What is the best route to renting a car, especially as summer travel season looms? And, are there routes to securing a deal?

Last year in America, more than 2 million rental cars were in service. This represents an almost $30 million industry, according to autorentalnews.com.

But what is the best route to renting a car, especially as summer travel season looms? And, are there routes to securing a deal?

AAA suggests that before renting a car, ask yourself:


— What size car is needed?
— How far?
— For how long?
— Is insurance needed?
— Where to pick up and drop off?
— Number of passengers?
— Driver?
— Gas included in price?

The answers to these questions will help guide to the right rental car for specific needs.

Then, to find a good deal, nerdwallet.com suggests never renting from the airport, even though convenience may tempt. Often, premiums are charged on airport rental cars. Shop instead online. Travel discounters, travel services (such as AAA) and even Costco have deals. Price-compare.

After a little research, check out the rental car company website. Surprisingly, shares Nerdwallet, some deeper discounts exist if renters are willing to pay up front.


And, although there are rental car company and discount travel service apps, rentalcars.com has a free app available on Google Play that offers information on close to 50,000 sites in 91 currencies and 40 languages.

To keep costs under control, and if possible, opt for an economy car and stick to one driver — most companies charge extra for additional drivers. A big budget buster can be extra insurance. Points out AAA, check first to make sure an individual auto insurance policy covers in case of accident; if not, look into what the car rental company has. Resist other spiels for roadside assistance, satellite radio and GPS navigation, unless absolutely needed.

Find out what the rental car company charges for gas and then scope out area prices to determine the cheapest route. Apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru and Waze find the lowest-cost stations. Filling up before returning the rental car is often the more economical route.