Half the fun of summer road travel is renting a new car. It’s even more fun if you save money. Here are some tips from BankRate.com and McClatchy Newspapers to help you get a good deal on a rental:
• Ride the Web: Before you hit the rental agency, search for online deals via popular and reliable sites like Orbitz, Expedia or BookingBuddy.com.
• Belong to the right clubs. Members of AARP, AAA and Costco usually can find a car rental deal via membership. Also scour your credit card and frequent flier mailings for more opportunities.
• Ask about daily and weekend discounts. Some rental agencies offer 50 percent price reductions when you rent on the weekend. Also inquire about special weekday deals. You may also save money if you choose agencies not located at airports, where rates can be significantly higher.
• Book early. Reserving a car weeks ahead of time can qualify you for a better rate. And if a better deal comes along, cancel the original reservation or negotiate for a better price.
• Don’t be choosy. Web sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com offer low-rate car rentals as long as you agree to a pre-set price before learning which national chain, such as Avis, Budget and Hertz, is offering the car.