How to find cheap rental cars

The 14 Best Car Rental Booking Sites for 12222

Use it during your vacation and then drive it back up North! In the fall, it works in reverse in the fall. You can get a deal in the North and drive it down to Florida. Avis availability is April 1 through May Use AWD code R at checkout to score these deals.

Rates are valid for a max of consecutive-days. Taxes, concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges may apply and are extra. Book here. Offer valid for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft.


Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Offer valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Competing car rental agencies will likely roll out rates similar to those you saw above in the weeks ahead. Because of the cheap price, there will be a lot of restrictions on these deals — plus additional taxes and fees. But if you can make it work, this is a real steal.

Expect some differences between your typical American rental car and what you'll likely get in Europe, where midrange cars have less passenger room, vast trunk space is unheard of, and manual transmissions are the norm. Automatics are more expensive usually about 50 percent more and may only be available if you upgrade to a bigger, pricier car.

Some Americans find automatics worthwhile when driving in Great Britain and Ireland , where it can be enough of a challenge just to drive on the left. Since supplies are limited, you'll need to book an automatic farther in advance than a manual-transmission car.

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You'll find a better selection of automatics in big cities and airports. Don't waste time carefully choosing among models, since you're not guaranteed to get the exact car you signed up for, just a "similar" model. I normally rent the smallest, least-expensive model with a stick shift — not just to save money, but because larger cars are not as maneuverable on Europe's narrow, winding roads. If more than two adults are traveling, it can be worth it to move up to a larger class of car.

It's best and less stressful to begin your driving experience away from big cities, so try picking up your car away from major destinations. A pleasant scenario for a trip to England would be to start out sans car in the smaller city of Bath, rent a car when leaving Bath, explore Britain at your driving leisure, then drop off the car in York and take the train into London, where you can rely on the excellent public transportation system. That way you'd enjoy the three major city stops on your England itinerary — where the last thing you'd want is a car — without paying for one.

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That said, beware the possible inconveniences of picking up your car in a small town — a tiny regional office almost certainly has a smaller fleet on hand. Don't plan to pick up or drop off your car in a small town on a Saturday afternoon, Sunday, or holiday, when offices are likely to be closed except for train station and airport locations.

Picking up a car at an airport or city train station usually costs more than picking it up downtown. If you don't need a car immediately after your arrival, look into a cheaper rental with a downtown pickup price. But airport or train-station pickup may still be worth it; many in-town rental locations have shorter hours and may close at midday or are buried in a maze of narrow streets. Also consider traffic — it may be easier to drive away from an airport or train station than a parking garage in the heart of the city.

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Before choosing a rental location, find it on a map. Some rental agencies will drop the car off at your hotel — for a fee. European cars are rented in hour periods, so select your pickup and drop-off times carefully — if you pick up the car at 10 a.

Don't book your pickup time for earlier than you really need the car. Book a drop-off time that falls within that location's office hours or make sure the drop-off location has an after-hours drop box. Sometimes it can make a lot of sense to start and end your car rental in different cities. One-way rentals are often free within the same country, but dropping off in another country will likely cost extra. Certain places seem to be especially expensive for one-way cross-border trips Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and far eastern Europe.

The extra cost of a one-way rental can still be worth it if it saves you a very long drive back to your first country. But if the last leg of your trip isn't too far from the border of the country you started in, a small tweak to your rental plans can save you plenty. Let's say you're renting a car in France for a trip that ends in Barcelona. By dropping the car off within France in the town on Perpignan, i. See my regional maps showing approximate one-way train-ticket prices , most of which show prices between major cities and the nearest border.

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Loading Disqus Comments Pick up location. This might help someone find deals they might have otherwise skimmed over. But there are still a few independent and somewhat-national brands out there, like Payless Car Rental or Fox Rent A Car, that usually offer comparable vehicles at lower rates. Additionally, you can pick up your vehicle at any of our locations, whether that be locally or at the airport. But if the last leg of your trip isn't too far from the border of the country you started in, a small tweak to your rental plans can save you plenty. I like to take a few pictures of both the outside and inside of my car in case they try to charge me upon return for damage that was present when I got the car.

When booking, also ask about your options and the costs involved in case you change your plans en route and want to drop off your car at an office in another city or on a different date. Get quotes for weekly rentals. Typically, the longer you rent, the less it'll cost per day.

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You may find that renting for a full seven days costs the same as, or even less than, five or six days. Double-check currency conversions when comparing prices. Some foreign-based rental-company sites use fudged conversion rates that make the price in dollars look cheaper than the price that'll actually show up on your credit-card bill. Convert prices yourself on a conversion site such as Oanda. Pay up front.