Save on Car Rentals for the Holidays

Save on Car Rentals for the Holidays
  • Opening Intro -

    If you're traveling this holiday season and will be driving to your destination, have you considered renting a car instead of taking your own?

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Save money on a car rental this Christmas.

Though car rentals can be expensive, you enjoy the benefit of driving a new car, perhaps one with more room or additional creature features (e.g., DVD player, premium sound system, advanced safety system) than what your car offers. Moreover, your car won’t take on additional wear and tear, an expense you may not realize until well after you have completed your trip.

Look for weekly deals — The best savings available when renting a car are with the weekly deals or on weekends. You may find it cheaper to rent a car for a full week than the four or five days you need the car. Leaving and returning on a weekend day can be especially beneficial to your wallet with rates as much as 50 percent lower than at other times of the week.

Reserve early — If you wait too late to reserve your rental car, then you may find yourself without a car available or the choices slim as far as available models go. You can also expect to pay more if you book your reservation at the last minute, so book early to save.

Shop around — There are plenty of companies renting cars on the national level including Hertz, Avis, Enterprise and National. There are also regional providers including Fox Rent-A-Car with locations mostly in California and other western states. You can also save money by shopping with a provider whose location is not at the airport. Prime real estate locations mean you’ll pay extra for the convenience.

Compare fees — That $29 per day rate certainly sounds enticing, but what other fees are involved? Taxes and fees can add up and should be included in whatever quotes you receive. Use the Internet, researching sites such as Orbitz, Expedia and SayFunTravel for comparison shopping.

If you belong to AAA, AARP or some other national organization you may also be able to get a discount by showing your membership card. Oftentimes the AAA rate is 10 percent lower than what the average consumer pays.

Consider also what sort of fuel economy your rental car will get. If you’re not sure, than a visit to fueleconomy.gov can give you the estimated gas mileage for your late model car rental. With gas averaging $3.50 per gallon a few miles to the gallon difference in fuel economy can save you plenty.

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