Car Rental Do’s and Don’ts for the Traveling Employee
Employers usually pay for business travel expenses, such as hotel and car rental. Don’t be tempted to party it up just because you are not footing the bill. Keeping in mind these lesser-known facts about car rental may make you a highly valued employee.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when renting a car:
Do Designate One Driver
Many car rental agencies include additional fees for a second driver. If you are traveling with a co-worker, you may choose to have only one of you be responsible for the driving.
If you must share the driving responsibilities, then the advice at US News & World Report is to shop around. Don’t just ask about fees for adding a second driver; there are also sometimes hidden fees for adding a second driver to the waiver that won’t be covered by your general question. Cover all the bases.
Don’t Use Airport Rentals
CBS MoneyWatch reports that renting a car in the airport may cost as much as ten percent more than renting a car from the same company in another location. Companies that are right near the airport but offer a shuttle service are no better.
Your best bet may be researching car rental places in the vicinity before flying out, then catching a taxi to the rental agency. The cost of a quick taxi ride will be much, much less than the inflated cost of a car rental.
Do Use Smaller Companies
On a related note, when researching car rental agencies, look for smaller companies within reasonable distance from the airport. Smaller companies tend to cost less than the large, well-known companies.
Do Consider Using Taxis, Instead
For short business trips to large cities, it may make more sense in the long run to utilize taxis instead of driving. Not only is it difficult to navigate busy streets in unfamiliar places, but it can be much less expensive than renting a car.
In any case, it is well worth researching how much using taxis can save you and your employer.
Don’t Buy Insurance
Car rental agencies want to sell you insurance to cover the car and insurance to cover any bodily injury. What they don’t tell you is that you don’t need it, and it is gravy for them.
If you have your own car insurance, you don’t need additional car insurance.
If you have health insurance, you don’t need additional health insurance.
Other Ways to Save
Here at PayScale, Jen Hubley Luckwaldt discusses how some employers offer their employee travelers a bonus if they stay with a friend instead of in a hotel. Perhaps employers should offer a small bonus to employees who save them money on car rental fees, as well.
In any case, being savvy about car insurance may save your employer money. Make sure you communicate your efforts to your employer, because it makes you a valuable employee and may result in a promotion, raise, or better job security.
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