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Tips for renting a car without breaking the bank

Friday, August 24, 2012 9:58:39 AM

Business travel car rental can be a major time saver when commuting to meetings, offices and corporate lunches, but it's easy to overlook minor details when participating in a rental; and those minor details can be costly.

Today contributor Laura T. Coffey recommends "doing the math" before committing to a rental agreement. Make sure you or your office travel manager figure in tax, potential surcharges and other fees, so that you know what to budget for before you make any commitments.

Craig Howie, a correspondent for AOL Autos, says it's always best to pre-book when renting a car.  

"Often a quick phone call to check availability is all you need," Howie said.

It can sometimes be difficult for rental car companies to know exactly which cars they will have available when business professionals arrive at their location. However, if the reserved vehicle is not available, most rental car companies will provide an upgrade free of charge. 

Also make sure to double check on any kinds of fines or restrictions. For example, you may need to be over the age of 25 in order to rent a car without being charged a fee. Not knowing about this fee ahead of time can result in hundreds of surprise dollars being added on to your rental bill. Many rental car providers who offer corporate rental services will waive this fee for business travelers, however.

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