Hacking In Progress Biiiihhh!
Alright, so a few years ago during the height of when gas prices were like $4/Gallon, I decided to get rid of my truck and take the train everywhere. Fortunately for me I lived on Peachtree St in Atlanta, right across from the midtown train station, so I was able to get around fairly easily during the week. However, I quickly realized that I needed a car to get out and about on the weekends. So I ended up renting a car 1-2 weekends a month. I literally became the rental car expert. I rented so much I was in the hertz “Platinum Club” lol.
Sooooo since I have crowned myself the rental car expert *wink* here are a few tips I wanna pass along to make sure you save the most money when renting:
Tip #1: Location, Location, LOCATION
This is probably the biggest money saving tip I can give, which is why I put it on the top of this list!
Where you pick up your car will determine how much your rental car will be. If you pick up your car at the airport, your car rental will automatically be about 20-30% higher (due to surcharges) than if you were to pick it up somewhere locally or central to the city. Rental car companies always put the airport either by default or at the top of the list of locations because they know the rates are higher! The second highest are hotels. Hotels charge a surcharge similar to airports automatically. So make sure you use google maps, and compare locations and prices. Always opt for a local “neighborhood” rental car location if possible. And remember, 9 times out of 10 they are willing to come pick you up, so you don’t have to go out of your way to get there.
Tip #2: You Do Not Need Insurance On Your Car!
Yes, you read that correctly. Repeat after me: I DO NOT NEED ADDITIONAL INSURANCE ON A RENTAL CAR!
You probably think I am crazy and out of my mind for giving you this tip… but hold on so I can explain. You know when you’re checking in to pick up your rental and you get to the very end of the process and they are like “So do you want to put insurance on the car in case something happens? Otherwise you would be responsible for 100% of the costs should their be damage”. You then get scared and want to avoid judgement so you be like “ummm yeah, that’s probably something I need”. WRONG GIRL! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Rental car companies make a pretty penny off “rental car insurance” AND the associate offering it gets commission if he sells it. Which is why he or she goes soooo hard with making you feel like you NEED to have it. The truth is, 90% of credit card companies have rental car insurance included at no cost to you, as long as you use the card to pay for the rental.
Here is what’s required by most credit card companies in order to activate coverage at NO additional cost to you:
- Decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW) – in other words SAY NO!
- Be the primary renter of the car – Common sense lol
- Pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection – Also common sense
So the next time they try to pressure you into buying their insurance, look them dead in the eye, tilt your head to the side, close your eyes and say slowly “Noooooo Thaaaank Youuuuuu”.
Tip #3: Coupon Codes
YALL. KNOW. EYE. LUV. COUPONS
They are everything!! If you haven’t read my post about coupon codes and how to use them, make sure you swing by there and check out all that useful goodness (You’re Welcome).
There are always a ton of coupon codes for rental cars. I would recommend checking their website, coupon cabin, retailmenot and plenty of others. The key to getting the really good coupon codes is to join the email list! (Who taught you that?). I know from experience that Hertz allows your to stack coupon codes! Also, if you work for a medium to large sized company, 9 times out of 10 they have a corporate discount code that never expires. I am still using mine that gets 20% off from a company I worked for 8yrs ago lol. I would share it, but my hertz profile has it stored and it doesn’t show what it is. It was a one-time thing. Sowwry! But listen, ask around, ask your company’s travel agent, use google….i’m telling you its worth it! You never know when its going to kick in for your benefit!
Tip #4: Pre-pay for gas
Most of us hardly pay attention to this, but pre-paying for your gas is a quick and easy way to save time when returning the car while getting a pretty nice discount at the same time. Pre-paying for your gas at the counter will save you on average about 5-10 cent per gallon! Now, the only exception to this rule is if you are in an area with unusually low gas prices (southeast). There are plenty of apps to help you find cheap gas, but if you dont want to do all that, just pre-pay. Trust meeeeeeeeeee.
Tip #5: Download the app!
I keep telling yall the importance of joining the email list. Well downloading the app is JUST as important. These companies know they are competing for your business and want to reward you for your loyalty! They do this by offering discounts, sales, and discount codes on their app only! My friend Ashley told me about how she booked an enterprise rental car online and then downloaded the app to easily keep up with her reservation. She then noticed that the app was running a special for 9.99/DAY if she booked THRU THE APP! That’s like $40 for the entire weekend!!! Yes there are restrictions, but the point is, she saved a crap load of money by just downloading the app. That same rental would’ve ran her about $100 more. You can always delete the app after you use it, so get those discounts while you can!
Do you have any other rental car hacks? Let me know!!!!
Please share and subscribe! As always, thank you for your support!