Car Rentals in Fiji: Money-Saving Tips

FJ
Indian children getting on the school bus in Fiji

Navigating the realm of car rentals in Fiji necessitates prioritizing established money-saving strategies, ensuring not just financial prudence but also fostering a smoother, more cost-effective rental experience. We have grouped together a selection of money-saving strategies to keep in mind when renting a car in Fiji. These have been honed through years of practice and trial and error. Spend a few minutes reading through the list and start implementing them for all your travels.

Table of Contents

Avoid the rush hour

The rush hour  is normally between 7 am and 9 am in the morning and between 4.30 pm and 6 pm in the evening, with the local schools releasing hyper-excited kids between 2.30 and 3 with rows of school busses across the nation lining the streets outside the gates to escort them safely home.  This has been added to the money-saving list because fuel costs can fluctuate and every liter saved whilst not sitting in traffic is money in your pocket.  This is normally associated with the larger towns and cities of Suva and Lautoka and surrounding districts. Our simple recommendation is to stop for a coffee or excursion during these times. While everyone else is rushing to get home, you can be enjoying a refreshing drink or meal with friends.

Always, Always read the small print

We know it is monotonous, and with the size of the font they are normally printed in, causing eye strain, inducing annoyance, and followed with a slight migraine to finish the trio of emotions, but it is worth it in the long run, the objective is to get the legal requirements out of the way before you set out, so every second can be about the special experience between you, your friends and family, savoring every moment of your new home away from home.

Check the fuel dial before departing on your adventure

Check the fuel dial before departing on your adventure – normally the rental firm will automatically provide a full tank of fuel, and document the level when going through your vehicle inspection.  Upon returning the vehicle just make sure you fill the tank to the same level, as they will charge for the deviation and some charge an additional fee for the inconvenience.

Always wash the Car and clean the interior

Always wash clean the interior, remove all the Fiji Water bottles, and snack wrappers that have accumulated in the side pockets. Most of the larger stations offer a car washing facility, and some offer it at a reduced price if you fill a full tank, so a combo deal could be available. Keep the receipt in hand, ready to present to the rental firm. This avoids you from having to pay a small fee normally between 20-30 dollars when returning the vehicle to the vendor. Anything for a simple life.

In Fiji, numerous local residents set up modest shelters along the roadside, advertising their small car wash businesses with signs. Typically charging between 5 to 10 dollars, these entrepreneurs offer services such as powerwashing the vehicle’s exterior, cleaning windows, and thorough interior cleaning, including floor mats and rubbish removal.

Visitor Advisory 1: The majority of these establishments, comprising 99 percent, are characterized by hardworking and trustworthy individuals. However, it is essential for customers to exercise caution, as the remaining 1 percent may attempt to take advantage. To mitigate risks, patrons are advised to empty personal items from their cars upon parking, storing them in the trunk or keeping them close while waiting on the customer benches.

Advanced / Multiple Days Booking 

Although these do not guarantee you saving, there are opportunities of getting an extra day free if you book multi-days all together in one transaction, with greater savings potentially if you book way in advance.

If you opt for holiday periods outside of peak seasons and make consecutive-day reservations for car rentals, it should result in you retaining a few extra golden sovereigns in your pockets.

Discounts and Promotions

Explore Facebook and other social media platforms for rental car discounts, promotions, and special offers, including loyalty programs and promotional codes that can substantially lower your rental costs, as these platforms are widely used by companies for disseminating updated information.

Check your tire pressure

Checking and adjusting tire pressure is a small yet crucial aspect of cost-saving and ensuring a smoother driving experience. A tire underinflated by 5-10 percent can lead to a 2 percent increase in fuel consumption, and imbalances between tires can result in an uncomfortable ride. For an accurate pressure reading, it’s recommended to check tire pressure when the tires are cold, after the car has been stationary for some time.

Step by Step Guide on how to adjust your tire pressure:

  • Position your car close to the air compressor so that the hose can reach all four tires.
  • Turn on the air compressor.
  • Remove the stem caps from each tire and set them aside.
  • Press the hose fitting down onto the valve stem and engage the lever. You should feel air flowing through the hose, inflating the tire. It may take some effort to hold the hose securely on the valve stem.
  • When the tire reaches the correct pressure, the machine will typically beep, accompanied by a visual indicator on the screen.
  • Adjust the pressure in all the tires using the same method.
  • Replace the valve caps on all the tires to prevent dust and debris from affecting the valve stems.
  • By following these steps, drivers can ensure that their tires are properly inflated, promoting fuel efficiency, a smoother ride, and overall vehicle safety.
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