Decisions, decisions — that’s what planning a trip is full of! A rental car may be one of those decisions (and expenses) that you can’t avoid.

In my book, if you can’t avoid the expense all together, check for ways to lower the cost. So I’ve compiled a list of tips that I found helpful when getting a great deal on a rental car.

Book Online

If you are booking through a travel site or getting a travel package, don’t assume you are getting the best deal on a rental car. It’s smart to price check them against other sites. Look at the travel sections for the big discount sites like Sam’s Club or Costco. They have wonderful deals on rental vehicles — even some for non-members

Or you can go straight to the source. Often times you can get great deals on the rental company’s own Web site. They may give discounts for extended rentals or adding on a GPS. Some even give you discounts for paying ahead of time and booking online.

Check For Coupon Codes

Another reason to book online — and buy anything online in my opinion — is the coupon code. I’m a fan of trying out different codes to get the best deal before booking.

My good friend Google comes in handy for this! Once you find the company you want, or if you want to narrow it down between companies, just do a search for the company’s name and coupon code (ie. Avis Coupon Codes, Alamo Coupon Codes).

Many will pop up. Some will be expired. Some will be wonderful and you will save money!

Think Smart About The Vehicle

By think smart, I mean get the vehicle you need. You don’t want to end up getting a vehicle too big if it’s just you riding in it, or conversely, one too small if you are planning on packing the whole family in. Changes at the pick-up site may cost you.

When picking up your car you may be also pressured to upgrade. “Don’t you want a convertible?” is a common one for travelers to tropical locations. If you don’t want to, stand your ground and don’t get swept up in the excitement of traveling — at least not until you get your car.

Part two coming soon!

-Alison Lorge is a web producer and consumer blogger at WCCO.


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