Travelling can be a costly affair with car rental often being a big contributor. Following a few simple steps could turn you into a savvy rental customer and help you navigate through from booking to pick up and return of your rental car. 1. Take time to shop around: Like with all things, some homework ahead of time can uncover significant savings. The internet is your best bet with major operators providing their best prices for online bookings. It will also give you a chance to consider the fine print as rental agreements do vary. 2. Give the small operator a fair go: For car hire in Sydney, you can uncover great value by seeking out smaller operators. They can represent huge savings as they often compete on a price basis. Before you do commit though, look at google maps, facebook, truelocal and the like for reviews that will shed light on the reliability of the operator. Also, give them a call to confirm the booking; their phone mannerism will speak volumes of their overall approach to customers. 3. Cheap can sometimes be expensive: If it’s too good to be true, it sometimes can be. Look out for add on charges well above and beyond the rental rate. All large companies levy these, however, some of the smaller ones have to pass these fees on. For car rental in sydney this can be in the form of credit card surcharges, vehicle recovery fees and premium location fees. 4. Avoid the airport if possible: Off airport operators are cheaper by up to 30% purely due to lower overheads. Often, they will pick you up and drop you off at the end of the rental. A great way to research potential companies is by looking at reviews on social media sites to ensure you have picked the right provider. 5. Pre arrange your excess reduction: Insurance waivers can add up to 20% to your overall bill in some instances. Some credit card providers provide cover up to the excess amount if you pay using their card. A footnote though, the same may not apply to truck rental with commercial vehicles sometimes not included. 6. Avoid the avoidable: Cut avoidable fees off your bill by taking the trouble to ensure the vehicle is filled up thoroughly and reasonably clean. Fuel and cleaning charges are often levied and unfortunately at a high rate so that rental companies can cover associated labour costs. Infringement handling fees are also levied at quite a high rate due to the cost of processing the same. For car hire these can really add up with the numerous cashless toll roads spread across the country. 7. Avoid the “damage” argument: Upon pick up and return of the vehicle, take the trouble to photograph the vehicle thoroughly, including a photo of the dashboard showing fuel and mileage. These will be a priceless defence if there are any grey areas. Do some research prior to your trip and follow our tips during the pick up and drop off process - it could make your next rental stress free and cost effective.