Author Topic: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?  (Read 7052 times)

Shelz123

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Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« on: April 14, 2016, 10:35:49 AM »
I live in a big city and don't even own a car, which is fine most of the time. But once a year, we fly across the country for a big family vacation, and I have to rent a car for a week. Every year I try to do research about how to cut the cost, but invariably I find myself spending $350-$400 on a car, for a week. It kills me.

Part of it is that, because I don't have car insurance, I feel I have to buy (at least some of) the pricey extra coverage the rental companies offer. For awhile, I also had to rent a car seat for my little one from the car company, though those days are finally over. I feel like there has to be a better way, someplace to find deals on this (especially if I'm booking far in advance, as I will be this year). What are your hacks to save money on renting a car?

wrangler05

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 11:30:55 AM »
Try turo.com

it's like airbnb for renting a car. You can find used cars/older cars for competitive prices and they usually have a weekly deal.

you can cut the insurance completely by renting using a credit card that provides complete insurance while renting. My citi platinum has that offer, They provide zero deductible full coverage insurance for any rental. Call you credit card company and check with them.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 11:42:37 AM »
If you're a USAA member you can get discounts on rental cars, plus you'll get some liability coverage included. Wife travels for work and we price shop rental cars through their website. (my dad is a veteran, therefore I'm eligible)

To ensure the rental car itself is covered for damage, use a credit card with rental car coverage. Just read your credit card agreement/benefits document.

mm1970

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 12:40:39 PM »
This is greatly location dependent.  You can rent a car for pretty cheap in Norfolk, VA.

Pittsburgh, PA?  $700 a week at least.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 12:52:11 PM »
We've also used RelayRides with great success.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 01:11:36 PM »
Compare prices a lot
Not booking from airport if possible helps sometimes
Try Rent a Wrek

Do you need to rent a car?

Also, try these:
http://www.mymoneyblog.com/autoslash-com-car-rental-price-search-engine.html
http://www.mymoneyblog.com/autoslash-review.html

StacheDash

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 02:18:36 PM »
We've used reward points from a Barclay's Arrival Plus to pay for a rental car on our last vacation.  We also limited the rental to the days we actually rented it.

We learned this after our trip, but Enterprise said they would pick us up at the airport (where the cars are more expensive) and transport us to their cheaper location.  We didn't do this ourselves, but it sounds promising.

wrangler05

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 02:37:37 PM »
We've also used RelayRides with great success.

Yep, I suggested the same, relayrides.com is the new turo.com

Dee18

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2016, 04:39:45 PM »
I recently had great success with autoslash booking for a trip this summer to NH, but could not get a good rate anywhere for a spring week in Fl.  For insurance, I just use my Chase Sapphire credit card.  It provides primary insurance if you rent with it.

HipGnosis

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2016, 08:13:34 AM »
Try turo.com

it's like airbnb for renting a car. You can find used cars/older cars for competitive prices and they usually have a weekly deal.

I used turo when my car was out of service for a few days.  I 'might' have gotten a better rate at Enterprise rental, but I'm pretty sure their advertised/posted rates don't include all the fees you eventually get charged.
My turo experience went very well.  The owner seemed willing to be more flexible than a rental Co.  Their 800 support # answered a couple questions I had pretty quickly.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 08:57:05 AM »
I recently rented a sub-compact at Laguardia Airport near NYC for $17 per day (though I got soaked on the liability insurance for another $18 per day) using Priceline, who hooked me up with Hertz.  With Priceline you have to pay in advance, which is a risk.

geekette

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2016, 09:17:37 AM »
It's hugely location/date dependent. I'll shop around, then use Priceline. There are a few tricks to home in on a good deal (if you put in the wrong credit card security code, and it responds asking for the code, that means you can get a car at that price.  Otherwise it just says nope, try again).

I use a credit card with good insurance, but have yet to need it anyway.

norabird

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 09:50:58 AM »
Agree about relying on your credit card's rental coverage for insurance instead of paying through the rental company.

garion

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 01:47:58 PM »
+1 on renting a car downtown versus at the airport. There can be a huge price difference, although pick-up hours tend to be more limited.

AlanStache

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2016, 02:13:48 PM »
With using the CC insurance make sure the CC will cover the car you rent, American Express has a clause excluding anything powerful or sporty without defining what powerful or sporty are (or words to that effect). 

chesebert

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2016, 06:52:47 PM »
I live in a big city and don't even own a car, which is fine most of the time. But once a year, we fly across the country for a big family vacation, and I have to rent a car for a week. Every year I try to do research about how to cut the cost, but invariably I find myself spending $350-$400 on a car, for a week. It kills me.

Part of it is that, because I don't have car insurance, I feel I have to buy (at least some of) the pricey extra coverage the rental companies offer. For awhile, I also had to rent a car seat for my little one from the car company, though those days are finally over. I feel like there has to be a better way, someplace to find deals on this (especially if I'm booking far in advance, as I will be this year). What are your hacks to save money on renting a car?
Use cc for loss damage waiver. Pay the liability insurance.

chesebert

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 06:54:10 PM »
Try turo.com

it's like airbnb for renting a car. You can find used cars/older cars for competitive prices and they usually have a weekly deal.

you can cut the insurance completely by renting using a credit card that provides complete insurance while renting. My citi platinum has that offer, They provide zero deductible full coverage insurance for any rental. Call you credit card company and check with them.

I think this is wrong. To my knowledge no cc company offers liability insurance with rental.

wrangler05

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 02:59:54 PM »
Try turo.com

it's like airbnb for renting a car. You can find used cars/older cars for competitive prices and they usually have a weekly deal.

you can cut the insurance completely by renting using a credit card that provides complete insurance while renting. My citi platinum has that offer, They provide zero deductible full coverage insurance for any rental. Call you credit card company and check with them.

I think this is wrong. To my knowledge no cc company offers liability insurance with rental.

most of the credit cards provide secondary insurance, that means they cover the deductibles etc.,

cards like chase sapphire provide primary coverage(full insurance) when you Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.

retiringearly

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 03:09:28 PM »
Look at renting a car through Costco's travel services.  They have pretty aggressive pricing.

chesebert

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Re: Does renting a car have to be crazy expensive?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2016, 12:19:25 PM »
Try turo.com

it's like airbnb for renting a car. You can find used cars/older cars for competitive prices and they usually have a weekly deal.

you can cut the insurance completely by renting using a credit card that provides complete insurance while renting. My citi platinum has that offer, They provide zero deductible full coverage insurance for any rental. Call you credit card company and check with them.



I think this is wrong. To my knowledge no cc company offers liability insurance with rental.

most of the credit cards provide secondary insurance, that means they cover the deductibles etc.,

cards like chase sapphire provide primary coverage(full insurance) when you Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.
Collision insurance (i.e., LDW) is different from liability insurance. You need both; Chase cards only provide LDW and not liability. The last thing you want is you cause some damage and the other side sues you for $1mil bucks.

Technically, you also need personal effects and personal injury insurance, but those are not critical if you don't transport super expensive things or you are otherwise covered under your health insurance.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 12:22:57 PM by chesebert »