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Advice on Renting a Car Overseas

Call the consolidators. Just as American consolidators like Hotwire or Priceline bargain for great discounts, companies like Car Rental Express book cars worldwide at wholesale prices. If you’re planning on visiting multiple countries on your trip, a consolidator can find you the best rates from multiple rental car companies. Avoid booking a rental car directly through a local agency. Even if you’re already at your destination, a call back to your home country can yield you bigger savings that dealing with staff at the service desk. Car Rental Express, locations and affiliates worldwide. http://www.carrentalexpress.com

Rent by the week. Consolidators use a little known gimmick to save customers money when renting cars overseas. When you rent by the week, you often pay less for seven days than you would have paid for six days at the daily rate.

Check your age. Renters under 25 years of age may have trouble renting cars overseas. In many cases, they could be forced to purchase extra insurance or accept a surcharge. Contact a travel agency that specializes in student travel for deals from young-adult-friendly consolidators. STA Travel, 800-329-9537. http://www.statravel.com

Call your credit card company. Many cards provide rental car insurance, so you can decline an agency’s Collision Damage Waiver. Bank of America even offers protection to many of their debit card customers. Since you can save hundreds of dollars, consider switching to a card that offers this protection. Bank of America, 800-432-1000. http://www.bankofamerica.com

Check for dings. On the way out of the lot and on the way back in, inspect the car for damage. Make sure the agent notes any problems (or lack thereof) on your receipt. Take a picture of the car, in case you need to prove that you returned the car in good condition.


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