6 Smart Ways To Find Cheap Car Rentals

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The last few years have been turbulent for the travel industry. For a while, no one was traveling. This led to a lot of car rental companies closing down and liquidating their inventory. When things finally opened back up, more people were trying to travel than ever. This led to a new problem: corporate rental companies couldn’t get enough new cars due to the emerging  microchip shortage and other supply chain issues. Now there aren’t enough cars for the people to rent, and the overall cost has gone up significantly. While the situation seems bleak for the average traveler, don’t worry. You can still get an affordable rental car if you know where to look. Here are 7 smart ways to find cheap car rentals in Los Angeles and nationwide.

1. Choose An Economy Model

student car rental nissan vehicle interior

Although it might be a little cramped for a family of four, it’s almost always cheaper to go with an economy sedan. While there won’t be as many luxury features and comforts, an economy model is just as reliable as a newer rental. If you want to save even more, ask if they have a manual transmission model that they’re having trouble renting. Being willing to drive a modest, early model vehicle is the most effective way to cut down on the total cost of your rental.

2. Avoid Airport Car Rental

Airport Car Rental Value Rental Car

While it would be convenient to land and immediately step into a rental car, that’s not quite what happens. First, renting at an airport kiosk inflates the overall price to 2 to 3 times the cost of renting a mile down the road. On top of that, you’ll have to wait in line then be shuttled to your vehicle.  In the end, a cab ride down the road to an independent rental agency is the fastest way to get a cheap car rentals after you land.

3. Ask If There Are Membership Discounts

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If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel or motel, you’ve probably noticed that they give discounts to AAA, AARP, veterans and active military members. This is true for other businesses in the travel industry as well. Next time you rent, ask if they offer any discounts for organizations that you are a part of. Your credit card may also offer cashback or rewards for travel related expenses like hotels, airfare, and car rental. Familiarizing yourself with your credit card’s policy can yield big savings.

4. Only Have One Driver

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When it’s safe to do so, only having one driver authorized to use the vehicle can save money on your rental and insurance. This is because corporate rental chains often charge extra per day per driver. While it doesn’t halve the cost going from 2 drivers to 1, it can make a sizeable dent. This is especially true if you’re renting long term. The savings you get over a few weeks or a month makes getting a dedicated driver worth it.

5. Don’t Double Pay For Insurance

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Did you know that the insurance offered at the car rental agency may be unnecessary if you already have car insurance? In some cases, your credit card provider may offer blanket insurance on car rentals as well. Knowing what each type of insurance offered is helpful, so you can make sure you only get what you need. You can learn more about the different types of insurance at a rental agency in our other handy articles.

6. Avoid Fees When Returning Your Rental

Can I Rent a Car With Bad Credit car keys

Although we focused on saving money before the rental period starts, you can save yourself a bundle at the end of your rental period as well. When you rent a car, you agree to pay additional fees at the end of your rental period if the car isn’t returned in a certain way. The fee that gets people the most is from returning the car without a full tank of gas or with a dirty interior. Be sure to pump your own gas and clean out the car before returning it. It can save you money and make the rental company happy to work with you again in the future.

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Can I get Cheap Car Rentals in Los Angeles?

Value Rental Car offers clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in Los Angeles and Pasadena. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!

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