7 Helpful car rental tips to save time and money

Are you looking for the best tips when using a rental car that allows you to save time and money? Of course, when we prepare for a one-day or long road trip, we would like to make our transportation not very expensive and affordable. Vehicle hire might become very cheap if you know the best tricks, and we are pleased to share them with you. So, you will find out about:

  • The best time to book your perfect vehicle;
  • How to save money on gas;
  • Upgrading rental car and its pros and cons;
  • Membership capabilities;
  • How many drivers you should have;
  • What insurance to use.

Car rental tip №1: Book as early as possible

It is one of the best rental car reservation tips. The main point is to find a convenient refundable rate for vehicle hire as early as possible (3-4 ahead of the start of a trip). Look through the available deals again two weeks, one week, and several days before your trip. If you find an even cheaper offer, cancel your reservation and book a new one!

Car rental tip №2: Check prices after step 1

One of the next car rental tips is to check the prices for the last time before your trip. If you followed the first step, you would already have a ready reservation while having an opportunity to find something cheaper. Why not give it a shot and check the prices one more time? You will not lose anything anyway!

Car rental tip №3: Beware of pre-paying gas options

Our next car rental tip for USA trips concerns petrol for your hired vehicle. Companies offer gasoline options providing you with a full tank of fuel. If you accept the offer, it is better to return a car with almost no petrol left. Pre-pay gas packs might seem convenient for a trip, but the price per gallon is usually higher than at a refuel service station. Moreover, there is always a chance of buying more gas than needed.

If you wish to save money on gas, follow our best trips:

  • Pay with cash to avoid additional charges with banking services usage.
  • Use a card with cashback on gas purchasing.
  • Turn off the engine while standing for a long time.
  • Try membership benefits. 

Rental car tips

Car rental tip №4: Ask for an upgrade

Upgrading a vehicle is also a useful rental car tip with many pros. Sometimes, unexpected changes in your plan or route occur while preparing for a trip. You can choose a bigger, faster, and more convenient vehicle for your trip. It is possible to upgrade a rental car without additional charges, and some credit cards have a vehicle hire upgrade as one of their benefits.

Nevertheless, upgrading a vehicle has some disadvantages. Foremost, it concerns fuel consumption. For example, you look for an Atlanta car rental and find a perfect Economy that gets approximately 37 MPG. After a while, you think of a bigger vehicle and rebook, choosing an SUV, which gets 20 MPG. As a result, you have a more spacious but less fuel-efficient car.

Car rental tip №5: Leverage memberships

Our list of car rental tips and tricks is not complete without mentioning membership benefits. Car rental companies offer discounts for vehicle hire if you become a member of specific organizations. Here are some of them:

  • The American Auto Association allows you to save money on Hertz vehicle rentals.
  • American Airlines will provide you with a 35% discount on the cars of Avis and Budget (works for AAdvantage members).
  • Costco membership sometimes covers the price of your rental vehicle.

In addition, you can try some rewarding programs which allow you to earn points. Here are the top rental companies with such a program:

  • Enterprise;
  • Dollar;
  • Hertz;
  • AVIS.

Car rental tip №6: Rent a car for one driver

An additional driver is a person who is allowed to operate a rental car with you during vehicle hire. The issue is that you have to pay a fee to receive a permit for an additional driver. The charge varies depending on the company. For example, SIXT charges $5.50/day, while Enterprise and Hertz obligate you to pay $15/day and $13.50/day, respectively. If you wish to save money, have only one driver operating a rental vehicle.

Car rental tip №7: Use your own insurance

One more item in our list of tips for car rental concerns insurance. If you already own a vehicle, then you can use your primary insurance for rental cars. You might avoid extra payments if your driving record is good. In addition, some credit cards also provide you with good coverage.

Book a car with more benefits!

Renting cars with our service Rental24h.com is time-efficient and money-saving. Use our fast search engine and customize the search results to find the cheapest vehicles for any location! Spend a little time searching, comparing, and finding information about any deal from famous providers, such as SIXT, Enterprise, Hertz, and many more! Fill in the form in only 2 minutes, and here it is – your perfect car and the beginning of a fantastic journey you will never forget!

What If I Pick Up A Rental Car Early?

Traveling by car is always interesting and convenient. You don’t need to be attached to anyone, be afraid of being late to the train or bus station, as well as overpay for luggage. With a rental car you’ll feel like a boss. That’s why many travelers prefer to rent a car and explore the city or even the whole country on wheels.

However, there are situations when it’s more advantageous for you not to lose precious traveling hours and to pick up a rental car early, that is, before the agreed time. But the question is does rental car pick up time matter?

If you booked a car in advance, the on-site receipt procedure will take not more than 30 minutes. You come to the car hire counter at the appointed time or you are met by a company representative, then you submit documents, fill out an agreement, and pick up the car.

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pick up rental car early

Can you pick up a rental car early?

In order to answer whether you can pick up a rental car early, you probably should first check the policies of companies. The fact is that this issue is not regulated by documents anywhere, and this means its outcome depends on many circumstances.

First of all, you will be glad that the availability of pick up a rental car early still exists, but the general rule is the longer the period remaining until the real pickup time, the greater the probability that you will be denied.

The assumption that your car will be waiting for you on site 4-5 hours before the scheduled time is wrong. So, how early can you pick up a rental car? After the drop off procedure, all vehicle systems need to be carefully checked before the car is handed over to you. Of course, it will take some time, especially if some faults were found in the process.

Plus, every renter wants both the car’s exterior and interior to be clean, which would entail a waste of additional time on washing the rental car.

On average, you can expect to pick up rental car early if you visited a rental desk 1-2 hours before the contract time. Keep in mind that suppliers’ prices are based on the 24-hour format, and when picking up a car earlier, you must also drop it off earlier to avoid additional fees.

USA companies’ car rental early pick-up restrictions

pick up rental car early

As it was mentioned above, USA suppliers like Avis, Hertz, Enterprise or Budget usually don’t have an official policy to pick up rental car early, but at the same time they try to satisfy those travelers who need a car before the scheduled time.

Obviously, in a period of high demand, it will be harder for the company’s employees to prepare a car, and you may be refused an early pick-up at all. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise if you have to wait a bit.

In order to maximize your chances in an early pickup, you should contact the supplier as soon as possible and ask about this possibility. After you warn the company about this fact, it will probably try to make the car servicing faster.

Finding the right car rental places with early pick up is another way to get a car at a convenient time for you. As a rule, airport locations have a greater choice of cars and staff, which gives more opportunities when such non-standard situations arise.

Step by step recommendations on early pick-up

pick up rental car early

Careful planning is the key to pick up a rental car early as efficiently and easily as possible. Therefore, follow these guidelines to avoid unexpected situations with car hire in the future:

  1. Try to clarify all the details of the upcoming trip in advance to determine the optimal pickup time.
  2. If you admit the need for early pick up, then choose a location with an extensive range of available models on Rental24h.com to have more alternative options.
  3. In case you understand that it’s absolutely necessary for you to pick up a rental car early, don’t forget to notify the company about it in any way possible including telephone, email or via online support. Of course, you should do it as soon as possible.
  4. After that, the supplier will be aware of your intentions, and will tell you about the possibility to pick up the car earlier than it was planned initially.