Rent a Car – How to Save
Renting a car is often the most convenient way you can get around in a foreign country. Especially if you're not too familiar with the schedules of public transport. Renting a car on a student budget however, can be quite expensive. Luckily, we've found some ways you can keep your costs down.
Book Ahead Online
This is the trick to finding car rentals that won't cost you a pretty penny. You should always shop around as there are always cheaper quotes out there. Start with a good car hire comparison site, as they will weigh up all the options for you in one spot. You can then simply pick and choose the one that fits you budget.
Upgrades are a NO
If the rental company offers you an upgrade for “just a little extra”, decline kindly. An upgrade will usually mean a bigger car which, unless you need the extra space, can be a waste of money. Bigger cars need more fuel, which equals more money out of your budget to feed it.
Avoid the Extras
If your hired car comes with a host of extras like a roof rack or a child seat, ask for another option. These little 'improvements' are actually budget-killers. Most rental companies will add an extra charge to your bill for every day's use – or in your case non-use.
Take the Weekly Rate
Depending on how long you are using the car for, always opt for the weekly rate rather than the daily rate. Daily rates, when added up, can cost you more than the weekly. In some cases, 4 days of use will cost you just as much as for a whole weeks use, which is a saving of up to 30% you could make.
Never Return the Car Late
This is probably the most important way to save. Most car hire companies will hire out their cars for periods of 24 hours. So, should you return your car after the next 24 hour period started, they will charge you for the entire 24 hours. Simply avoid this by returning the car an hour before the scheduled return time.
Fill Up the Tank
Most car companies will give you a car filled with fuel. If you return it without a full tank, they can and do charge you for refuelling the car. This could be up to 2 or 3 times more expensive than doing it yourself. So, when you do refuel the car take it to an a fuel station close to the drop off point.
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