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Do you find yourself frustrated when it comes to scoring a cheap last minute care rental?
You just might be among thousands of travellers who end up clicking around the web for hours on end chasing after the best deals. You can spend most of your time looking for airfare and hotel accommodations, you must never overlook car rental too, or it could end up as the most expensive part of your trip.
Fortunately, there are some shortcuts that can help you sort through the often confusing arena of cheap last minute car rentals. Here are 5 Proven Strategies to keep your last minute car rentals bill from stripping your wallet:
1. Avoid Airport Car Rental
Forget about getting cheap last minute car rental deals at the airport. According to a study by
, you can expect to pay an extra 24.4% in fees and taxes when renting a car at a major U.S. airport. Here's the top 10 airports with the largest difference between daily rental rate and the final price:
Ranking of Airport Fee Added to Rental Cars
1. Houston Bush Intercontinental 72%
2. Dallas/Ft. Worth International 61%
3. Austin Bergstrom 56%
4. Cleveland Hopkins 52%
5. Houston Hobby 52%
6. Kansas City 48%
7. Phoenix 48%
8. San Antonio 44%
9. El Paso 43%
10. Albuquerque 42%
The airports with the lowest taxes and fees are found in California. It includes Sacramento at 7.7%, San Diego at 11.6% and Los Angeles at 8.3%.
Instead of going straight to car rental providers at the airport, you can arrange to have your hotel or a friend pick you up at the airport. Renting a car from the airport can charge you with drop-off fee or taxes which are levied by local governments. From there you can go straight to a rental car agency outside of the airport.
But if you really have to rent from inside, call the rental company first instead of going as a walk-in customer. That call can save you some money because it could already qualify an "advance reservation".
But as of 2013, the prices for rental cars actually decreased on average, and are expected to remain that way for the rest of the year.
2. Use Car Rentals Coupons
You can also get the price of your last minute car rental down by using coupons from the
Entertainment Coupon Book.
Discount coupons are available for major car rental agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
You can easily knock off another 5-10% from your total last minute car
rental bill unlike some other bogus car rental coupons that offer
savings off only on inflated rates.
3. Opt Out Of Rental Car Insurance
Do not allow the rental care agents to scare you into car insurance extras you do not need. Rental agencies may often urge renters to cash in for every day on collision damage waivers and other insurance coverage. If you review your auto insurance policy and credit card agreements, you would find out that you've got it covered well already.
The best thing for you to do is to check your policy first or call your insurance agent to verify your coverage before signing up for it.
However you might want to consider coverage for "loss of use" which also covers the time the rental agency would spend for car repairs in the unfortunate event that you get into an accident. In some cases the auto insurance plan may not include this coverage, so you have to double check this first.
4. Rental Car Refueling
your rental car had a full tank when you first picked it up, make sure
it does when you bring it back. Rental Car companies usually charge
more to fill up the tank than a regular gas station does.
5. Unsold Car Rentals Inventories
Last minute cancellation happens quite often for car rentals,
and Kayak would be able to provide you with a list of these inventories, at very
steep discounted rates. Do check it out. Do your research now, save
yourself a lot of money, maybe a whole lot of money later.
Other Last Minute Car Deals & & Tips
Car rental tips if you are booking in Spring
Return from Last Minute Car Rentals to Last Minute Vacations Guide