Frank’s Guide to Renting a Car

I think there have been two occasions in the past year (one time during our wedding and one time when we flew to Delaware) where someone got made fun of for paying WAY TOO MUCH for a rental car. I almost forgot about my own little tricks when booking our next trip to Seattle/Vancouver next month.

Tip 1:  Use Hotwire

I like to use Hotwire.com for almost every hotel and car rental I reserve.  For those of you who don’t know works, for hotels, they guarantee you a hotel of certain quality for a really good price within a certain area.  For cars, it’s almost similar, except they guarantee you a certain size car for a certain price.  Catches:  1.) You don’t find out what hotel it is or where it’s located until after you’ve purchased.   2.) It’s non-refundable and it’s probably pretty hard to make changes to your reservation.

Tip 2:  Mess with the Pickup Time

Try moving your pickup time to an earlier (or later if possible) time as long as the total duration of your reservation doesn’t cause you to add another full day.  You might get some different rates based on the pickup time.  Even if your flight arrives in the evening, don’t hesitate to adjust your pickup time several hours before your flight arrives.  Just think of it as showing up late to pick up your rental.  You have up to 24 hours to pick up your car after the designated pick up time.

Follow these two quick tips and you’ll be on your way to success.  We saved almost $200 bucks on the car rental with our upcoming trip to Seattle doing this :-)

Figure 1:  Picking up at 12:00pm

Figure 2:  Picking up at 12:30pm