You’ve just landed, and it’s time to get this trip underway. There’s only one problem–no wheels. Going to a new city and being unable to get around is a horrendous way to go traveling. Whether it’s business or pleasure that’s taking you away from home–you’re going to need a car if you intend to get around efficiently. Public transportation is reliable and accessible in some cities, but it’s a complete nightmare in lots of them. And if you intend on taking cab rids everywhere, just hope you have very deep pockets. You’re best off renting a car, and here are things to consider while you shop:

  1. Book in Advance
    If at all possible, book your car rental before you depart on your journey. Waiting until you arrive leaves you feeling stressed for time, and you’re more likely to take the first offer, rather than shop around for deals. Some services may offer discounts for early book as well. Get it done early to get it off your mind and save some cash.
  2. Go Compact
    Unless you’re going to be hauling around tons of equipment on a daily basis, go for the smaller car. Compact models cost less than the luxury and utility vehicles on rental, so salespeople will often try to push you in the direction of the larger, more expensive cars. Try not to get taken in. Opt for the smallest car you can manage with to get the most economical deal. You’ll save on rental rates and gas as well.
  3. Think About Your Stay
    Renting a car day by day can be an inconvenient, confusing, and expensive hassle. Going for a rental over the weekend often ends up saving money with added convenience. Weekly rentals are even better, offering rates much lower than the single day car rental. If you’re going to be in town for longer than a day, shoot for weekend or weekly deals.
  4. Beware of Hidden Costs
    Some rental companies appear to have the lowest rates around, but will suddenly hit you with unexpected fees. Others will try to push unnecessary extras on you. Don’t be too quick to sign off on your rental service’s insurance programs. Sure, they’ll cover you in the event of a collision, loss, or damage to the vehicle, but your very own insurance may provide the same coverage. Before you go for the insurance package, look into your own coverage. Hidden costs like this can drive rental rates way up.
  5. Get Away from the Airport
    Renting a car at the airport will almost always cost more due to associated taxes and fees. Try to find an accessible location slightly farther away for additional savings. You may even want to leave the major metropolitan area. Renting a car in Miami might cost a pretty penny, while rental services in the suburban areas not far away offer more competitive rates and better options. Don’t be rash in your rental, or you’ll be sacrificing a lot of money for a little convenience.