best car rental insurance usa

USA & Canada is an insurance policy from iCarhireinsurance which protects you against high excess charges if something happens to your hire car when driving in. It's a good idea to purchase coverage if: You don't have an Auto or personal property policy with us. You haven't purchased the optional endorsement that covers. Whenever we visit the island, we buy the best car rental insurance. Below I explain what type of coverage you should.

: Best car rental insurance usa

Best car rental insurance usa
Best car rental insurance usa

Rental Car Insurance and other Protection Products (US)

Enterprise offers additional protection products that you can purchase best car rental insurance usa with your rental vehicle. Currently, we offer our customers Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance, Personal Effects Coverage, Supplemental Liability Protection and Roadside Assistance Protection. Please see below for more information and the cost associated with our insurance and protection products.

Damage Waiver (DW)

Damage Waiver is not insurance. The purchase of DW is optional and not required in order to rent a vehicle.

You may purchase optional DW for an additional fee. If you purchase DW we agree, subject to the actions that invalidate DW listed on the rental agreement, wheres the nearest regions bank contractually waive your responsibility for all or part of the cost of damage to, loss or theft of, the vehicle. DW does not apply to damage how to open a barclays bank account in the us in Mexico.

When deciding whether or not to purchase DW, you may wish to check with your insurance representative or credit card company to determine whether, in the event of damage to, or theft of, vehicle, you have coverage or protection for such damage or theft and the amount of your deductible or out-of-pocket risk.

What Does Damage Waiver Cost?

The cost of Damage Waiver varies by location and vehicle type. You can find specific pricing by starting a reservation here.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) & Personal Effects Coverage (PEC)

Personal Accident Insurance / Personal Effects Coverage (PAI/PEC) is offered at the time of rental for an additional daily charge. If accepted, the PAI contained in the policy provides renter and renter's passengers with accidental death, accident medical expenses and ambulance expense benefits. The PEC contained in the policy insures the personal effects of the renter, additional drivers, or any members of the renter's immediate family who permanently resides in the renter's household and who is traveling with the renter against risks of loss or damage. Benefits are payable in addition to any other insurance coverage the renter or passengers may have. This is a summary only.

The purchase of PAI/PEC is optional and not required to rent a car. The coverage provided by PAI/PEC may duplicate the renter's existing coverage.

Enterprise is not qualified to evaluate the adequacy of the renter's existing coverage; therefore, the renter should examine his or her personal insurance policies or other sources of coverage that may duplicate the coverage provided best car rental insurance usa PAI/PEC.

What Does PAI/PEC Cost?

The cost of PAI/PEC varies based on the location you are renting. It will average between $5.13 and $13.00 per day.

Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP)

Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP) is offered at the time of rental for an additional daily charge. If accepted, SLP provides the renter and authorized drivers with up to $300,000 combined single limit for third party liability claims.

If the renter accepts SLP, Enterprise provides third party liability protection up to the applicable minimum financial responsibility limit and Zurich American Insurance Company provides excess third party liability insurance coverage from the applicable minimum financial responsibility limit to $300,000. This is a summary only.

The purchase of SLP is optional and not required to rent a car. The coverage provided by SLP may duplicate the renter's existing coverage.

Enterprise is not qualified to evaluate the adequacy of the renter's existing coverage; therefore, the renter should examine his or her personal insurance policies or other sources of coverage that may duplicate the coverage provided by SLP.

If SLP is selected and paid for in Puerto Rico (Where available) SLP provides Renter or any AAD with minimum financial responsibility limits under a policy of insurance AND excess insurance under a policy of insurance issued with Zurich American Insurance Company. These policies together provide Renter and AAD(s) with a combined single limit per accident equal to $300,000. SLP is primary to any other coverage and will respond to third party accident claims that result from bodily injury, including death, and property damage that arise from the use or operation of vehicle as permitted in the Agreement. The policies do not provide coverage for any loss arising from the use or operation of Vehicle in Mexico. SLP is available for an additional charge as stipulated on the Summary. 

