Archive for the Category »Rental Cars «

  Travel Tip Tuesday: Common Cents When Road Tripping

No that’s not a misspelling… I do mean cents.

I was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico – a city consistently ranked as a top tourist destination in the United States… Cute plaza downtown, plenty of restaurants and galleries… but very little free parking for our rental car.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

When we finally found a metered spot a good walk away from the plaza’s activity, I realized the meter is not the modern version you would find in other major cities – in other words, it still only took coins – no credit cards. Being from Los Angeles, where the car is king and the city wants to rob you for every parking penny possible, we were woefully unprepared for meters that don’t take plastic. So… we had to give up the spot, drive back to the commercial and crowded plaza, and find a Starbucks I could walk into and get change, while my husband circled around since there was no parking.

Searching for change, and then a new parking spot, can eat up valuable time on a trip, and isn’t any easier with children along :)

Thus… my travel tip: When renting a car, it is smart to make sure you have change if you will be driving to attractions. You just never know when a place hasn’t converted to the more modern meters that I had apparently taken for granted!


  From Fees to Fuel Tank: Unexpected Rental Car Rip Offs

Visiting friends in Miami the other week, I rented a car at the airport. The gas tank came to me half full – what’s up with that? There was a possibility I could have driven off and not have noticed, paying for the half tank upon my car return without ever having used it. Made me think of my good ol rental car money saving tips:

1) Check the gas tank when you get your rental car – if the tank is not full, tell someone and make sure they put it in writing on your contract that you took the car with a partially full tank. Or – demand another car of the same price to avoid any possible communication errors. Remember – if you have to have the car rental company fill up because you don’ t have time to yourself, it costs a heck of a lot more..which will really burn you up if you are paying that for the gas you didn’t use!

2) Don’ t buy the insurance. It is a great way for the car rental company business to make money, but your home owner’s policy or a credit card you use may cover you.

3) Don’ t forget they may get you with extra fees that you decide upon last minute at the rental car counter – i.e. a car seat, or additional driver fees. And the taxes can be ridiculous.

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