Buyer beware: The rate you see advertised in big print may become so inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance, gasoline bills and drop-off charges that you end up paying more than double what you expected. Learn more about these extra charges in Car Rental Hidden Costs.
Also, the advertised rate may be valid only during the off season or for a car size that you would find unsuitable.
In recent years, the major booking engines have become more transparent about rental car rates, and they now usually show you the total cost of your rental, including estimated taxes and fees, early on in the booking process.
If you can, pick up your rental downtown instead of at the airport.
This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but in general, rental rates at airports are more expensive than rates a little bit further away. Try looking for rates from pick-up spots closer to your hotel, or even in the city center.
Make sure to always compare those to rates from airport agencies, though – sometimes, the price difference will be negligible, or the airport might even be cheaper. Also remember that you’ll need to arrange transportation to the rental agency, whether you can take a hotel shuttle, or you have to pay for mass transit or a taxi into the city. More details about rent a car in Havanna
Don’t Get a GPS
Car rental companies absolutely love it when you add a GPS onto your rental for an extra $10-$15 a day. Avoid this charge by using your smartphone for navigation. We download offline maps of whole countries to Google Maps. This gives us turn by turn direction even when we don’t have WiFi or data signal. Make sure to pick up a phone cradle for the drive that way you have distraction-free driving.
We’ve also used Maps.me to get us across, Africa. Back in the day before smartphones I even bought a new GPS for a two-week car rental in Australia, which turned out to be cheaper than what the rental company was going to charge.
Prepay to save upwards of 20 percent.
If you’re checking out your options online, you’ll notice that most car rental companies offer two different rates: one for prepaying customers, and a higher one for customers who wish to pay when they pick up the car. My boyfriend and I are headed to Michigan the weekend before Christmas to see his family, and looking at rental cars on Hertz, prepaying is definitely our best option. We could get a Ford Focus for $28/day if we prepay, but if we wait to pay in person, we’ll be spending $34/day. For a three-day rental, prepaying will save us $20, and these savings get bigger the better the car you rent. More details about rent a car in Faro
When you return your hire car, the rental company might claim that some damage on the car wasn’t there before your rental and that you will have to pay for repairing the damage.
Tips for avoiding trickery on new damage
When you pick your car up, the rental company staff will usually go through a ‘check-out form’ with you. This form includes notes on any damage already in the car before your rental starts. Before you drive away, check that there’s no more damage to the car apart from what’s written in that form.
Take photographs of the car when you pick it up, and also when you return it. If you’re not in a rush when you drop it off, wait for the rental company agent to check over the car and get a copy of the ‘check-in form’ that they’ll complete.