How to Save Money When You Rent a Car on Business or Holiday

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Saving money on a rental car for your next business or holiday trip takes some preplanning, and perhaps even a few slight adjustments to your plans, but it can be worth that effort if it means keeping that money for yourself when you're on the road. Note a few tips on how to save at least a couple of dollars on your next rental, whether for a family holiday or an out-of-town business trip.

Check your memberships

Are you a member of any type of civic group, such as one for people of a certain age, an auto club, an organization for those who work in your chosen profession, and so on? You may not realize that these groups often offer discounts on car rentals when out of town, and the savings can be significant. Go through your membership cards or records of dues you pay, and ask each rental agency what discounts they might offer for you based on those memberships.

Ask about a different car when you arrive

It's probably safe to say that most travellers need a mid-size, four-door sedan for their trip. If you arrive at a rental counter, scan the lot and note if there are a lot of larger cars or minivans available. If these would work for you, ask the sales rep if they would offer you a discount if you took one of those vehicles instead. A rental agency may do this in order to free up another one of their sedans and keep it available for those without a reservation.

Keep it parked when possible

Once you rent your vehicle, keep it parked when possible. For example, if you're meeting business associates, have lunch in their building rather than driving across town to a restaurant. If a hotel offers a shuttle to a nearby attraction you want to visit, use the shuttle. Save your car just for when you need it; this won't save you money on rental costs, but it will save you on the cost of gas while travelling! You may not have planned on leaving your car behind once you rent it, but consider that every mile or kilometre you drive means more petrol that will need to be paid for during your trip and when you refill the tank once your trip is over, so use other transport or make other arrangements when it's convenient to do so during your trip.