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!