Tips to Save the Most Money on Car Rentals


Are you tired of trying to rent a car seeing a low daily rate and then by the time you check out you are paying an arm and a leg?   Me too, I wrote this because I am budget conscious at times when I am trying to do a cheaper trip and I want to share some of my tips with you.  So, to make the most of your journey without straining your budget, here are some expert tips that will not only help you save money but also enhance your overall experience!  

  1. Plan Ahead and Book Smart: Planning ahead is the key to securing the best deals on car rentals. By booking your rental vehicle in advance, you can take advantage of lower rates. Plus, when you book through reputable local companies like Overdrive Car Rentals, you gain access to exclusive promotions and discounts that can significantly reduce your expenses. We are really proud not to add a bunch of hidden fees into your rentals but offer an all inclusive price. Sometimes, booking ahead is not the only way though it’s often about choosing the right vehicle for your needs and the right platform which offers these vehicles. 
  2. Choose the Right Vehicle: Opt for an economy car if you’re traveling solo or with a small group. These cars not only offer cost-effectiveness but also fuel efficiency, ensuring you get the most mileage out of your budget. Try going for a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Eco Sport, these are both compact vehicles that are fuel efficient and will get you where you need to go. However, if you’re seeking something extraordinary, both Overdrive Car Rentals and platforms like Turo provide access to exotic, unique, and luxury cars that you might not find through traditional rental companies.  This can be handy if you are looking for a vehicle that can handle all weather conditions like a Jeep Wrangler or an electric vehicle like we offer in our Tesla’s. 
  3. Compare and Bundle: Don’t settle for the first rental option you find. Utilize online comparison platforms to explore rates from various providers, including local options like Overdrive Car Rentals. Often times you will go online and find something on Hopper or another similar platform that will give you an overall price, but it doesn’t include any coverage and is often limited in scope to deposits and such when you arrive. Your credit card may offer protection for your rental car and you can waive the extra insurance requirements.  Check with your card carrier to verify this.  Finally, you can find discounts through hotel and booking services.  For example, we have partnerships with AirBnBs in Shenandoah and can give you a deal if you book both a car and an Airbnb with us.     
  4. Utilize Rewards Programs: Membership has its perks. If you’re part of a frequent flyer program or a loyalty program with a rental car company, you could be eligible for special discounts or offers. Be sure to inquire about these opportunities when making your reservation. If you are booking with us, as an ongoing customer then please, take time to sign up for our newsletter and you will be sure to get discounts and more in your inbox!
  5. Be Mindful of Mileage: Keep an eye on the mileage limit included in your rental agreement. Going over this limit can result in extra charges. Plan your routes and destinations to stay within the allocated mileage. Some companies offer unlimited mileage as a rule or an extra which is useful for a road trip if you are going a long way, but most mileage limits are not so much that you will go over on an ongoing basis. Often the reduced rates you get for a car with a mileage limit will make up for the extra that you pay.  We find that most people drive just over 100 miles per day when renting a car unless they are going on long road trips.  So use that number for planning purposes and choose a vehicle with the write package for you. 
  6. Return on Time and with a Full Tank: Returning the car on time prevents late fees, while refueling the vehicle yourself before returning it saves you from premium refueling charges from the rental company. Most companies charge 9.99 for gas or a fixed price per 1/8 of a tank. Let me tell you, returning a car empty can cost as much as the entire rental so just save yourself the fees and fill it up.  Also, do not forget to take a picture when you pick up and drop off a rental car no matter what company you use.  I once picked up a car at ½ a tank and brought it back full and then they charged me ½ a tank because the system was messed up.  
  7. Be Cautious of Hidden Fees: Hidden fees can quickly inflate the cost of your rental. By booking through reputable local companies like Overdrive Car Rentals, you can avoid unexpected charges and save on fees that might be tacked on by larger rental corporations. This has become a staple with almost every car rental company these days. They will advertise a car for a low fixed price as the “daily rate” but then tack on admin, utilization, airport, and more fees and at the end of the day you are paying a much higher rate.  This is the whole reason we started Overdrive because we realized our Turo guests were paying double what we received on almost every rental.  So, if a guest was paying $100 a day then we were only receiving $50, under this new model we can help guests save by meeting them in the middle.
  8. Save on Delivery: So many customers come to us and ask for a car to be delivered to their location. We at overdrive happily oblige, however, you can save a lot of money by picking up the vehicle from the rental location. We have two locations near the airport and it is ALWAYS cheaper for guests to travel to pick up the vehicle than it is for us to deliver the car.  We have to factor in not only cost of delivery but also pay our team to do it whereas, taking a taxi or rideshare will cost a fraction and probably be almost just as quick. 


Unlock More Savings with Overdrive Car Rentals: When you choose Overdrive Car Rentals, you’re choosing a local company that not only offers competitive rates but also a range of vehicles to suit your preferences. From practical economy cars to exotic luxury options, Overdrive Car Rentals has you covered. Plus, don’t forget to sign up for our email distribution to receive exclusive coupon codes and discounts for your DC adventure. With Overdrive Car Rentals, your road trip becomes an affordable, unforgettable experience, allowing you to focus on exploring all the wonders the Washington DC area has to offer.

By Joshua Carr

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