Ten essential tips for saving on your next family car rental • Our Globetrotters

Ten Essential Tips for Saving on Your Next Family Car Rental • Our Globetrotters

Don't let car rental costs ruin your vacation budget. For a family of five with lots of luggage and car seats, car rental can be expensive. Here are 10 practical tips for saving on your next car rental.

1. Compare offers on search engines

It is essential to compare prices on several price aggregators. Don't settle for just one site, use multiple comparison tools to find the best deal each year.

The three best tools we found:

**We recommend bookmarking these pages to use later!**

Price comparison sites are great for narrowing down your options, but there are still more steps to take before booking right away to ensure you're truly paying the best price.

2. Check directly with the rental provider

Once you find the best price, check the supplier's website as well. They may have monthly promotions not listed on comparison sites. You can also call the companies directly to get a better rate.

3. Location flexibility

The more flexible you are with dates, time and location, the better your chances of finding a good deal. Rental agencies located away from airports are often cheaper because they do not include mandatory airport fees.

  • Maybe you can take a taxi to your first destination and sightsee for a few days before renting a car?
  • One member of your group can pick up the car while the rest of the family waits at the airport.

4. Can you downsize the car?

Moving to a smaller vehicle class can instantly reduce the price. However, make sure it is practical for your family's needs. Reducing the car category reduces the width of the rear seat and the size of the trunk.

There's always a chance you'll be upgraded upon arrival, which is worth it if it saves money without compromising too much on space.

5. Do you have any mileage restrictions?

Consider the distances you will travel. Sometimes mileage limits are not reached, which may allow you to choose an option with a daily cap rather than unlimited.

How many kilometers will you travel? Are unlimited kilometers necessary or can you respect a daily limit?

6. Can you drive a manual car?

Manual transmission cars are almost always cheaper than automatics and are much more common in Europe. If your driving skills allow it, this could be an easy way to save.

7. Can you apply a coupon or discount code?

Do a Google search for “xxxxxx discount codes – (insert rental company name)”. Most codes are associated with hotel or airline loyalty programs, so sign up for these programs for free to get the discounts.

Also try the cashback sites which allow you to share the commission with them by booking via their site.

8. Loyalty programs

Have you considered joining the car rental company's loyalty program? This may provide additional discounts and preferential rates during promotional periods.

9. Do you really need a car? Rent only on days when necessary

Many destinations don't lend themselves well to car rental due to traffic, congestion or high overnight parking fees. Consider alternatives like taxis, Uber or public transportation.

  • How much does a taxi or Uber cost compared to owning your own car?
  • Are there easy public transportation options in your city?
  • Can you rent a vehicle nearby for excursion days?

Excess insurance

Prepare in advance to avoid paying additional insurance upon arrival. Your travel insurance or credit card can cover the excess in the event of an accident.

Damage to vehicle before rental

Read the contract carefully and check the vehicle for scratches. Photograph and document any suspicious damage immediately and email it to the company.

Additional drivers

Some contracts charge additional fees for additional drivers. Evaluate whether you can do without it to save money.

Do you need a second driver or can you save on additional costs?

Child car seats and booster seats

These fees can be high. Bring your own seats if possible to avoid excessive costs.

GPS rental

Use your cell phone with Google Maps to avoid GPS rental fees. Be sure to download the necessary maps in advance for offline use.


Check tolls on your route. Some vehicles are equipped for electronic tolls, but check whether you're charged per use or per day.

  • Do toll gates have a cash payment option to avoid bills later?
  • Is there a weekly fee you can pay in advance to use cheaper toll roads?

Other fines

For each fine received in a rental car, an administrative fee is added by the rental company on top of the fine from the authorities.

One-way deposit fees

These fees may vary depending on the distance between pick-up and drop-off locations. Play around with vehicle size and direction of travel to see if that changes the fees.

Bring your vehicle back with a full tank of fuel

Rental companies charge exorbitant fees for filling. If you have a full-for-full lease, always try to refuel before returning the vehicle.

Be sure to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel to save on additional costs added to your bill

How do you save on your car rentals? We'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments

More Money Saving Ideas from the Globetrotters

We have other articles that might help you plan your family trip and save money or earn points.

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Ten Essential Tips for Saving on Your Next Family Car Rental • Our Globetrotters

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