There is a misperceived notion that economy and compact cars are the least expensive.

Car rental companies have taken a page out the hotels hand book and are using yield management based upon supply and demand. 

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

Farther down, you will see that a pickup rental is offering even a 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

AIRPORT LOCATIONS VS LOCAL CITY RENTAL OFFICES

In locations where there are off airports locations, they may be overall cheaper as there aren’t any airport concession fees.  

For this example, we are comparing DFW Airport vs DFW City area local edition office

AIRPORT

Economy            35.73D   UNL      .00                  225.36 

Compact           35.73D   UNL      .00                   225.36 

Midsize             36.85D   UNL      .00                   231.08 

 Standard           36.85D   UNL      .00                 231.08 

Full                   36.85D   UNL      .00                   231.08

Midsize SUV       38.28D   UNL      .00                 238.38

OFF AIRPORT

Economy       40.98D   UNL      .00                  192.59 

Compact       40.98D   UNL      .00                  192.59 

Midsize         42.98D   UNL      .00                  201.39 

Standar         44.98D   UNL      .00                  210.19 

Full-size         45.98D   UNL      .00                  214.59