks on the return slip at the drop box. While it’s not likely that there would be a discrepancy, it never hurts to have a photo just in case. Also, when you park the car, make sure you find a good spot and stay well within the lines. If you park haphazardly and someone else pulls in and gives the car a nice dent or door ding, then the rental car company could claim that damage occurred while you had the car.

It’s also a good idea to keep your rental car confirmation handy along with a phone number for the rental car company. If you are flying into a smaller airport and are going to be significant delayed, especially if your flight is going to land after midnight, call the rental car company to make sure they will be open when your flight lands. If they know you are still coming, they can often make sure someone is available to handle your rental.

Tips to Avoid Surprise Charges for a Rental Car

Sometimes surprises are great, like a surprise birthday party or a surprise refund from the IRS, but a surprise charge from a rental car company is not. There are numerous unexpected and little known things that rental car companies can charge you for, so here’s a look at a couple of them and how to avoid an unpleasant extra charge. The first of these is a cleaning fee, which is easy to avoid with a little common sense. Rental car companies don’t expect the car to come back perfectly clean, but if you spilled a milkshake on the front seat and threw your mud-covered boots on the back seat, they might hit you with an extra fee to clean up the mess. So try to keep the car reasonably clean. If you do have a spill, try to clean it up quickly and inform the rental car company about it when you return the car. They are much more likely to waive any kind of fee if you don’t try to hide it.

Rental car companies can also charge a cleaning fee if you smoke in a car that is designated as non-smoking. The easy solution to this is to request a car in which smoking is permitted if you or anyone else plans to smoke. Lastly, be sure to fill up the tank with gas if you didn’t take the prepaid fuel option (which is almost always a bad deal for the customer). If you don’t fill up, you’ll get charged an excessive amount per gallon, plus a convenience fee. After all, you don’t want to give back any of the money you saved by renting a car through RentaCarNow.com.

Tips to Avoid Surprise Charges for a Rental Car

Sometimes surprises are great, like a surprise birthday party or a surprise refund from the IRS, but a surprise charge from a rental car company is not. There are numerous unexpected and little known things that rental car companies can charge you for, so here’s a look at a couple of them and how to avoid an unpleasant extra charge. The first of these is a cleaning fee, which is easy to avoid with a little common sense. Rental car companies don’t expect the car to come back perfectly clean, but if you spilled a milkshake on the front seat and threw your mud-covered boots on the back seat, they might hit you with an extra fee to clean up the mess. So try to keep the car reasonably clean. If you do have a spill, try to clean it up quickly and inform the rental car company about it when you return the car. They are much more likely to waive any kind of fee if you don’t try to hide it.

Rental car companies can also charge a cleaning fee if you smoke in a car that is designated as non-smoking. The easy solution to this is to request a car in which smoking is permitted if you or anyone else plans to smoke. Lastly, be sure to fill up the tank with gas if you didn’t take the prepaid fuel option (which is almost always a bad deal for the customer). If you don’t fill up, you’ll get charged an excessive amount per gallon, plus a convenience fee. After all, you don’t want to give back any of the money you saved by renting a car through RentaCarNow.com.

Can You Let Someone Else Drive Your Rental Car?

A lot of people assume that it’s OK to let someone else drive their rental car, but we all know what can happen when you assume. So before you let someone else take the wheel of your rental car, it’s a good idea to know the rules, especially since you agreed to those rules when you picked up the car (whether you read them or not). Generally speaking, you need to let the rental car company know ahead of time if someone other than the person renting the car might be driving it. Obviously the easiest way to do this is when you pick up the car. Sometimes there is an additional fee to add a driver, but oftentimes that will not be charged, especially for a business or company rental.

Keep in mind, however, that policies can differ from company to company and even from location to location within the same company. So the smart move is to ask about the policy when you pick up the car, or if a situation comes up during the rental then make a quick call to the phone number listed on your rental contract. In some cases, a spouse can drive the rental car without the company being notified, but again that policy varies. So it pays to check first. That’s just another tip to help save you time and money when you book a rental car at RentaCarNow.com.

Can You Let Someone Else Drive Your Rental Car?

A lot of people assume that it’s OK to let someone else drive their rental car, but we all know what can happen when you assume. So before you let someone else take the wheel of your rental car, it’s a good idea to know the rules, especially since you agreed to those rules when you picked up the car (whether you read them or not). Generally speaking, you need to let the rental car company know ahead of time if someone other than the person renting the car might be driving it. Obviously the easiest way to do this is when you pick up the car. Sometimes there is an additional fee to add a driver, but oftentimes that will not be charged, especially for a business or company rental.

Keep in mind, however, that policies can differ from company to company and even from location to location within the same company. So the smart move is to ask about the policy when you pick up the car, or if a situation comes up during the rental then make a quick call to the phone number listed on your rental contract. In some cases, a spouse can drive the rental car without the company being notified, but again that policy varies. So it pays to check first. That’s just another tip to help save you time and money when you book a rental car at RentaCarNow.com.

Make Sure You Don’t Pay Extra for an Optional Upgrade

Rental car companies are generally pretty good about having the right car on the rental lot for every reservation, however, they are not perfect. There will be times when you get to the rental counter and the class of car you reserved is not available, but in some situations the rental agent might not be completely forthcoming about that. Let’s say you have reserved a mid-size car and they are all out. When you go to pick up the car, they might offer you an upgrade to a full-size or luxury car for “just a few dollars more.” While it might be tempting to accept that, it’s usually a good idea to decline.

Here’s why. If they don’t have the class of car available that you reserved, they can’t charge you more for a higher class just because they ran out of cars. So if you decline the upgrade that they offer, you very well might end up with it anyway, but at the same price as the lower class of car you reserved. So next time you get offered an upgrade, just say you are happy with what you reserved and see what happens. After all, you’ve already saved a bundle by reserving your car at RentaCarNow.com so there’s no reason to pay more when you get to the counter.

Make Sure You Don’t Pay Extra for an Optional Upgrade

Rental car companies are generally pretty good about having the right car on the rental lot for every reservation, however, they are not perfect. There will be times when you get to the rental counter and the class of car you reserved is not available, but in some situations the rental agent might not be completely forthcoming about that. Let’s say you have reserved a mid-size car and they are all out. When you go to pick up the car, they might offer you an upgrade to a full-size or luxury car for “just a few dollars more.” While it might be tempting to accept that, it’s usually a good idea to decline.

Here’s why. If they don’t have the class of car available that you reserved, they can’t charge you more for a higher class just because they ran out of cars. So if you decline the upgrade that they offer, you very well might end up with it anyway, but at the same price as the lower class of car you reserved. So next time you get offered an upgrade, just say you are happy with what you reserved and see what happens. After all, you’ve already saved a bundle by reserving your car at RentaCarNow.com so there’s no reason to pay more when you get to the counter.