What Does Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP) Cost?

The cost of SLP varies based on location you are renting. It will average between $8.00 and $17.00 per day.

Roadside Assistance Protection (RAP)

Roadside Assistance Protections (RAP) allows Enterprise customers to waive financial responsibility for chargeable roadside incidents such as lost keys, lockouts and fuel outages.

RAP can be added to online bookings at the branch or can be added to a rental ticket at any time. Please note: If added mid-rental, the renter must return to a designated renting location to have the vehicle inspected before adding RAP.

To contact our roadside assistance team please call 1-800-307-6666.

These are optional products that may be purchased at the time of rental and are not included in the total cost estimate quoted in the reservation.


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Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability

Even the safest drivers suffer mishaps. Bodily injury and property damage coverages can compensate those injured in an accident involving an insured vehicle, or pay for damages to another vehicle.

We can accommodate your auto rental business' needs with up to $1 million Combined Single Limit (CSL) in bodily injury and property damage coverage.

The following liability coverages are also available, where applicable:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Physical Damage (Comprehensive & Collision)

When one of your rental cars is involved in an accident, our physical damage coverage will quickly get it back on the road into money-making service.

Physical damage coverage includes:

  • Collision — Covers repairs or replacement to your insured vehicle resulting from an accident involving other vehicles or stationary objects
  • Comprehensive — Pays can u use apple pay on amazon damage to your insured vehicle from fire, theft, vandalism and other covered perils

We offer a variety of deductibles starting at $1,000.


General liability coverage protects other critical components of your business, including your facility, office areas, parking areas, outside storage facilities and vacant land. We offer a wide range of coverage and limit options, and can help you decide what's best for your business.


When you hire a car, it usually comes with basic insurance included in the price so that you won’t have to pay the full cost of replacing a stolen or damaged vehicle.

But the basic insurance is subject to an ‘excess’ meaning that you could have to pay a contribution of up to £2,000 towards repair or theft costs, regardless of who is at fault. 

To avoid having to pay a massive excess, you can take out an Excess Reimbursement Insurance (ERI) policy from a third party insurance company. This is normally far cheaper, and often more comprehensive than the cover offered by car paul f tompkins cake boss companies. 

You can buy a daily or annual policy. But which of the many third party ERI policies should you buy?

Best car hire excess insurance

We rated 23 leading car hire excess insurance companies including icarhireinsurance,,, and Questor to help you choose the insurance company that gives you the most comprehensive cover for your money. Unlock the table to find out:

  • which car hire insurance companies provide the best cover
  • comprehensive policy scores rating individual policies across 16 different policy elements
  • The maximum amount you can claim per policy
  • One week and annual prices for car hire insurance policies.

These results are for members only. Please log in if you're a member, or sign up to get instant access to all our reviews and test results.

How we rate policy scores

We calculated the policy scores by rating the 16 most important elements of the policy, including tyres, windscreen and underbody cover, flat battery cover, admin charges, car jacking, towing cover, personal accident cover and more.

Should you buy car hire excess insurance?

You have two options best car rental insurance usa reduce your excess liability:

1. Buy insurance from a standalone insurance company. This is called Excess Reimbursement Insurance (ERI) and can be purchased online, in advance of your trip. If there is any damage, you will have to pay the excess to the car hire company, but you will then be able to claim it back. See our car hire excess insurance reviews above.

2. Buy insurance from the company renting you the car. This is usually called  Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) and can be purchased at the rental desk. SCDW reduces the excess (often down to zero) that you will have to pay in the event of damage.

There are pros and cons to both options:

Super Collision Damage Waiver

Car hire companies sell SCDW, allowing you to reduce your excess to a very small amount, often zero. This cover has many different names, including Excess Waiver, Super Cover and Excess Protection. But it’s expensive. 

Our table below shows quotes we obtained from a selection of major car hire companies, ranging from £14 to £27 per day. The SCDW covers a week’s rental in Spain. Best car rental insurance usa reduced the excess to zero and where possible we included cover best car rental insurance usa protect the car’s windscreen, undercarriage and tyres. 

