Renting a car for your next vacation? It’s a convenient and flexible way to get around town during your travels. Depending on where you’re traveling to, it may be the only means of transportation. As beneficial as it can be to have a rental car if you don’t know the ropes you could end up wasting a lot of money. That minimal dollar a day rate quickly adds up taking funds that can be used to have fun on your trip. The only way around it is to know how to find savings and select options that are best for you and those traveling with you. Here’s a guide on how this is done.

Shop Around

Car rental companies are all over the world. You don’t have to choose the most popular brand or the first company to show up in internet search results. In fact, this is the easiest way to watch money go down the drain. Instead, you should shop around to find the best deal on car rentals. Do a comparative research online with at least three companies to determine who offers the most affordable rates for the best service.

Book Strategically

It’s not uncommon to take a vacation on a weekend or holiday, but if you do, you’re going to spend a lot more on your trip. If you want to save cash on your car rental (and other traveling accommodations), it is important to be strategic about when you reserve your dates. Traveling in the middle of the week, before, or after a major holiday are the best times to get discounts on your car rental.

Use Your Own Insurance

When reserving a rental car the company will ask if you require any additional services. One of the most common is car insurance. They need to make sure that their asset is protected while you’re driving. You can save yourself several dollars per day by using your own car insurance instead. Most policies cover rental cars and qualify as adequate coverage for car rental companies. If you don’t presently have insurance, you can check out sites like and get a free quote. Often the cost of your own insurance policy is a lot cheaper than using the rental car company’s policy.

Watch the Airports

When determining where you’ll pick up your rental car, steer clear of airport locations. It may seem the most convenient to hop off the plane and head to the kiosk to get your rental, but it’s going to cost you. It is more affordable instead to schedule to have your vehicle picked up somewhere in town.

Consider One Driver

If you’re traveling with others you might consider allowing them to drive the rental car on occasion. Though it gives you a break from behind the wheel, it also means more money per day on your car rental charges. Most companies charge an additional $10+ for extra drivers. So, consider being the sole driver to save cash.

Bring Your Own Extras

The car rental company’s job is to get you to lock into as many services as possible. This includes offering you the “convenience” of additional devices and equipment like car seats or a GPS system. You can cut out these costs by making sure you pack your own.

Inspect the Vehicle

As the driver of the rental car, you are solely and financially responsible for any damage done to the vehicle once it is released to you. Many drivers lose a lot of cash paying for damage that they didn’t cause simply because they didn’t complete an inspection prior to driving off. Though the rental company ensures you that they’ve inspected and labeled everything wrong with the vehicle, you should do an inspection of your own to be safe. Check that all buttons and car functions work, look under the vehicle for leaks, and take photos of any visible damage for added protection.

Rental cars provide a ton of convenience when you’re out of town, but those conveniences could easily cost you hundreds of dollars more than necessary if you’re not careful. To make sure that you’ve got the best rental and deal for your vacation, be sure to follow all of the above money-saving tips.