Monday, July 06, 2009

How To Save On Car Rentals

I am set to take a fairly extensive trip this summer, actually, two of them. Since they are out of town, I will be renting cars. Unfortunately, one of the trips I pretty much don't have a choice, since the area is unfamiliar, San Juan, Puerto Rico, but to get the car at the airport. Renting cars at the airport is often a really bad idea. What you save in convenience you lose substantially in price difference, often 50% or more in sur charges, including airport fees, taxes, vehicle licensing, transfer fees, and more. State and local municipalities are absolutely hurting and will tack on taxes for tourists to pay for just about anything. One aggravating cost is paying for stadiums, or California's tourism tax. Hello, I shouldn't be penalized for visiting the state?!! I am not making that up.

Back to our story. To help mitigate the cost of car rental, and avoid taxes/fees as much as possible, rent off-site from an airport. While you might not think there is a viable option, a short taxi cab to a local suburban destination might be your saving grace. Recently, I saved over $200 off a rental by electing to rent from Avis in San Bruno, CA vs. at SFO. The difference in distance? Less than one mile...