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Ride share services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we get around, especially when traveling. But sometimes the best way to see and enjoy your trip destination is from behind the wheel. Vacation car rentals make getting around easy.
However, there are a few things you should know before getting in the driver’s seat of your vacation car rental. For example, booking in advance and scheduling pick-up at the right time can help you save money on your rental.
Let’s look at a few other things you’ll need to know when considering vacation rental cars.
Booking a rental car in advance can help save money and ensure the type of car you want is available. But how far in advance should you rent a car for vacation?
Most experts suggest reserving your vacation rental car 3 to 6 months in advance of your trip. This especially applies if you’re visiting during peak season or what a specific car type. This means it’s wise to make reserving your vacation rental car a step when planning your vacation.
Another benefit of booking a rental car 3-6 months in advance is that it lets you take your time in planning your vacation. Booking further out than 6 months rarely comes with any benefit, but booking last minute might come with limited availability. However, if you don’t mind getting stuck with the more common rental car types (compact or economy cars), you might be able to rent a last-minute car.
Sometimes people prefer to take a vacation rental care for a road trip rather than take their own car. Doing so saves on wear and tear to the vehicle and can keep the miles on your odometer low.
Road trips come with a lot of benefits. You get to see parts of the country you might miss otherwise. Being in a vehicle with family and friends for hours lets you get to know them better. Driving on the open road can be fun. Planning a road trip to Florida can even be a lot of fun.
Despite the enjoyable things that come with taking a road trip, sometimes it makes more sense to fly to your destination rather than drive. At what point should you fly instead of drive? There are two rules of thumb to follow when considering driving vs flying:
These basic rules of thumb are based on saving money and time. If you decide to fly to Southwest Florida instead of drive, you’ll find lots of options with flights to RSW (Southwest Florida International Airport) arriving daily from destinations around the country.
There are a few need-to-know hacks to saving money on vacation rental cars. One thing to keep in mind is the time of day you pick up the car. Picking up your vacation rental car in the evening can help you land the best deal and, in some cases, can even let you shave a whole day off your rental agreement.
Another need-to-know hack about vacation rental cars is that the day of the week you pick up the car matters. Rental car counters are slammed with corporate customers and business travelers on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Sometimes this weekday demand causes prices to surge.
This means picking up your vacation rental car on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday can help you stretch your trip budget. A weekend rental is perfect for saving money and even when you’re planning a mini-vacation in Florida.
So, now you know you need to pick up your vacation rental car on Thursday (or weekend) night. But do you know where is the best place to rent a car for vacation?
The rental counters at the airport might be the most convenient option, but traveling a few miles off the beaten path might come with a cost savings. Non-airport rentals are much cheaper because you won’t have to pay a fee for “airport concession recovery.”
This sneaky fee can range from 2% to 18% and seriously raise the price of your vacation rental car. To avoid paying this fee, consider taking an Uber or Lyft to an off-site rental counter instead. You’ll find rental car companies located all across Southwest Florida. Some local car dealers even rent cars, so consider this if you’d prefer a certain brand of car on your trip.
If you’re over 25 years old, you’ll only need a driver’s license and a credit card when renting a car in Florida.
If you’re under 25 or traveling with a younger driver who wants behind the wheel of the rental, you might pay extra fees or be limited on the kind of rental car you can get. For example, sports cars or luxury cars might be off-limits to a younger driver.
Insurance can be tricky when it comes to vacation rental cars. The rental car agents will try hard to sell you on their insurance. But do you need it?
In some cases, your vacation rental car is covered by your regular car insurance. If you carry both comprehensive and liability insurance on your personal vehicle, it might also apply to rental vehicles. Read through your insurance binder or speak with your agent to confirm.
You also might get additional rental car coverage through your credit card. Some credit card companies, like American Express, provide some level of rental car coverage when you use the card to pay for the rental.
When it comes to renting a car in Florida, you’ll find that you have lots of options. While the most popular choices might be a mid-size or compact sedan, this isn’t where it stops.
Like feeling the wind in your hair and pushing the speed limit? Consider renting a convertible sports car for your next vacation.
Bringing the whole family? A full-size SUV or van will likely have room for everyone.
Like living the good life? Most rental car companies offer luxury can rentals that come with a certain level of prestige.
Want to ride off the beaten path? Consider renting a Jeep or other four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Basically, if you can drive it, you can rent it in Florida. There is a wide range of rental car companies in Southwest Florida offering a wide selection of vehicles.
Picking the best car rental totally depends on your unique needs.
If you’re trying to stretch your vacation budget, an economy vacation rental car might be the best choice. If you want to enjoy creature comforts and don’t mind spending a bit more, consider a luxury vacation rental car.
Planning a vacation comes with many considerations, and the budget is a big one. But how much is the average cost to rent a car in Florida?
Vacation car rentals can seriously vary in price, however, the average cost of an economy rental car in Florida at any point of the year works out to be around $43 per day.
You can count on paying more to rent a car during Florida’s peak season, which usually lasts from November to mid-April. You’ll also likely pay more when renting a car in popular cities and tourist destinations. Visiting a “shoulder season,” or the times right before or after peak season can help you stretch your vacation budget.
Choosing the right vacation car rentals is just one part of planning a Southwest Florida adventure. Make the most of your time in this corner of the Sunshine State by finding the perfect vacation rental property from Royal Shell.
Just like you’ll find a wide variety of vacation car rentals available, you’ll find the same diversity when it comes to vacation rental homes. Seaside villas, downtown condos, roomy homes in gated communities, and luxury suites are just a handful of the options available to you through Royal Shell. No matter whether you’re looking for a short-term vacation rental or a long-term option, count on Royal Shell. Reach out now to learn more about us and our properties.