One major advantage of paying the car hire company for SCDW is that the company will not require a large pre-authorisation on your credit card. Pre-authorisations can be as high as €2,500 with some of the budget operators.


Peer-to-peer car rental (Turo, Getaround): A guide to insurance coverage

Renting a car can be expensive, so if you're looking for an affordable way to get around town, peer-to-peer car rental may be just what you need.

Peer to peer car sharing is the process of renting vehicles from other people rather than traditional car rental companies. It provides many benefits including lower prices and more variety in vehicle choices.

Let's discuss how it works, who offers these services and whether or not insurance exists for peer car rental.

Key Highlights

  • Make sure you have sufficient auto insurance when using peer to peer car sharing.
  • Your personal car insurance covers traditional rentals but does not cover peer-to-peer car sharing.
  • Basic insurance plans provided by some car-sharing companies have very low limits, so it’s worth spending more to get top-tier plans to increase coverage.
  • Renters will be charged a deductible, typically from $1,000 to $3,000 if they need to file a claim. 

What is peer to peer car rental?

Peer to peer car rental is the process of renting vehicles where individuals or organisations rent out their private cars for short period of time. This gives anyone who needs a car the chance to access vehicles which are cheaper and more convenient than best car rental insurance usa options.

With peer-to-peer car sharing, people can make money by renting their vehicles to other drivers when they are not using them. And renters have the option of accessing affordable and nearby cars that fit their needs for only a limited time.

How does peer to peer car rental works?

The process of renting a car may be different depending on the service you use, but there are some general guidelines that every rental company follows.

Someone who owns a car lists it on the platform. They provide pictures and price for the vehicle, and other information about the car.

Anyone who needs a car then browse the company's website. They will find all the options available to them and they can choose the one that fits their needs. The user mentions for how long they need the vehicle and then submit the booking request.

The owner gets notified if someone wants their private rental car, if they approve the user can pay via card and pick up the vehicle at the decided time.

After using the car they return it to the rightful owner. If the user causes any damages to the vehicle, the owner and the rental company will figure out who should cover the costs associated.

The are many benefits of Peer to peer car sharing including low prices than traditional models as well as more variety.

How does insurance works for Turo and Getaround?

Peer to peer car sharing, which is basically AirBnB for cars, allows you to rent another person’s vehicle, typically when the owner wouldn’t be using the car much, or on the other hand, to rent out your car when you don’t need it.

For example, if you parked your car at the airport for a week while away on a trip, you could rent it to someone while you’re gone. Or, let’s say you don’t need to drive much, so you don’t own a car.

You could occasionally rent for a few hours another driver’s car that’s sitting in the person’s driveway most of the day because he or she works from a home office.

While the business model is simple, the fledgling industry is not without complications, primarily on the insurance and regulations fronts. Chief among the insurance issues is that some car-sharing networks’ fine print says your personal auto policy would be the primary source for paying claims, even though most personal policies typically exclude renting or driving car-sharing vehicles from coverage.

Here Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for, answers the most common questions about peer-to-peer car sharing, also called P2P car rental, car-sharing 2.0 and on-demand car rental.

Who are the main players in the peer to peer car sharing lane?

Turo and Getaround are among the most notable, while iconic car makers, such as General Motors, are also jumping in to the game.

Avis-owned Zipcar has been around longer than Turo and Getaround, but differs significantly in that it is not peer-to-peer—it is owned by Avis which has a fleet of vehicles garaged in residential areas available for typically short-term rental.

GM in July rolled out Peer Cars, allowing GM owners in a few cities to list their personal vehicles for rent through the automaker’s car-sharing platform, Maven. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor can put their cars and trucks, model 2015 or newer, up for rent when they aren’t using them.

The service is an expansion of GM’s car-sharing platform, Maven, which rents out GM-owned cars. GM plans to expand Peer Cars service to other cities over the rest of the year.

