Learn how to de-mystify the car rental process and save - WFLA News Channel 8

Learn how to de-mystify the car rental process and save

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -
We are heading into the busy summer travel season and often a rental car is a must. When it comes to navigating the rental car process, there are a lot of details involved.  It can get frustrating if you're just eager to hit the road.  But the Better Business Bureau says make sure you know and understand your options, such as additional add-ons, before signing on the dotted line.

"Do understand you are signing a legally binding contract with that car rental agency. As a consumer you want to know the terms of what you're signing" says John Zajac of the BBB.

If you're looking to save money and get the best deal on a rental care start buy surfing the big travel Websites. Once you have a good feel for how much it's likely to cost go to the individual rental car company Websites to see if you can snag a better deal.

Make sure to always clarify which taxes, surcharges and other fees you'll be expected to pay. Many states have additional fees for drivers under age 25 or for multiple drivers. 

It's also helpful to compare both airport and city locations when looking to rent.  Often, airport rentals are more expensive.

If you can get away with it, smaller cars will save you money. John Zajak of the Better Business Bureau says: "they often try to up-sell you into a larger car well not everyone needs a larger car. Sometimes a smaller car will do just fine."

You can also save money by bringing your own car seat and GPS device from home. rather than paying daily fees to rent them from the car company.

Being punctual pays too. Some car companies will charge you an extra day if your late and some will also charge you if you want to return your rental early.

And finally you want to check with your own insurance company first to see what your policy will cover.  Do that before the rental car companies try to convince you to pay for extra coverage.

And when it comes to gas, often car rental companies will ask if you want to prepay for gas. The BBB says that is not always necessary and it's rarely the best deal. Just don't forget to refill the tank before returning the car.
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