Where You Rent Your Car Can Save You Money

How to save money renting cars

So there you are looking to rent a car, and one's normal instinct is to check with the closest rental car location of your preferred brand.

But here's an idea to try: Check different locations for their rates.


So the other day I was looking to rent a car and I noticed a peculiar thing: That different locations of the rental car agency I rent from had different daily rates on the very same car. Huh, so that got me to looking at things and sure enough, depending on your own locations and vicinity, you could be looking at saving some bucks on your car rental. If that's something you need to consider.

Here's my example:

I looked up three-day rental of an intermediate model car.

Near work, in Atherton, CA, the initial estimate cost $121.*

If I were to rent 20 miles south, from San Jose, CA, it would only run $116.

But if I rented from an office near where I live, it cost $83!

*BTW, everything located near Atherton/Redwood City costs a lot more, including prices in Redwood City Target Stores versus San Jose, etc., etc. I even found mechanics that wanted to charge me a few grand for a job, where a simple $100 repair did just fine at another town.

But I digress...

So if you're looking to find out where you might be able to pinch pennies renting a car, first head off to your rental car agency web site, choose your location and car type and check your rates. Then close the browser, open it again (I'm clearing cookies and data cache) and go to the second location and look up the same kind of car type and date range and see what the difference in prices are.

Sometimes the different isn't that big, but then again, in my case, it was pretty significant.

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