Save with near-airport car rentals

6

When booking travel around the holidays, car rentals can be shockingly expensive. Rentals that are usually about $30 per day often shoot up to $100 per day or more. If you’re staying a while, that difference can add up to huge expenses very quickly. If you find yourself in this situation, consider looking for “near airport” car rentals. Here is an example where I searched for car rentals via Orbitz for a week in Florida around the Christmas holidays. The best price available via this search was from Budget for a total of $608 for the week:

By using Kayak, though, I can easily see car rentals that are available at off-airport locations. In the example shown below, I can rent a car for the week from Enterprise for a total of $245. That’s a savings of $363!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only problem now is that you still need some way to get to and from the rental car agency. If a friend or family member can help, great! Otherwise, use a tiny fraction of your savings to pay for a taxi. Also, check directly with the off-airport rental agency: Once I rented from an agency that had a presence both in the airport and off-site. In that case, I rented from the off-site location, and took a taxi to get there, but dropped off at the airport – all at off-airport rates!  Here are some additional tips thanks to reader Charles McCool:

  • Enterprise will pick up customers. I know they are not able to pick up at Ft. Lauderdale airport (not sure of other airports). I have not used Enterprise for years. I know someone that takes the first hotel shuttle (or a predetermined hotel shuttle) and has Enterprise meet them there.
  • Rather than a taxi, use hotel or other car rental shuttles. Tip a buck or two if needed.
  • Rather than a taxi, take a local public bus. Or hitch a ride (with a fellow passenger or other transport). Amazing what you can learn just by asking at info desk, talking to airport workers, or asking around baggage claim.
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Tom

I just did this in Calgary to save about $150, but interestingly they made me sign something saying I hadn’t just come from the airport, so they wouldn’t have to charge me more. The rental agent likely knew we had, but I didn’t speak up and he didn’t push it…

mark

Great post…though with some rental car agencies off-airport won’t earn miles.

Charles McCool

Glad you could use the additional info. It is always good to save money.

D

Had a rental at SNA (off site) where the Avis franchise owner picked me up and dropped me off @ the airport w/no charge. Price for the off site rental was 1/2 what the on site rental would have been.

Charles McCool

Great money saving strategy. I have done this a few times.Indeed, dropping at the airport is often the same (or LOWER) price than returning to local site.

Other tips:

– Enterprise will pick up customers. I know they are not able to pick up at Ft. Lauderdale airport (not sure of other airports). I have not used Enterprise for years. I know someone that takes the first hotel shuttle (or a predetermined hotel shuttle) and has Enterprise meet them there.
– rather than a taxi, use hotel or other car rental shuttles. Tip a buck or two if needed.
– rather than a taxi, take a local public bus. Or hitch a ride (with a fellow passenger or other transport). Amazing what you can learn just by asking at info desk, talking to airport workers, or asking around baggage claim.

Great strategy.

FrequentMiler

Thanks Charles. I liked your additions so much that I put them directly into the post. I hope you don’t mind!