Peer-to-peer car sharing makes efficient use of idle vehicles and may be cheaper and easier to rent than traditional car rentals, but like ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, it’s somewhat controversial.

The car rental lobby and trade groups have been working to introduce legislation that would regulate peer-to-peer car sharing providers the same way car rental companies are, contending that bypassing industry rules gives car-sharing networks an unfair business advantage.

But, just as Uber and Lyft argue that they are software companies, not taxi services, Turo and other car-sharing networks say that they don’t own a fleet of rental cars so should not be deemed a car rental business, and that they are technology company providing a software platform to allow edmonton state bank scottsville ky owners to earn extra money.

If I rent a car through a P2P car sharing service, am I covered under my own insurance?

You will have to check your own policy, as terms vary greatly, but many car insurance companies have put language in that excludes coverage if you’re using a P2P vehicle, says Gusner.

“It may simply say all third-party rentals are excluded. My own policy states that it doesn’t provide coverage for ‘any motor vehicle that is operated, maintained or used as part of a personal vehicle shared program.’ It goes on to say personal sharing programs and ride-sharing activities of any kind are excluded under my liability, medical payments, physical damage coverages and uninsured motorist coverage,” she says.

It’s an important distinction to be aware of because traditional car rentals are generally covered under a personal policy.

A lot of auto insurers have included this type of language in policies over the last several years. If you can’t determine if there is coverage, Gusner recommend you contact your insurer for clarification.

This is especially important to know before renting as some car-sharing networks operate under the assumption that santander online banking login spain renter’s policy would pay some of the costs involved should the renter damage the car they booked.

If I rent out my car through a P2P car sharing program does my insurance cover the car?

Not, normally best car rental insurance usa you have a commercial instead of personal auto insurance policy. Personal policies are now being written to specifically exclude peer car-sharing networks

Are more insurance companies offering riders (much like they now do for ride-sharing, like Uber or Lyft) to accommodate peer-to-peer car sharing?

“No, I am not seeing offerings for P2P car-sharing programs as I am for ridesharing drivers. It is an area where we may see some growth soon, though, since auto insurers have expanded their offerings with specific ridesharing coverage or endorsements because they found a market for once Uber and Lyft took off,” says Gusner.

“Or, insurance companies may just tell those renting out their vehicles to get a standard commercial policy. For the driver, there really doesn’t seem to be an option out there if your personal policy doesn’t cover the best car rental insurance usa other than buying coverage from the company running the P2P program, such as Turo.”

How does liability, comprehensive and collision work under company insurance plans?

Liability car insurance covers damage you do to another car and pays medical costs for those injured in an accident you cause. But liability does not cover the vehicle you’re driving, or pay for your own injuries. Collision coverage pays for damage to the car you’re driving regardless of fault, while comprehensive covers vandalism and theft, as well as damage due to hail, flooding and fire.

“As for physical damage coverage (collision and comprehensive) from the companies running the P2P programs, it is my understanding regarding Turo that you only get collision and comp coverage if you pay for premium or basic host or guest insurance protection packages,” says Gusner.

“For Getaround, it appears there is a policy that is a combined single limit, meaning that liability and physical damage coverage are all wrapped into that one limit of $1 million,” she says. “So, all claims go against that one maximum limit amount.”

Should I get commercial insurance if I participate in P2P car sharing services?

“To be completely covered properly, I’d recommend talking to your car insurance company at the onset of participating in a P2P car-sharing program. Your insurer will tell you what, if anything, your personal policy covers and if you need to upgrade to a commercial policy. It is better to be proactive so you don’t get yourself into a financial bind by not having the coverage you need,” says Gusner.

What risks should owners who participate in P2P car sharing be aware of?

“The risks of course include your car being damaged and putting more mileage on your vehicle, both of which can increase insurance rates. Also, if you don’t notify your insurer that you’re renting out your car, you are at risk of having your policy canceled, which then can make it difficult to find a company that will insure you at all,” says Gusner.

