Many car rental companies operate worldwide. But just because you can find them anywhere does not mean that they offer the best prices. Sometimes, local vendors put on deals to compete with the big agencies. Here are a few ways to spot said bargains when looking for a rental in Canada.
Shop for More than the Lowest Price
Various criteria affect the cost of a rental:
- Time of week and season;
- Number of included kilometres;
- Pick-up and drop-off locations;
Besides the price tag, you should assess the vehicle’s cost per kilometre and fuel efficiency. For example, a sedan priced at $29 per day and $0.50 per kilometre works out to $237 for three days and 300 kilometres. Conversely, an economy car at $49 per day with 200 free kilometres and $0.75 per extra kilometre comes to only $124. Of course, the economy car also costs less to fill-up on gas.
Consider Function more than Appearance
When you buy a vehicle, you look at its utility and luxury. For a short road trip, though, look at only function—the transmission, the number of seats, trunk space and more. Some rental companies try to enhance their services with add-ons (i.e. GPS), but most only steepen the bill unnecessarily.
Check Your Existing Insurance Policy
Insurance is one of the most common add-ons rental companies sell. Surprisingly, most of us already have coverage. Many auto policies include collision damage and personal liability for rentals. In fact, some credits cards do, too.
Broaden Your Rental Dates
Some rental companies close early on weekends, which affects your window to pick up and drop off vehicles. Unfortunately, the penalty for a late return often costs more than an extra day’s fare. For this reason, if you have any doubt about getting the vehicle back in time, book an extra day.
Get a Proper Pick-up Inspection
When you pick up the vehicle, make sure the attendant thoroughly inspects it for damage. You do not want to pay for those unnoticed blemishes. Likewise, check that the gas metre gets marked appropriately. The last thing you want is to pick up a vehicle with half a tank and be expected to fill it to the brim on its return.