So maybe you’ve flown into an exciting new place or maybe you just want to a way to get around without having to put your own car up on the line.

A rental car is perhaps the easiest way to get your transportation needs out of the way as quickly and easily as possible. Many rental agencies are nationwide on top of all of that, so once you’ve reached your destination you might even have the opportunity to drop the car off at another location and fly back in comfort instead of having to do a reverse of your road trip. Like just about everything though, there’s a right way and a wrong way of going about things.

I’m here to tell you what you should avoid when trying to rent a car, it’ll end up saving you a lot of money & hassle at the end of the day.

Don’t rent from the airport

Picture it, you just got off your plane, you have no roots or resources in this new city and you’re stuck in the airport with nowhere to go and no way to get there if you even did. Renting a car directly from the airport seems like an appealing decision, doesn’t it? You should know that just about anything you can buy from an airport is marked up heavily. Take South Africa for instance, there are tons of different car rental services, including Budget Car Rental. While many of them have offices that allow you to book from the airport, it won’t be nearly as affordable as renting directly from them personally as there are fees to operating inside an airport that have to be factored in to the cost. Plain and simple, if you want a good deal on your rental car, avoid the airport.

See if you have any memberships that can benefit you

Many car rental companies have hooked up with other companies and offer deals through membership programs. For instance, those with a Costco membership can often find much cheaper car rental services than those without. AAA is another great option, the membership fee is nothing compared to what you’ll save if you consistently find yourself in need of a car rental while travelling around. Just make sure to take inventory of any specific organizations you’re a member of and see if they offer any deals on car rentals, airline memberships included.

Don’t go for the fanciest car

While you might want to ride in style or supreme comfort, you should really think about just how much time you’ll be spending in the car once you’re travelling around. An economy car might give you nearly the exact same experience of a luxury SUV at a fraction of the cost. Not only that, economy cars are cheaper on gas so your overall expenses will be slashed immensely by picking a car that works for your budget.

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Use the internet to your advantage

This principle kind of ties back to avoiding renting a car at the airport. At the airport, the prices are high because you have no other option. Some rental agencies leverage this principle in real life as well, charging you a lot just because they expect you to bite after spending all of the time travelling to their brick and mortar location. If you go on the internet however car rental agencies will have to compete with each other in a much more cutthroat fashion which ends up saving consumers hundreds of dollars at the end of the day. Go online and compare all of your competitors before committing your hard earned dollars to a car rental service.

Look for mom and pop car rental shops

The national car rental franchises aren’t the only outfits in town. Many towns have their own car rental agencies unique to their area that offer much better rates than their big corporate adversaries simply because they have less overhead to worry about. These businesses need you to stay afloat so you are supporting the local economy and getting a great deal all at the same time.

Your next road trip doesn’t have to be a burden on your wallet if you do everything in your power to prepare yourself adequately and plan ahead. Know that many car rental agencies try to capitalize on the sense of urgency that comes with being in a new place, but don’t let high pressure sales tactics or illusions of scarcity get to you. Be an informed consumer and survey the market carefully before settling on your car rental company of choice. Happy travels!