Perhaps more importantly, if you don’t have a commercial policy and your personal policy doesn’t best car rental insurance usa participating in P2P sharing, then you need to purchase physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) from the ride-sharing company to have your car covered, says Gusner.

“Even with that, if you buy a basic plan with Turo, you will still have to pay out a $3,000 deductible. The guest may technically be financially responsible, if he or she did obtain guest coverage, but you’d have to spend your time and effort going after payment.”

Turo’s website does state that it will take the lead on any claims processing for you, but chances are you will be involved on some level.

Another risk is that if you go with a basic plan from Turo, you’re only covered for state minimum liability amounts, which are very low, and can easily be exceeded even in a minor accident.

What about P2P car sharing risks for renters? 

“The risk is that they don’t have insurance that follows them to this car so unless they purchase the guest insurance, they could be held personally financially responsible if they wreck the car,” says Gusner.

Also, Getaround stipulates that renters essentially pay a deductible, or “Getaround fee,” of $1,000 if the car they are driving is damaged in any way, regardless of fault. “So even with coverage in place, if you ding a car as a renter, it’s going to cost you a thousand bucks,” says Gusner.

Turo is a bit more complicated. Apparently some small traditional rental agencies use Turo to expand business, and have commercial coverage in place, so renters who book from them may decline Turo coverage as the commercial policy would kick in.

Renters who get their cars from individuals can choose from a “Basic” plan that has a $500 to $3,000 deductible or a “Premium” plan that has a $500 deductible.

After filing a claim, depending on which coverage plan you selected, you initially pay a fee of $500 to $3,000 depending on the initial damage assessment, which may or may not be refunded, depending on the situation. You’ll also pay a claims handling fee of up to $575.

So, you will have to put out $1,075 to $3,575 to file a claim. And then wait to be reimbursed, which will depend on the amount of damage, who is at fault and other criteria--you could receive a partial refund, a full refund or get nothing.

Turo insurance at a glance

Premium costs 40 per cent of rental price; Basic is 15 to 25 percent; Decline is no cost

Car owner

Booking Period

(the period shown in the trip confirmation)

Primary liability coverage up to $1,000,000; protection for physical damage to your car is provided without deductible for the Premium and Standard host protection plans, and with a $3,000 deductible for the Basic plan.

Under the Premium and Standard plans, owners receive the actual cash value of their car (up to $125,000) if it’s totaled.

No coverage is available for hosts who are not utilizing a Turo protection plan.

Delivery Period

(when the host or designee, who is a “Turo Approved Driver,” is actively delivering the car to the guest, and not while retrieving the car from the guest).

Primary liability coverage up to $1,000,000; no protection for physical damage to your car.

No coverage is available for hosts who are not utilizing a Turo protection plan.


Premium Plan

Liability coverage up to $1,000,000.

Physical damage to the car covered up to the actual cash value of the car.

Coverage is secondary to any other insurance you may already have, but typically your own insurance will exclude coverage for car-sharing services so don’t count on this kicking in.

There is no deductible for the supplemental liability coverage.

For the physical damage protection, once you’ve exhausted your own insurance for physical damage, your out-of-pocket expense is limited to $500.

There is no coverage in any guest plan -- you are fully financially responsible-- for mechanical or interior damage.

Basic Plan

Liability coverage up to the minimum required by the state where the car is registered.

Physical damage deductible is $3000.

Decline Coverage

Same liability coverage as in the Basic Plan, but no protection at all for physical damage: guest is liable for all costs related to physical damage to the vehicle.

If you have rented a vehicle where the host is not utilizing a Turo protection plan and has chosen to provide its own commercial rental insurance directly to you, inquire with the host to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and applicable costs, if any.

Getaround insurance at a glance

Coverage applies for the duration of each rental, from start to finish, and includes liability, collision and comprehensive.

