How to Save Money When Renting a Car

Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, renting a car can be an economical option. However, it is important to be aware of certain factors that may affect your rental costs.


Many rental companies check drivers’ records, and some have specific restrictions or conditions that can add to your cost. In addition, some companies charge for extras, such as a GPS or EZ Pass transponder.


Car rental costs can vary greatly depending on the type of vehicle and the company you choose. However, there are ways to save money, including shopping around and skipping add-ons. When comparing prices online, look for the total price and any hidden fees or deposits. You should also consider the number of passengers and luggage and whether you want to pay extra for mileage. Finally, if you’re planning to use your own car insurance for the rental, check your coverage to see if it applies.

Some companies include state and local taxes in their advertised price, while others charge them separately. These taxes can add 20 percent or more to the cost of a rental. To avoid these additional charges, be sure to ask about the tax before making a reservation.

In addition to taxes, many car rental companies charge a variety of other fees. Fuel service fees, for example, can be surprisingly expensive, and it’s worth asking for the car to be returned empty to avoid this charge. Other extras can include equipment rentals, such as child seats and ski or bike racks, and fees for adding an additional driver.

In addition to these extra fees, most rental companies require a credit or debit card. They may also place a hold or block on the amount of your rental, which can be especially troublesome if you’re near your limit or have a low balance in your bank account.


Car rental offers a number of benefits over buying or leasing your own vehicle. It’s quicker, more convenient and often more affordable. It can also help you avoid the hassle of car maintenance, which can be expensive and time consuming. However, you should know what to expect when renting a car. Many rental companies have a bag of tricks to pump up the bottom line, including charges like insurance or fuel purchase fees. Some companies even charge for second drivers, which may be more than the cost of an additional driver on your own auto insurance policy. You should also pay attention to the mileage limits, which can be higher than your personal vehicle.

A few rental hacks can save you money on these fees, including prepaying a tank of gas so that you don’t have to worry about running out before returning the vehicle. Another trick is to return the car at a different location than where you picked it up. This could save you a late fee. And if you do end up being late, it can be cheaper to extend the rental instead of paying an extra day. In addition, membership in a rental company’s loyalty or rewards program can help you save on extra drivers and other fees. For example, Thrifty and Dollar offer free upgrades for members, and some programs waive fees for spouses or domestic partners.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for car rental is surging, but some customers are concerned about safety. Car rental companies are taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of their vehicles. These include enhanced cleaning measures, and sanitizing key areas of the vehicle between each customer. These include the key and key fob, center console, cupholders and compartments, seat surfaces and pockets, areas between the seat and console, doorjambs, accessory panel, steering wheel and column, and mirrors. In addition, all vehicles must pass a thorough inspection.

Aside from these measures, there are a few things that savvy renters can do to increase safety while driving a rental. For starters, they should make sure that the car is equipped with airbags. This is especially important for younger drivers and families. They should also check the car’s maintenance history and VIN to ensure it is not involved in any safety recalls.

Another potential risk is that the driver could lose control of the vehicle. This can lead to injury or death. To reduce the risk of this, companies should invest in GPS tracking devices that can prevent vehicles from leaving the premises. Some of these devices even allow the car rental company to immobilize the vehicle remotely. This can protect the cars from damage and save them from theft.


When renting a car, it’s important to consider the vehicle size and whether it will fit all of your passengers. There are various sizes of accessible vehicles, ranging from small four-seaters (one wheelchair and three seats) to larger coaches. Make sure that the vehicle has enough room for everyone to travel comfortably and that there’s plenty of storage space for equipment. Additionally, be sure to choose a vehicle with plenty of legroom for people with longer legs.

Research Rental Companies: Before you pick up the vehicle, contact several rental companies and inquire about their accessibility options. Some companies have wheelchair-accessible vehicles available in their fleets, and others may be able to accommodate requests for specific adaptations such as hand controls or ramps. Be sure to communicate your specific needs clearly, and ask about any other requirements or restrictions.

Of the sociodemographic variables, only finding it difficult to plan new trips and refraining from traveling due to transportation barriers were significantly related to perceived accessibility to public transport regardless of geographical area. However, it’s possible that the finding for major city areas could be related to the fact that those residents are more likely to face disruptive weather conditions when waiting for public transport. This explains why the other factors, such as frequent travel by public transport and owning a car, did not show significant relationships with perceived accessibility to public transport in both geographic areas.