Reserving a rental car online can be cheaper and faster than calling
an 800 number or standing in line at the airport . However, there
are a few things you should know before you surf in search of the
Rent for the week and do it in advance.
To get the best rate available, reserve at a weekly rate instead of a
daily rate. This is especially important if you're not sure when
you'll be returning the car. When in doubt, reserve it longer than
you need. You'll never be charged extra for returning it early, but
returning it late can be costly. It's also important to reserve your
car at least a week in advance to get the best deal. Rates can vary
greatly at busy locations. Popular destinations tend to have
competitive rates that change frequently. Keep in mind that rental
car companies may vary their rates from city to city due to market
changes. BreezeNet's Guide to Airport Rental Cars
is an excellent guide for popular airport
destinations, with special sections for renting cars in California or
Florida, as well as a frequently asked questions page and special
online discounts and coupons.
BreezeNet also offers comprehensive
information on rental coverages and gas options. Some companies offer
"fuel-purchase plans" which don't require you to fill up the gas tank
before you return the car. However, these plans often end up costing
more. You're better off declining these offers and making sure you
fill up the car right before you return it.
Beware of drop-off charges.
Most companies will charge you a significant drop-off fee for
returning your car to a destination other than the one you picked it
up from. This fee varies depending on company and location, but it
may be as much as $1,000-1,500. Many companies offer special deals
for one-way trips. Budget has
limited one-way deals offering unlimited mileage and no drop-off
charges, but only in certain parts of the country. Avis
offers similar deals to more
locations. Avis also offers a 20% discount when you reserve online.
Check your car insurance plan before you rent.
Your personal or corporate insurance plan may cover you in a rental
car. Be sure to check into this so you can avoid paying for costly
insurance through the rental company. Some credit cards may also
offer rental car coverage.
Make sure you're qualified to rent.
Most rental companies require that you have a credit card in the same
name as your valid driver's license in order to rent. Most larger
agencies also require you to be at least 25 years old. Some will
allow drivers under 25 to rent, but they must pay a surcharge that
generally ranges from $5-$20 per day. Alamo
has a minimum age of 21 and Dollar Rent A Car
also allows those under 25 to rent in many
locations. Smaller companies may allow those as young as 18 to rent.
Check out BreezeNet's Travelin' Joe's Corner
for a special guide to college age car rentals.
Don't drive off in a hurry.
When you pick up your rental car, be sure to inspect the vehicle for
damages before you pull away. It also never hurts to ask for an extra
key. Be sure to ask for maps or directions before you leave the
agency. For driving directions before you begin your trip, try
MapQuest or MapsonUs.
Other ways to reserve a rental car online:
Offers 15% off weekly rates when you book online through February 15.
Check out their Special Offers.
Save up to 30% on car rentals in the U.S. and beyond.