Car owners


Car owners are covered up to a combined single limit of $1,000,000 for liability. Coverage includes personal liability for the renter, third-party liability for passengers and other affected parties, and third-party property damage arising from a car accident.

Comprehensive and collision

The collision coverage provided protects the owner's vehicle in the event of an accident.

Comprehensive covers for theft, fire, vandalism and weather damage.

Coverage pays out up to the actual cash value of the car.



Renters are covered up to the liability limits carried by the vehicle owner or with a combined single limit of three times the state minimum, whichever is greater.


10 ways to save money on your next rental car

Having rented a car more times than I can count, I can easily identify the experience as the bane of any work trip or vacation. This is generally how best car rental insurance usa process goes for me: I get off a plane, sweaty and tired, shuttle off to the airport’s rental car depot, and wait approximately 45 minutes in a queue to pick up the car I’ve booked online. I then sign all the paperwork confirming that I want all the insurance coverage offered and brace myself for the final daily fee and total cost, which is always far higher than the one advertised.

“It’s because you got all the coverage,” the customer service agent says, when I cringe at the estimate. “Better safe than sorry!”

I agree with that platitude, but I also want to know, am I getting ripped off? Are there money and time saving hacks — besides watching the mileage and gassing up before returning — I could be implementing here?

The answer, according to experts, is a resounding “yes”.

Here’s how to go about renting a car so you can drive off the lot without totaling your bank account.

1. Book early — especially during peak travel season

“Car rental companies like Enterprise and Budget operate limited fleets, and they need to estimate demand several weeks in advance best car rental insurance usa order to have a car ready for you when you step off your flight,” says Kristin McGrath, savings and deals expert for “As you get closer to peak travel season for rental car companies, you’ll want to book as far in advance as possible to ensure that you’re not only getting a great price, but actually getting a car, too."

To save money when booking online, consider using a cashback browser extension like EBates as well as a coupon code search extension like Wikibuy. It also can’t hurt to search Groupon and LivingSocial for potential discounts.

2. Avoid booking at airports if possible — they can pile on fees

If you can manage it, don’t book your rental car from the airport.

“Renting a car at the airport is definitely more expensive in many cases as a lot of cities had added surcharges,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at “It's rooted in a revenue grab for them and it’s easy to pass along as a tourism promo codes walmart grocery that we often see [in other ways] at airports.”

Arranging a rental car through the airport can add anywhere from 10 to 25 percent to your costs, Rossman says, adding that just today he was looking at the price of his rental car booked out of a San Francisco airport and found that the $200 base rate had another $100 tacked on in added taxes and fees — “$50 more than if I went into the city and rented the car there.”

Chris Trifilio, blogger at, says he’s actually saved money by paying for an Uber or Lyft to take him from the airport to a rental car depot. “I came out well ahead even after my $20 ride-sharing cost,” he says.

3. Use a credit card that will cover primary insurance

The biggest cost that we encounter when renting a car is usually the insurance. If you don’t typically drive (and thus, don’t need/have your own auto insurance), then the first add-on item you’re likely signing up for is the collision damage waiver. This is the primary insurance that will reimburse the company for costs of damage to a car should you get into an accident while it’s in your possession.

Now, you may also want to go with this insurance even if you have your own auto insurance, because, as Rossman notes, if you get into an accident, you’d still have to pay the deductible out of pocket, and the accident could incentivize your insurance company to hike up your rates.

But there’s a better way, and one that actually comes at no cost to you. A number of credit cards offer primary coverage as part of its perks (check out NerdWallet’s list of cards that tout this benefit). The only caveat is that you need to pay 100 percent of the price of the rental on that card.

Check with your credit card company to understand the coverage they offer. Liability insurance is typically not included with these credit cards, so you’ll want to either add that on with the rental car company, use your own if you have it.

Another way to reduce rental car insurance fees is to buy rental car insurance outside of the rental agency.

Companies like RentalCover specialize in this service.

“As low as six dollars a day can cover you for everything,” what is the best online stock trading platform Stewart Barrett, head of growth at Cover Genius, the parent company to RentalCover.

