Six Tips to Save on Car Hire

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Car hire is an often overlooked part of your holiday expense, probably because people are more focused on the hustle and bustle of booking flights, rooms and planning activities. With these six tips you can save on car hire, leaving more in your budget for the fun stuff.

1) Be Direct
The best way to save money is to call the car hire company and ask what they can do for a discount. Agents want to keep customers happy, as the car hire business is highly competitive. Don't settle for the first rate they give you. Ask if they can do better. You may end up with a percentage discount or even an upgrade in services.

2) Rent by the Week
Often car hire agencies will offer special rates for longer rental periods. Ask what the shortest period of time is that qualifies for a weekly rate. Some agencies will allow as little as three days to qualify for a weekly rate.

3) Check with Your Credit Card or Car Insurance Policy
Your credit card may offer a bevy of car hire advantages. They may offer discounts, special rates or other perks you can take advantage of while traveling. The credit card company may also cover your car hire insurance, making your base price cheaper. Check with your home car insurance policy as well--it may also cover your rental car, saving you the excessive insurance fees charged by the car company.

4) Be Wary of Upgrades
Why, you're probably wondering. Like any gift horse, it's important to understand what you're getting for free. If you've booked a smaller or economy car, realize that an upgrade may be less fuel efficient. This works out well for the car hire agency, since they then can save the fuel efficient model for another customer. So while that SUV may look like fun to drive, resist and go for the least amount of car needed for your trip. Your fuel budget will thank you.

5) Ask About Taxes and Fees Beforehand
Knowing how much you'll pay for tax and other fees over the baseline rental cost will save you money in the long run. For example, there may be fees for mileage overages, late returns and even fuel usage. Knowing the limitations ahead of time will help you avoid these typically costly fees. You might want to avoid airport vendors, because taxes and fees may be higher than those at non-airport locations.

6) Do Your Research
Lastly, you can save money on car hire by doing your research. The internet offers a bevy of savings opportunities waiting for you to take part. One site,, offers specials from different rental/hire agencies through out Australia. For example, if you book a car with Avis, you can qualify for an upgrade to the next car group in size for free. There are also 5% discounts, $5 a day discounts and other great rates from other hire companies.

Once you choose your car, date and location needed on this site, you'll be able to compare prices from different car hire agencies. The best feature is being able to compare prices for that car during different times of the week. For example, some of the car models are more expensive on the weekend, but cheaper during the week. Other models are more economical for a three-day weekend usage.

You probably already take the time to ensure you get the best deal on hotel rooms and flights. It's worth spending a little extra time in your car hire arrangements too.

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