Okay, I’ve fig­ured out where and how to book . . . any­thing else I should know?

The Washington Post Sunday - - DEAL HUNTER -

Book­ing ahead is the eas­i­est way to save money, but not ev­ery week­end goes ac­cord­ing to plan. If your sched­ule is prone to last­minute changes, fa­mil­iar­ize your­self with the com­pany’s change pol­icy. For ex­am­ple, if you can­cel a pre­paid Bud­get reser­va­tion, you’ll be charged a $10 ser­vice fee.

If punc­tu­al­ity isn’t your strong suit, choose a com­pany with a grace pe­riod, such as En­ter­prise, Hertz or Bud­get, which will let you slide for the first 29 min­utes af­ter your reser­va­tion has ended. Af­ter that, hourly— and, in some cases, daily— rates ap­ply. If you’re run­ning late, ex­tend your reser­va­tion over the phone for a $10 ser­vice fee. It will cost you less than if, you know, they think you’ve stolen the car. Many lo­ca­tions re­quire a

credit card de­posit of up to $350. You’ll get this money back, but it can take as long as 15 days be­fore the hold is lifted. If this mat­ters to you, En­ter­prise tends to re­quire the small­est de­posits.

Re­fill the car your­self. Ac­cord­ing toHertz spokes­woman Paula Rivera, this op­tion is al­most al­ways cheaper than go­ing with a pre­paid full tank or the rental com­pany’s re­fu­el­ing ser­vice.

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