So you’re all set to travel over the forest and through the hills. You’ve got your plane, you know where you’re staying and for how long. Now onto the business of booking that last piece: a rental car.
Travel can be hectic and expensive during the holidays. This week’s post will give you a few pointers on how you can save a little money on your holiday car rental and put it to better use! Let’s jump right in!
Don’t rent a GPS – not only will you likely have Google Maps on your phone to depend on, but using an atlas isn’t a terrible thing, either. Especially if you’re traveling abroad – a trip to Britain can cost you around $100.00 for a weekly rental for a SATNAV (European term for a GPS). If you NEED one or don’t already have something on your phone, then rent a GPS. But if you can get by without one, you can save a considerable amount of money.
Bring your own car seats – Depending on who you’re dealing with, renting a car seat can cost you in upwards of $90 a week if you’re not careful. Not only that, but there’s a good chance your seat is not only a better fit for the car – but in better condition as well. Even better – most airlines will let you check a car seat for free, so while it might be one more thing to lug around an airport, at least you can save yourself a nice chunk of change.
Don’t be so fast to add an additional driver – while sure- it’s convenient; the likelihood that you’ll be doing tons of driving over the holidays in your car rental to the degree that you’ll have to trade off with someone else is pretty low. For a week’s fare, it costs about $35-$40 to add a second driver to your car. If you can get by using one driver, do it.
Don’t be afraid to rent outside the airport or from non-chains – When you grab a car at the airport, you’re paying slightly higher rates, largely for the convenience of it all. A quick shuttle bus trip may take you a bit off the beaten path, but can save you a good $20-$25 off a car rental, especially with smaller mom and pop shops. They usually don’t receive the high volume that a Budget or Hertz would get and as a result, need to be more creative in terms of getting people in the door. As such, during the holiday, their rates tend to be a bit lower. So again – if you’re looking to shave some cash off the holiday bill, going the non-chain route can be beneficial.
So take those numbers we gave you: $100 for a GPS, $90 for a car seat, $35 for an additional driver and $25 because you’re willing to go local. That equals almost $250.00 in unnecessary expenditures during the holidays. That costs as much as a new TV, video game system, nice hand bag or coat… that’s a post-Christmas family dinner out or a nice wad of cash to take advantage of Boxing Day/26th of December deals. Spend that money smarter!