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3 Ways to Save on Rental Cars This Summer

May 14, 2014
2 mins
A male driver wears sunglasses in the driver's seat of a car

Ahhh, summer driving season - now that the weather is finally in agreeance, many Canadians are taking to the open road for cottages and campgrounds. But road trips aren’t always cost-effective — especially with this season’s spiking gas prices. One area to consider for possible savings: should you take your own set of wheels, or rent a car for the trip?

Your car may be well suited to your daily commute or buzzing around town - but you could be at a disadvantage on the long highway haul. Here are a few ways renting a vehicle can help shave costs.

1: Save on Insurance Costs and Maintenance

Driving your own car over long distances results in wear and tear, which ultimately contributes to the devaluation of your vehicle (and will pump up your insurance premiums to boot). A recent study from AAA found the average following maintenance costs per mile for vehicles, assuming 15,000 miles driven per year: Small sedan: 46.4 cents

Medium sedan: 58.9 cents

Large sedan: 72.2 cents

Assuming you plan to drive 500 miles or more on your road trip, leaving your own car behind will result in savings at your quarterly tune-up, and will keep your mileage down come auto insurance renewal time.

2: Look Inside Your Wallet for Existing Savings

Before you make that car rental reservation, be sure to check your credit cards - they may include a perk or two that will result in further savings. For example, select Scotiabank cardholders will receive a 20% discount from all Avis car rental centres worldwide.

  • The Scotia Momentum Visa (including the Infinite and No-Fee options)
  • ScotiaGold Passport Visa
  • Scotiabank Value Visa
  • No-Fee ScotiaGold Visa
  • SCENE Visa
  • ScotiaHockey NHL Visa
  • L’Earn Visa

3: Pay Less On Your Car Insurance

Cut back on your trip costs even further with built-in car rental insurance coverage. A popular included perk among many credit cards, this type of coverage will waive the cost of collision coverage, theft, or both for a number of days. To access the free coverage, the cost of the rental often must be paid in its entirety on the credit card, with any coverage offered directly through the rental agency voided on the rental contract.

Pro Tip: Always review any insurance policy that accompanies your credit card before booking, to ensure you understand the length of your coverage, required deductibles, coverage limits, as well as factors that can void your insurance.

Penelope Graham

A first-time homeowner and newbie investor, Penelope Graham is the quintessential millennial, navigating the world of personal finance and wealth management. A self-professed monetary policy nerd, she follows the often-controversial housing market closely and specializes in mortgage, credit card and personal finance news.

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