How to rent a better car for less

There is a common misconception that economy and compact cars are the least expensive, but that isn’t always the case.

 

Size doesn’t always matter

Car rental companies have taken a page out the hotel playbook and are establishing rental prices using yield management based upon supply and demand.  What this means is that if their most popular rental is a Mid-Size, but they have an abundance of SUV’s on the lot, you may get a better daily rate by upgrading to the SUV.

For this example below, we pulled rates from Hertz for a 4 day rental and as you can see, the midsize car at $153.11 is less expensive than the economy and compact both!

Further down you’ll see that a pickup truck is offering an even better rate.

Economy        35.23D   UNL      .00                  167.10

Compact        35.23D   UNL      .00                  167.10

Midsize          31.58D   UNL      .00                  153.11

Standard       36.35D   UNL       .00                  171.39

Pickup           32.39D   UNL      .00                   134.86

Rent offsite & save

The majority of car rentals are done at airports, where vacationers & business travelers arrive in droves.  But most big cities also have off-airport car rental locations, and they may be overall cheaper as there aren’t any airport concession fees, and the demand is less. 

For this example, we compared Hertz rental rates at DFW Airport vs a Dallas local area rental office.

Hertz DFW Airport Location

Economy             35.73D   Total: $225.36

Compact             35.73D  Total: $225.36

Midsize                36.85D  Total: $231.08

Standard             36.85D  Total: $231.08

Full                       36.85D  Total: $231.08

Midsize SUV        38.28D  Total: $238.38

Hertz Dallas Local Rental Office

Economy       40.98D   Total: $192.59

Compact       40.98D  Total: $192.59

Midsize         42.98D  Total: $201.39

Standar         44.98D  Total: $210.19

Fullsize         45.98D  Total:  $214.59

As you can see, while the daily rate appears cheaper at the airport location, the overall rental cost at the at the local office is less, because you don’t have to pay the airport concessions.  Sometimes these savings can be substantial

Join a loyalty program

Loyalty programs like Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and others, are typically free to sign up for and can provide you with discounted rates and other benefits especially in terms of convenience, i.e. E-return, skip the line, free upgrades & more, plus you’ll accrue points that can be used towards a variety of other benefits.  If you are a frequent traveler, this is a must!

Click here to join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards for free!