Some people go on vacation to get away from traffic, but the nature of most urban areas dictates that you still might have to drive. When you're away from home and need to get around, you may find yourself wanting to rent a car. The process of renting a car is not all that complicated as you can easily hook yourself up with any major rental company and be on the road quite easily. However, getting the best deal and knowing all the little tips and tricks is usually reserved for seasoned travellers who are experts at car rentals. This article will let you in on the secrets so that you will know everything to look out for the next time you rent a car.

Even if you've never rented a car before, chances are you're still aware of the major rental companies out there. When it comes to rental companies most people stick to their favourites. However, if you are able to break away from brand loyalty and compare prices, you can often find deals when the companies are competing with each other. Along with prices, you will want to know where the branch you're renting from is located. While it would seem logical that most companies would want to put branches in convenient locations, sometimes this is not the case. So make sure you know where you're picking up the car, where you have to drop it off, and the hours of operation for the particular branch you're renting from. You also want to keep yourself in the power position by booking early. The closer you get to the date that you need a car without booking, the less advantage you'll have when making a move for the best prices.

There are several tips to keep in mind when looking to pay the lowest price possible. First, the time of week will have a great impact on your overall price since weekends usually offer the cheapest rates. You can also save on long term rentals as the overall price per day goes down the longer you have the car. Also make sure to return the car on time as being late can incur penalties. One thing people forget to look for is coupon codes and discounts that can be found online. Just do a search for your favourite car rental company and you can usually find promotional codes that can be entered when you rent you car online. Some of these codes are really great and they can offer discounts that take a specific amount or certain percentage off of your total price.

Once you have the basic part of the car rental figured out, you'll want to think about the extras. The first thing to consider is how much you should spend on insurance. It is always a good idea to get the insurance that the rental company offers. Just be careful not to be up-sold into double coverage since the effect will be redundant. Quite often a person will book online thinking they have purchased adequate insurance only to find another option when they pick up the car in person. Listen carefully to see what the difference is between the two types of insurance then decide for yourself it is necessary. You can also choose to get GPS in your rental car and while this is always handy when exploring a new city, keep in mind that this feature can be quite expensive. Remember, people have been navigating without GPS for years, so it might be worth it to save a few dollars and just buy yourself a map or ask for directions from locals.

Rental companies have done a good job of making renting a car relatively painless. You can go online and have a car in no time. Unfortunately, these same companies don't always publicize all the things you can do to save money and get the best price. So if you're looking to rent a car, start your research early and don't hesitate to comparison shop. Sometimes there are hidden factors such as the size of the car and how much gas it will burn, that will rack up your overall cost. And if you ever return your car late or short on gas then you'll know how much the company can gouge you for those offenses. You might have to learn from your mistakes when it comes to car rental, but the basic rules will always apply. Keep these simple tips in mind and you'll consistently find the best deal for yourself.