One of the bigger expenses in travel or vacation are rental cars. The costs seem to keep going up and up. What’s worse, is it seems like they keep adding more and more fees, taxes and other charges. In some cases, the fee’s can add up to 50% or more of the total cost of the rental car.
Recently I took a trip to Austin Texas for 5 days and I needed a car to get around. When I looked at the costs of the rental car it was close to $400 (about $275 for the rental and then $125 in extra fees like vehicle parking fee, recovery charge, etc…). I had priced out the car picking it up at Austin Airport. A lot of time they charge much higher daily rates, fees and taxes at airport locations. So then I checked the rates at locations within 10 miles of the airport. I was able to find a rate for just over $200 (including all taxes and fees). There were several locations that all had the same rate, so I picked the location that was closer to where I ultimately had to be that day. Best of all, I was able to drop the car back off at the airport at no additional cost (just be sure to select the airport as the returning location). Most times there is no extra fee or drop off charge if the airport is close to the pick up location.
When I landed, instead of having to wait for the rental car shuttle bus, I jumped in to a taxi to take me directly to the other rental car location. Once I got there, I had no one in front of me, so I got to get in the car and go. The cab ride was about $30-40, so I figured I still saved over $150. Plus since I did not have to wait, I actually got to my destination faster than if I had picked up the car at the airport.
This trick is most effective when you are renting a car for multiple days as the savings will more than offset the cost of a taxi.
Oh and working for CouponSurfer, I did use one of our rental car coupons.