Rossman deems this a savvy alternative if you don’t have a credit card that qualifies you for coverage.


4. Plug in your Costco, AAA and other memberships

One of the perks of being a member of Costco or BJ’s Wholesale is their partnerships with major rental car companies.

“My favorite hack to save on rental cars: Costco. After two rentals, my membership paid for itself with the amount I saved via their travel portal,” says Kelsey Sheehy, personal finance expert at NerdWallet. "You can usually add an additional driver for free, which saves another $12 to $13 per day.”

“Insurance on rental cars is also a common perk from trade associations and unions, so it’s worth checking if you have an industry affiliation,” says Rossman. “Same if you have AAA.”

“My auto club membership code saved me over 15 percent on my most recent five day, one-way rental from Chicago to Florida,” says Triflio. “The savings alone nearly paid for my annual membership with a single booking.”

McGrath adds that the AARP often offers discounts or fee waivers for rental car coverage.

5. Book through sites like Autoslash, which factors in discounts

Rossman isn’t affiliated with the car rental service Autoslash, but uses the site to save on car rentals.

“You put in where you're going and it will give you quotes,” says Rossman. “What is neat is that you can put in your memberships with Costco or AAA, and they will search for those discounts and any online coupons that may help you save. They do price comparisons before and after you book so if two weeks later that booked rental for May went down you can rebook at the lower rate.”

6. Do your homework on bundle deals that come with a ‘free’ rental car

Packages and bundles with hotels and/or airfare are designed to save you money, but these can make your rental car out to cost more than if you book it independently.

“‘Free’ car is an offer that cannot be taken at face value,” says Randi Winter, a travel consultant with Passionate Travel, a Virtuoso affiliate of Classic Travel. “Often it is only one or two days and the mileage or additional days can far overshadow the ‘free’ offer, especially if you are keeping a car for a week or longer.”

7. Beware the cancellation fees if pre-paying

“Prepaying to save money could be your most expensive decision,” says Winter. “Like hotels, prepayment for locked-in conditions look like they are going to save you money [but] changes in flight times, dates, cancellations for illness — even getting a better price hotel in a different area — could result in needing to cancel or modify a booking.”

And that cancellation fee could cost you around $50 (the price Alamo and Enterprise charge), and double that if you cancel within 24 hours ahead of scheduled pick up.

Make sure your plans won’t change if you are pre-paying.

8. Spot a dent? Take a pic before driving off the lot

It’s customary for rental car companies to have you do a quick review of the car you’re renting to document any existing dents, scratches or other cosmetic flaws. You cannot be too thorough in this examination, and it’s best to photograph any problem areas you spot so that they can’t be pinned on you later.

“Always use your phone to take photos of any suspicious dents or dings or interior anomalies,” says Winter. “This proof movie times fort smith ar malco with a time and date stamp — can save you from any allegations or charges after you have returned the car and no longer have access for proof.”

9. Bring your own child car seat or buy one

Rental car companies charge a fortune for child’s car seats — “between $10 and $15 a day,” Rossman says.

“You’re better off bringing your own,” says Rossman, with Barrett adding that it could be cheaper to just buy one in your destination. You stand a good chance at finding an affordable one in good used condition using apps like 5Miles or Facebook Marketplace.

10. Pay tolls in cash if you can

Another fee rental car companies just love to tack on your bill is the fee for passing through tolls. Hertz charges a $5.95 fee for every day you use its PlatePass, in addition to the price of the tolls incurred at their highest rate. Avis, Alamo, Budget and Enterprise each charge a $3.95 convenience fee for each day of the rental (up to a maximum of $19.75 per month) in certain areas with tolled roads even if you don’t drive there — on top of any toll fees incurred.

“This is a sneaky one that could really add up,” says Rossman. “It’s harder these days to pay in person as bridges are moving away from cash, so either prepay the toll online (depending on your municipality) or buy a disposable transponder if able. It can save you a lot of money.”


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