14 Best Tips |Saving money on your Rental Car in America

We all love to save money! Below you can read the 14 Best tips to save as much as possible on renting a car in America.


1. No extra driver:

Keep it with one driver for your rental car. Many car rental companies charge a surcharge for an additional driver. Note: The state of California is exempt from this surcharge, regulated by law. If you rent a car in California (the pick-up location is leading) then there is nothing wrong.



2. Do not rent a GPS:

Renting a GPS with your rental car will cost you about 15 dollars a day. Not necessarily necessary, your mobile phone is equipped with a GPS! There are enough cards available that can also be used offline (eg Maps.me). Would you rather not use your mobile phone? Get a cheap GPS of +/- $ 50 at the Walmart and you’re ready to go.


3. Do not rent at an airport location:

Airport taxes and convenience (direct from the airport) drive the price. A rental location a few kilometers away from the airport can save you money (Read also: Avoid the airport).



4. Rent from a budget car rental company:

There are in short 8 major car rental companies in America with hundreds / thousands of pick-up and drop-off locations throughout America. A number of these rental companies position themselves as a “low budget” provider. These are: Budget, Dollar and Thrifty.


5. Do not be tempted to upgrade:

An upgrade on your rental car is offered to you, and that is quite tempting but often costly. It is also to be read in various reviews that landlords are not always transparent about the costs that an upgrade entails.


6. Bring your credit card:

Without credit you are (almost) nowhere in America (read also: Car hire America without credit card). You can count on a huge deposit if you want to rent a car without a credit card. And although you get back those costs (when treating the rental car), it is still a big hit on your holiday budget at the start of your trip through America



7. Driver between the ages of 25 and 65:

Well, you can not do much at your age. Be aware of the higher costs if you are younger than 25 or older than 65. It would be nice if you can delete these costs!


8. Be aware for one-way costs:

It is not a bad idea to pick up your rental car in Las Vegas and return it to San Fransisco (for example). Many car rental companies charge a one-way fee, which can go up to several hundred dollars on a nice tour. If possible; take a round with your rental car. In other words; Return your car to the same location when you have picked up the car, which can save you a lot of money.  Incidentally, there are car rental companies that do not charge a surcharge for popular routes, for example Sixt at the route Los Angeles – San Fransisco.


9. Save on extra insurance:

Insurance is a “cash cow” for car rental companies. And you can close quite a bit. Of course you need a standard insurance, which covers damage as soon as you cause an accident (to your own rental car or someone else’s car). You can extend your insurance with a so-called PAI-insurance (Personal Accident Insurance: Income insurance that pays out in case of injury or death), a risk that also covers good travel insurance. You also have the PEC insurance (baggage insurance), also already regulated by your travel insurance. In addition, you still have the Premium Roadside Service, an insurance policy if you come to the side of the road with your keys in a sealed car, an empty tank or an empty battery. Choice over, be critical in your choices.


10. Refuse the “fuel option”:

Normally you get a rental car with a full tank. And, very friendly, the fuel option ensures that you do not have to refuel the car yourself when returning it. The car rental company does this for you. Realize, however, that in this case you are paid for a full tank, while you may have surrendered the car with a half full tank. There again the necessary dollars go free unnecessary costs.



11. Check your rental car for damage:

Nothing is so annoying to be charged for damage caused by your predecessor. View your rental car well and record any damage with your mobile phone.


12. Buy a cooler:

No real cost item related to your rental car, but on the total cost of your trip through America. Buy low-cost coolers at the Walmart and save on junk food along the side of the road.


13. Book your rental car for America in your home country:

Here you have plenty of time to orientate and compare. That will be a different story at the counter at LAX (the Los Angeles airport).


14. Rent a car from the Economy class:

A small “no brainer”, but the smaller / simpler the car the cheaper it will be. A glitzy rental car – for example renting a Ford Mustang – is incredibly cool, but it will certainly cost you twice. A personal consideration!



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  • Low budget Tips Round trip America
  • Budget tips for renting a camper in America
  • Everything about backpacking through America

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