Sometimes, it’s just necessary to rent a car. You might need a more trustworthy vehicle to take on vacation or on a business trip, need a car to get around an unfamiliar city, or simply need transportation while your car is in the shop. Renting a car doesn’t have to be a challenge! Learn more about how to rent a car, who to contact, and what type of insurance you really need for your rental.

When you rent a car, you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck. You’re most likely looking to relax, and having to count miles or days is not fun. However, there are ways to save money and get the best price when looking at rental services.

Luxury car rental can be a pitfall. There are many other places to look for a car rental, and while a luxury car may seem wonderful, it can end up costing almost twice as much depending on the model. The only time this kind of rental car might be okay is if you are on a business trip. Let’s face it — if you can pick the car but the price will vary based on model, you shouldn’t pick a luxury car.

You should look closely at the payment method. Will you pay fixed price for each day or is it a fixed price per mile you drive? If you know you’ll be driving a lot, it is best to stay away from rentals that charge per mile. If you’re staying somewhere the only driving you’ll need to do is to and from the car rental place, it might be better to pay per mile.

The model of the car will also have something to do with the pricing at a rental place. If you rent a car that’s older, it may cost less since it’s an older car and no one would really want to drive it to an important function. Newer models will often be more to rent since the rental place may still be paying off the car. The same goes for luxury car rental — the older the car, the lower the price.

However, some rental places will not give you a choice as to what kind of car you have. In this case, they often charge the same for all models. Whether or not they’ll charge by the mile depends on where you are and what kind of trip you’re making — nearby or round trip.

A nearby trip – as in staying within a certain number of miles — does not have a specific date you have to return the car by. However, they will charge a fixed rate per mile. One example is a place that charges $0.05 per mile driven. So you if drive 4,000 miles over the course of your trip at that rate, you will owe the rental place $200.

The round trip option often means that you are going quite far — often another state. Oftentimes, they will charge per day if this is how you’re going. The rate will vary based on each rental place, but a good median is $75 a day. So if you need the car for four days, that means you will pay $300. However, if you’re driving more than 6000 miles or are returning the car before that, it will be worth the extra $100.

This is where how much you will be driving the rental will be a deciding factor. If you are unsure of how much you will be driving, calculate how much you will owe at various places if you go round trip. Then, figure out if you’ll be driving much a daily basis.

For example, if you have to get groceries and it’s a 30 mile round trip from where you’re staying to the store, that will be $1.50. If you’re going to drive another 80 miles to go visit a few friends the next day and back to where you’re staying, that’s another $4. That’s $5.50 for two days if that’s the majority of your driving. Factor in getting to and from the rental shop — say 60 miles one way for a total of an extra 120 miles — that adds $60. The total is $65.50 for this visit.

Now say you wanted to spread that out across a week. Using the same figures from earlier, a week at $75 a day will cost you $525.

What’s the difference between this price and spreading visits to friends across the week instead of all on one day?

Keep the $1.50 for the groceries and the $60 for getting to and from the dealership. Now, say it’s 20 miles round trip to visit one friend, a 30 mile round trip to visit another friend, and 60 miles to visit the last friend. That’s an extra $10, $15, and $30 for each visit. Added together, that’s $116.50 to do all the things you wanted to.

Choosing to be priced by the mile for this trip would be $408.5 less than charged by day. You would have to drive 1050 miles to equal the price of a by-day trip.

Now say you wanted to drive 9000 miles in six days for a round vacation to Palmyra, New York and Niagara Falls to and from the dealership at the airport. The airport charges $0.1 for each mile, or $30 for each day. Charged by day, it would cost you $180. By mile, however, it would cost $900.

Factor in the food that you’ll be buying each day — whether at a restaurant or a grocery store — and it’s much cheaper to ask to be charged by day than by mile. This is especially true if you’re treating friends to dinner or meeting up with friends for something while on your trip.

Now consider how that would change if you’re renting a luxury car. Say the luxury car rental costs you $0.3 a mile, or $100 a day. For that same round trip listed above to Palmyra and Niagara Falls, the costs will go up quite a bit. Charged by the day, it’ll now cost you $600. By the mile now costs you $2700. While it’s now much more expensive than by the day with a regular car rental, charged by the day is still much less expensive than by the mile via a regular car rental.

Whether or not you decide to charge by the mile or by the day, you should take it into consideration. Doing the math yourself before you ever set foot in the rental place could help you save $200 or more if you do it correctly. Knowing your plan and not deviating too much also helps you plan for what kind of car to rent when you’re looking to rent a car on your vacation, business trip, or class reunion. It’ll definitely be worth doing.