Rental Car

Bringing the tank back empty would have been $36

It came to my attention yesterday that I hadn’t rented a car in years. I always let my husband take care of that aspect since I hate driving and I have no desire to interact with the rental car folks. I was quickly reminded why I dislike renting a car while at Fincon in D.C. Hopefully, this list will help you save some money and headaches next time you need to rent a car.

Tips for Renting a Car

  • Read the fine print. When booking a car to pick up at the airport. The car I found was $56. It was way cheaper than the other car rental companies at the Washington D.C. airport. Why? Because you have to take an infrequent shuttle from the airport to the off-site parking lot. Super annoying but not a huge deal. I only wasted an hour of my vacation.
  • Understand your car insurance. The car rental guy insisted that I get car rental insurance. “It’s only $6 a day, you do know you are in Washington D.C., right?!?” “No, sorry guy, I had no idea where my flight landed, I thought I was in Kansas” I did not get tricked into getting insurance since I know my current coverage covers me and sometimes so will your cover you too. Know this info before you go.
  • Bring the gas tank back full. This guy also insisted that I pay for gas ahead of time so I can save 5 cents per gallon. I told him where I was going and he said I would use exactly 1 tank of gas and I shouldn’t deal with the hassle of getting gas before I bring it back. (There was seriously a gas station 1/2 block from this place.) I saved $18 by not taking his advice.
  • Always inspect the car yourself. The bumper of my car had definitely been hit. When I went to check out the guy that is supposed to look at the car, walked around it and then asked me to sign without mentioning the already scraped bumper. I asked him why he didn’t note the bumper and he rolled his eyes then updated the form.

I discussed my interaction with my husband and he said he was never berated for not upgrading their services. I would like to think that this is the standard sales mentality but I couldn’t help but think it happened because I was a female traveling alone. I will never know but what I do know is that my limited knowledge saved me $30.

I hope this prepares you for next rental car experience.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Sister, have you tried Turo? I calculated it save about 40% off a rental (depending on area). It is the same concept as AirBnB but with cars. The sharing economy, and for us it worked great. I have a referral code (or you can get one from anyone who uses it) that can get you a discount, but don’t do what I did…if you login without the link then you cannot enter it later.

    1. I was really happy with $56 for 2 days, it was all the add ons they were trying to get me to buy. I will definitely try out Turo next time! Thanks.

  2. That is super good, Turo may not be much better in that case. 👌

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