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7 Hacks to Save Money on Car Rental Services

7 Hacks to Save Money on Car Rental Services

As our cities become more crowded and we long for affordable and comfortable personal cars, car rental service is one good alternative for anyone who wants to enjoy the car rides at fraction of the cost and that too without incurring any maintenance and other costs.

More demand for rental car services means higher rental charges and services like Uber and Lyft are really riding on this drive to cash in more money. Riding on this high demand tide are some local limousine services like the Elite in Houston or other routine services such as the Kayak and Turo, which are also competing with each other for their share of the pie.

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So, in such a situation, what you can do to save more and enjoy the best of the cars, limos and high-end SUVs at the fraction of the cost? Here are some really nice tips for you:

1. Explore The Internet

The web of the internet is so huge that there is nothing that can’t be found in the pool. Being a common phenomenon of comparing the rates and selecting the best one of all is really beneficial for almost everyone. Almost every car rental service have their online portal where the price is listed. You can also surf the available discounts that you can redeem and enjoy the services on a low budget. You can also use VPN services to use a local IP address to get lower charges because many car rental services track your IP and location to determine how much they will charge you.

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2. Select Your Destination Wisely

Always keep in mind that not all locations are priced equally. Generally, airport bus services cost you a bit higher than the others. The reason is that at an airport, the taxes and fees are added to the actual fare. But the taxes and fees also vary location to location. If you are in the US, states like Arizona, New Mexico, Maryland, Ohio and Missouri are some of the states where taxes are high whereas Houston airport buses have less tax.

3. Plan Your Trip on Weekends

The timing of your trip matters a lot. Typically rates are higher during the business days and lower in the weekends. So, if your trip is flexible to timing, it’s better to plan it at the weekend. The weekend will help you in saving money in terms of rental charges as well as utilize your weekend instead of taking a leave on your official days.

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4. Book Early

Booking late is one of the biggest mistakes you all do in terms of saving money. It is a myth that hiring a car just before the trip will help you in saving money. Instead, they may charge you some extra penny. Always prefer to book a car rental prior to your trip. With this, you can get rid of the peak time charges that are applied at the time of instant hiring. It will also emit one hurdle in your planning and arrangements.

5. Consider Car Insurance

Before finalizing the car rental, you are provided with a collision damage waiver and a loss damage waiver. Both these policies are good when you are driving a rented car, but your own insurance policy may have some of the lavish features. You should call your insurance agent to know the coverage of your insurance policy. You should not sign the deal before complete confirmation as it will charge you extra.

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6. Get A Club Membership

Most of the car rental service offers you to join their membership. The purpose of joining a club is that you pay a good amount to join the club. It adds a big amount in their bank along with a confirmed and long term customer. In return, you are given numerous offers that save money.

7. Pack The Additional Items You May Need

Most of the car rental service providers charge you for the extra items you need; like the safety kit for your children. So, if you are already having the one, you should carry it with you. It will help you ensure your children’s safety as well as save you from the extra charges.

Money can be easily saved when travel is planned wisely and smartly. Whichever car rental service you hire for your task, consider the points mentioned above and have a painless experience. These little hacks can help you undergo a healthy experience for your bank account.

Featured photo credit: Johore Car Rental via jb-carrental.blogspot.com

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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