How to pay less for your car rental?

Car rental: rising prices

Car rental is one of the most looked at expense items. Inflation is obviously no stranger to this phenomenon: it forces consumers to rethink their budgets and actively look for ways to limit costs. Finding a cheap car rental has therefore become a priority for many households.

I have to say that rental costs have increased sharply in recent years. The reason is the lack of stock linked to the delay in production of new cars. The guilty ? The health crisis and the shortage of semiconductors, in particular. Unsurprisingly, this increase is particularly felt during periods of high demand: summer holidays, long weekends, etc.

Tips for reducing your car rental expenses

There is no shortage of ways to take advantage of a lower-cost car rental. Overview.

Reserve in advance

Booking early is one of the most effective ways to save on car rental. By planning your rental several weeks or even months in advance, you have a better chance of benefit from reduced rates. In fact, you will avoid the sharp price increases that typically occur before holiday periods.

Please note: always prefer online payment

Along the same lines, it is better to pay for your reservation online (and therefore in advance) rather than wait until the day you receive the keys. The price difference can reach up to a hundred euros!

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Avoid non-essential options

If you are familiar with this fact, you will undoubtedly have noticed: when you reserve a car, you are offered a range of options. Among them, the integrated GPS or the child car seat, for example. While these services may seem convenient, they inevitably incur additional costs. Before giving in to temptation, assess your real needs and only take essential options for your trip.

Regarding the car seat, take your own if possible. As for GPS, it can be perfectly replaced by your Smartphone, thanks to guidance applications like Google Maps, Mappy or Waze. Think about it!

Opt for a lower category car

If you don't particularly need a large vehicle or special features, choose a car with a smaller size compared to that initially envisaged. Compact cars and small city cars, with more “modest” features, have obviously lower rental prices compared to sedans and other SUVs.

Check the insurance included in the rental

You may not know it, but your credit card may include car rental coverage. This is the case for high-end credit cards, such as Gold Mastercard or Visa Premier. Also, to avoid duplication – and in fact, potentially reduce the cost of your rental, – find out about the guarantees offered by your credit card. Please note that to be able to activate these guarantees, you must necessarily pay for the rental with the latter.

Compare car rental deals: another great way to save

Unless you have a preference for a particular brand, it is advisable to compare the prices displayed on the websites of different rental companies. In fact, each of them offers its own prices. These may vary depending on the duration of the rental, the type of vehicle or the options included.

To put offers in competition, the ideal is to use an online comparator. In addition to saving you time, this type of tool helps you not miss any opportunities. Indeed, comparators bring together a wide variety of offers from different rental agencies. This gives you an exhaustive overview, or almost.

BSP Auto, for example, allows you to compare offers from several major rental companies in just a few minutes, such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz or Budget.

Demonstration! Let's imagine that you want to rent a compact car with unlimited mileage for the period from 1er March (8 a.m.) to March 8 (6 p.m.) in the Metz area. You first go to the Avis website. The rental company makes two offers to you:

  • Peugeot 2008 or similar at €457.64.
  • Citroën C3 Aircross Winter or similar at €480.54.

You will then see on Hertz. The site presents four models:

  • Peugeot 2008 or similar at €302.02.
  • Peugeot 308 SW or similar at €332.21.
  • Renault Captur or similar at €346.48.
  • Renault Captur Winter Tires or similar at €347.30.

Faced with these price differences from one site to another, you decide to use the BSP Auto comparator. You obtain around twenty results, with much lower first prices to those observed on the first two sites:

  • Peugeot 2008 or similar at €244.00 (BSP Auto exclusive), €256 (Hertz) or €265 (Thrifty).
  • Renault Captur or similar at €280 (Hertz).
  • Peugeot 308 or similar at €281 (Alamo).
  • Opel Mokka X or similar at €295 (Alamo).

Savings made? Up to €200 and more!

You are now ready to find the rental car that meets your needs, while controlling your expenses. Up to you !

The three key points to remember about the cost of car rental:

  • Fares have increased significantly in recent years due to an insufficient fleet.
  • To save money, there are several solutions: book in advance (and pay online), do without “useless” options, go downmarket, check the guarantees of your credit card.
  • Online car rental comparators are very practical tools: they allow you to identify the best offers available on the market in just a few clicks.

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