6 tips to score the best car rental deal

Want to score a great car rental deal, every time? Here are some handy hints to consider when planning your next road trip.

1. Book in advance

Just like buying flights or booking a hotel, the closer you get to your travel dates, the higher the price.

Why? Supply and demand. As your travel date gets closer, other travellers will book the available cars at your chosen location meaning there are fewer cars available for you to choose from.

During peak periods such as Christmas and long weekends, it is not unheard of for some car rental depots to completely sell out and have no rental cars available at the last minute.

If you have particular vehicle requirements such as a larger car to accommodate a family of 5, it’s best to book as early as possible. You might be in for a tight ride if a 2 door Toyota Yaris is the only car available!

2. Compare the options

Car Rental Comparison websites like VroomVroomVroom make finding the best deal easy.

Simply enter your pick up and drop off location plus travel dates to search and compare all available options from major car rental companies across all car classes.

3. Pick Up and Return from the same place

If convenient, choose to pick up and return your car from the same location. This may avoid fees such as a ‘one way fee’, which in some instances can cost you hundreds of dollars on top of the standard car hire cost.

In larger cities, car rental suppliers may have multiple depots including locations at the airport, CBD and suburban areas. Generally these depots would be considered the same location.

However, if you are driving from Adelaide to Melbourne or Moranbah to Rockhampton for example, this would involve pick up and drop off in two separate locations and may attract additional fees from the car rental supplier.

4. Airport vs City Pick Up

If you have the time and flexibility, consider checking the prices for depots both at the airport and also in the surrounding area (eg. suburban and CBD depot locations in the same city, where available).

While the most convenient option when flying into a new city, airport rental cars prices can be higher. In some cases, additional airport taxes and charges may be added to your car rental hire cost when collecting your car from the airport.

For what may be a $10 or $20 cab ride to a car rental depot nearby, you could save significantly on the daily cost of your vehicle.

5. Large Companies vs Smaller Companies

Larger companies often have newer fleets with a greater range of car types available including prestige cars and four wheel drives.

They often have depots in more locations including both an Airport and CBD or suburban location with longer opening hours which can make coordinating your car pick up and drop off a lot easier.

6. Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance

Purchasing Rental Vehicle Excess (RVE) insurance from Hiccup Insurance provides you with peace of mind should an incident occur while you are driving your rental vehicle. The product provides cover for travel within Australia. Key features include cover for single vehicle accident (SVAs), damage to windscreens, tyres and undercarriage. You can learn more about the RVE Insurance product features on the Hiccup Insurance website.

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