Consumer Reports’ Money Advisor has six tips for keeping car rental fees under control:
¢ Negotiate with the local office. After comparing prices for similar cars at Web sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz, go to the Web site of the agency offering the deal you want and track down a number for its local office. By calling the office directly, you can often negotiate an even lower price.
¢ Ask for discounts. Many agencies offer discounts to members of AAA, AARP or warehouse clubs, such as Sam’s Club and Costco.
¢ Reserve the smallest car. If you aren’t traveling with a large party, choose the smallest rental car available.
¢ Beware taxes and fees. Be sure to ask what’s included in the quoted price before you sign on the dotted line.
¢ Say no to agency insurance. If you already have a car insurance policy, there’s a good chance you’re covered for rental cars as well.
¢ Watch out for additional charges. Before leaving the lot, thoroughly inspect the car for scratches and dings. To avoid having charges tacked on at the end, always get the car back on time with a full tank of gas.