From knowing how much it costs to rent a car for a road trip to finally understanding if you should accept the rental company’s insurance, here’s everything you need to know before renting a car for your next road trip.
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While your vacation may first involve flying into a destination
Arriving in Las Vegas before embarking on a glorious Utah National Parks road trip) and then renting a car, you could also be curious about a cross-country car rental, need to know how to find the best car rental prices, or simply want to know if it’s better to rent a car than take your own on a road trip. This ultimate guide for renting a car on a road trip has everything you need to know to save money, avoid expensive extras, and how to get behind the wheel of an exciting new vehicle that’ll fit all your people and stuff comfortably. Here’s everything else you need to know on how to plan a road trip and an American road trip guide to help you get started.
Car rental prices
Let’s take a look at car rental prices and factors that can increase (or decrease) your final bill:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bigger the car, the more expensive it will be to rent a car. Another no-brainer, given the name of this car rental class, when it comes to average car rental costs, economy cars is certainly the cheapest option. This is true whether you’re renting at the airport, downtown, or anywhere in between. These are the best rental cars for road trips.
How far in advance do you want to rent?
Experts say you can usually find the cheapest car hire rates by booking in advance on platforms like Rentalcars.com and Expedia. Third-party websites provide consumers with the lowest average car rental rates. This is more expensive than asking the car rental company directly, and certainly cheaper than booking directly at the airport counters. Booking your car and accommodation in advance is just one of the road trip planning tips to consider before you leave home.
Finish where you started.
A one-way rental car overseas is convenient because you don’t have to worry about returning home, but that convenience can come at a high cost. If you can drop off your rental car at the same place you picked it up, it will be cheaper in most cases. This is not possible on a Route 66 one-way road trip, but you should be aware that you are paying a premium.
Do not pay for gas in advance.
Car rental companies are happy to sell full tank prepaid options. This way you don’t have to worry about refueling before returning your rental car. The problem is, unless you’re using an e-cigarette, you may be wasting your money by paying up front for a full tank. Instead, use the gas prices and gas station finder app to find gas stations near your car rental location (at least one gas station is nearby) and refuel yourself. By reducing the time it takes to catch a plane, you can make the convenience worth it. If you want to plan your gas budget in advance, learn how to calculate gas costs for your trip here.