Tips to getting a cheaper car rental

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Getting away this summer is on a lot of our lists, but if you think airfare is high wait until you check car rental prices.

Some consumers say they expect car rentals to increase because demand is so high.

So to whittle those rental prices down www.savingtools.com recommends people try to avoid renting at the airport.

Fees at some airports can increase rental rates by 25 percent or more. Fortunately, some rental companies offer free shuttles to their offsite location.

Reserving the car for longer than you need is another tip that can save money.

This sounds weird, but adding an extra day on to a weekly rental or extending it into the weekend with the intention of actually returning the car early can lower your rate.

Consumers should also track rental rates through websites. Autoslash.com is one site recommended by consumer advocates.

The website continually checks for lower rates and coupons until your trip date.

While you're on the Internet you can also check prices online directly with the rental company.

Many rental companies offer lower rates if you book online, compared to reserving over the telephone.

Renters should also forget big names. Sure a lot of these companies have been around for a while, but smaller companies have smaller operating costs and that means lower rental rates.

And finally, refuse additional insurance. 

Don't be pressured into getting car insurance when your personal auto insurance will probably cover your rental car. Just make sure you check with your insurance company first.