Did you know that you can almost always get a better deal by selecting a weekly car rental rather than several days? This is frequently true and your car rental agent may not tell you about the money you can save by taking this option.
Let’s say that you need to rent a car for a trip, either business or leisure, where you pick up the car on a Sunday night or Monday morning and will be returning the car sometime on Friday of the same week. You may look at the rates for the rental and base your decision in large part based on the daily rental rate for a five day rental. This is a very typical scenario that many people use for both business and pleasure trips.
But in that example, it is definitely worth asking what the WEEKLY car rental rate would be. What you will find a great deal of the time is that a weekly rate on the same car class would be as much as 25% to 30% less than the rate you would pay based on a daily rate for five days.
You should also always ask about specials or promotions that the car rental agency may have going on. For example, a typical agency may quote you say $200 for a weekly rate on an intermediate size car, but based on a promotion they are running that month, you may be able to get a full size car or even an SUV for about the same price. Wouldn’t it be nice to be driving an SUV at the same price you were willing to pay for a much smaller intermediate car? Or maybe for the same price you could be upgraded to a full size car that has a GPS built in.
To save even more money on a weekly car rental, you probably do not want to take the insurance that will almost certainly be offered to you. The agent may even try to “scare” you into taking the insurance they offer, citing how much you will have to pay if you are in an accident, even if that accident is determined to be not your fault. For the most part, this insurance can add as much as $10 to $20 per day to your car rental. Check with the insurance company you use for your own personal car, because in most cases that same policy will cover you in a rental vehicle. Definitely take the time to check with your current insurance company to verify this.
One last tip to save money on a car rental is to allocate enough time to fill the car up with gas before you return it. Most agencies offer a “fuel option” but what happens is that this assumes that the tank is going to be virtually DRY at the time you return it, and that is rarely the case, so what happens is that you have pre-paid for fuel that you did not use. Never allow the car rental agency to fill the car with gas because they typically charge as much as $6 per gallon or even more if they have to do it.
Weekly car rentals can be very cost effective and it is definitely worth checking out your options if you are planning to rent a car for several days.