You’ll find major international car rental agencies all over the world – think Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty. But depending on where you’re traveling, locally owned companies could offer lower rates; before booking, read reviews to be sure their companies are up to the standards of the majors.
Always shop around. Check the major booking engines and aggregator sites (such as Expedia, Priceline and Kayak) to get an idea of what rates are available, but you should also visit the car rental companies’ websites as well – they often offer exclusive discounts.
Always compare rental agencies – including some less common ones.
Just about everyone knows the big brands – Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, and so on – but there are a lot of less obvious brands that may offer better rates. Budget, Sixt, Thrifty, and Fox are just a few of the available ones.
To cover all your bases, you can book through an online travel agency website – like Hotwire or Priceline- to compare a few different rentals. More info on rent a car in Malaga
Don’t Get a GPS
Car rental companies absolutely love it when you add a GPS onto your rental for an extra $10-$15 a day. Avoid this charge by using your smartphone for navigation. We download offline maps of whole countries to Google Maps. This gives us turn by turn direction even when we don’t have WiFi or data signal. Make sure to pick up a phone cradle for the drive that way you have distraction-free driving.
We’ve also used Maps.me to get us across, Africa. Back in the day before smartphones I even bought a new GPS for a two-week car rental in Australia, which turned out to be cheaper than what the rental company was going to charge.
Read the fine print for tax and fee information.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been seduced by a price tag online, only to be shocked at checkout at the amount of hidden taxes and fees that factor into my total. Just because a rental site advertises a car at $15/day doesn’t mean that’s all you’ll be paying.
Rent outside the airport.
If you’re flying in, the easiest place to rent a car is at the airport, but just know you’re likely paying 10 or 30 percent more for the convenience. Airport car rental kiosks often charge an airport concession fee, so it could be worth your while to take a taxi or public transit into town and rent a car from there. More info on car hire in Panama
Insuring your rental car can be confusing. Most of the time, the deal you choose will come with basic cover as standard. Extra insurance is not a legal requirement, it’s entirely your choice whether you buy it. (To find out more, see What’s the best way to insure your rental car?)
Rental companies will offer you additional waiver cover or insurance. It will always cost money, and none is legally required. It is entirely up to you whether you buy it or not. For example:
Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW)
Each rental company sells its unique version of Super Collision Damage Waiver. It usually covers car parts that basic damage insurance doesn’t, such as wheels or mirrors. If you buy SCDW you might be liable for a smaller excess or be able to leave a smaller security deposit at the counter, or no security deposit at all.