Best deals on rental cars near me

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Airport car rental kiosks often charge a airport concession fee, so it could be worth your while to take a taxi or public transit into town and rent a car from there. Adding a few extra hours or even an extra day can lower your base rate, and if you return it early, many rental car agencies will give you a prorated refund for an early return. This is also a good idea if you're not sure what traffic will be like on the day of your return, or if you'd like to give yourself a little more weekend wiggle room. Whenever we drive to Michigan, my boyfriend and I typically get a car from Friday to Monday, even though we drive back on Sunday.

This enables us to leave whenever we want on Sunday afternoon, and not get stressed out by the insanity of Chicago traffic on our way back into the city. It also means he can drive me to work on Monday morning, which is always appreciated. This suggestion comes with a caveat, however.

Many rental car companies will charge you for a whole new day if you return the car an hour later than when you picked it up, and even crazier, some will charge you an "early return fee" for bringing the car back ahead of schedule. If you have your own car insurance or an AAA membership, you probably don't need to purchase this additional insurance, but make sure you double check before skipping out on it entirely. Also, many credit cards offer free rental car insurance when yo use the card to pay for your rental, so check out this recent blog post to learn more about which cards offer this service.

5 Cheap Rental Car Tricks You've Always Needed, But Never Known | HuffPost Life

Check the amount of gas you have in your tank before you drive off, because if it's not at or above that level when you bring it back, you're gonna be charged an arm and a leg. You should also take care to inspect your car for any small dings or dents before you pull out of the lot, and make sure the inside is clean and free of stains or damage of any sort. I like to take a few pictures of both the outside and inside of my car in case they try to charge me upon return for damage that was present when I got the car.

Always check for fees tied to GPS, electronic toll collection systems, and car seats. If you know exactly what you want and need, you'll be a lot less likely to fall for the clever up-sells presented by rental car agents. Prepaid gas plans are almost never cheaper, so fill up on your way back to the drop-off location.

However, you should try not to fill up at the closest gas station to the rerun spot, unless you're renting from a small town in the middle of nowhere.

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Gas stations in cities and close to airports are always more expensive because of increased demand. I recommend downloading an app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas in your area, then using a credit card that gives rewards for gas purchases. Users browse the selection of available cars, read reviews, and request a booking. It was a great experience.

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Our family vacation: On the open road. AAA memberships are another great money-saving tool.

Frequent-flier programs also offer discounts on rental cars. Economy cars are typically the cheapest, and therefore the most likely to be booked. You can use this to your advantage, says Brett Graff, a family finance expert and author of a syndicated column called The Home Economist. Not exactly the cozy vacation you had in mind, is it? Most rental car companies will charge you a daily fee to add an extra driver. There are ways to dodge the fee, though. Others, including National, will waive the fee for spouses, partners and immediate family members if you enroll in their membership program.

Rental agents make more money if they sell you on the benefits of extras like insurance, roadside assistance, satellite radio and GPS navigation. Many credit cards also include basic insurance coverage if you use the card to pay for your rental. Some cards even offer more comprehensive coverage. Renting overseas?

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Costa Rica. Build this into your budget. Use the navigation system you carry around in your pocket and save your money for gas. Or go old school and pick up a paper map.

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While tolls are unavoidable, there are cheaper ways to go about it. After all, the safety of your child is more important than saving a few dollars. Also factor in how likely it is you will have a near-empty tank on return. On a short day or weekend trip, you may just need to top off your tank before returning the car.

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Longer trips may allow you to roll in on fumes and save a few dollars as you do so. While these tips will help you get a cheap rental car, there is one other surefire way to save: Most major cities have walkable downtowns and extensive public transportation networks, not to mention taxis and ridesharing apps galore. Need a car for a few hours?

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