Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cheapest Way To Rent An SUV

Would 3 car seats would fit in the back of a full-size sedan rental car?

I wasn't sure. 2 months before our trip, I noticed that CarRentals.com offered an SUV at the base rate of $24/day.

"Sounds good," I murmured, opening a new window to cross check prices on Enterprise and Hotwire. (I prefer CarRentals.com because you need only make a reservation, not a pre-payment.)

Who knew we'd be getting an Expedition for the cost of an Escort?

When your other car is a 17-year-old station wagon, driving a Texas-size vehicle is an adventure!

16 comments:

Roxie700 said...

Yes, those big new cars are nice. Love to have one myself. But the price to keep them in gasoline is a real 'downer' to me. I drive a 11year old suburban. It has a 42 gallon tank. I once spent almost $200.00 to fill the tank when gas was over $4.00 a gallon. I do not drive much. Maybe 20 miles a week. So we keep it. It is great for grocery shopping etc. We also have a travel trailer that this suburban pulls for our vacations.

Sandy said...

Yay for a bargain! We actually have a ... suburban (I know, gas hog!) But it's been pd. for for yrs. and for our active family, we need it! We only drive it long-distances when we have to.

Did I tell you we bought our Volvo station-wagon at a garage sale yrs ago? It was the best car!

50s Housewife said...

Wow! What a deal!

Looks like lots of us drive Suburbans. :) I love mine. Quite often between my own kids and the carpool kids I have every seat full. It's also really nice and comfortable for long trips (like to all those "away" football games that my son played in). We got a super good deal on it last Summer when gas prices were so high.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Is a Suburban the same size as an Expedition? I'm thinking so.

We were surprised how huge it felt with our small kids. We had to yell so that they could hear us in the back, and it was hard to climb in and buckle their seats for me.

However, it was awfully nice to have room for other people like Grandma in the same car!

Anyway, this Expedition normally rents at $100 a day, so it was a good way to see how it fit our family.

Susan said...

That sounds like a fun experience! We have a big, full size van that seats 8 adults. Like Roxie, when gas was over $4.00/gallon, it cost me about $100.00 to fill it up. And because we live in a rural area and have to drive a long distance to get ANYWHERE, the gas kills us when the price shoots up. But when you have a big family, there aren't a lot of options. These larger sized vehicles are definately a plus as your kids get older and larger, and if you don't really have to drive too far on a day-to-day basis, I think they can actually be a pretty good bargain. Most people will sell them for almost nothing when gas shoots up, and then go out and buy a brand new car, and go into a lot of debt for it, so that they can "save" money on gas. And when that's the case, I think it doesn't always make financial sense because the payback time takes forever to make it all wothwhile.
Anyway, glad you had a fun experince with a neat vehicle!
Susan

Amy Ellen said...

We drive a suburban and recently it was down and had to drive a little car. I HATE LITTLE CARS!!!!! In my defense I also have 6 kids so we fit into nothing else, but we have it back now with a new transmission, and our brakes will be fixed tomorrow, and I shall never drive a tiny car again if I can help it. I hate not being that high up. I always feel as if someone is gonna smush us way down in a tiny car like that, LOL Besides I can actually haul a weeks worth of groceries in the subruban, no way in a small car.

Roxie700 said...

Actually I think the new suburbans are smaller than mine. Mine is a 1998. Our friends have a 2004 suburband and hers is smaller than mine.
I know the Ford Expedition is a very large car. I do believe it is bigger than the suburban.

I love my suburban for long trips. It is so nice to have room for luggage, an ice chest with drinks and food, and a few different toys for the boys. We fold the 3rd seat down most of the time.

We also have a small extended cab truck. We take most of our week day trips in that. Much better gas milage and easy to park.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

That was a really fantastic deal on a rental!

My dad had an Expedition several years ago, and I borrowed it for a week. When I returned it and went back to driving my Honda Civic, I felt like my rear was dragging on the ground! It felt very strange to go from something so big to something so little.

In defense of little cars, my tiny Honda was rear-ended on the highway by a car, knocked into the left lane where I was hit again by an 18-wheeler, sent spinning across all the other lanes where I was about to hit the barrier wall head-on until a Ford F-150 hit me and knocked me straight. I came out of that without a scratch or even a bruise! Okay, God really gets the credit for that, but my Honda came out of that with only rear-end and some side damage. Two months in the shop, and it was good as new! That is one amazing little car!

Stacy said...

oh my goodness that last line was adorable! Yay for a bigger rental!

Robin said...

You didn't mention which agency you rented from, but I'd like to throw out a warning. Check on the agency you are going to rent with, especially if it's not a national or known to you company.

I got a great deal on a rental car that ended in them trying to pin pre-existing damage on us. It wasn't until we got a family member lawyer involved that they backed off. The stress wasn't worth the deal.

YMMV

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

good point, Robin!

That's one of the reasons I use CarRentals.com over other Internet car rental sites.

You get to see which company advertises each special instead of pre-paying to a blind company.

Carrentals.com is simply a reservation agency, not a car rental company.

What I like to do is select the best offer, then go directly to that company's website to see if I can find a better weekend rate, AAA rate, etc.

We dont rent cars that often but every little bit helps!

Tubo Family said...

Last time we rented a car we ended up with a "Grandpa & Grandpa" Mercury Gran Marquis for the price of standard rental. Not great on gas but plenty of room for car seats and even an old school bench seat in front for a middle passenger.

TimandKim said...

how did you get this deal? I didn't see it on their website.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I booked it 2 months ago, and that deal is no longer available.

However, you can bookmark Carrentals.com and check it for your next trip! I consistently find better prices there than on Hotwire or similar sites.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Again I would like to point out that this is not a paid or affiliate link to Carrentals.com.

I just happened to have used the site on our weekend trip and thought I would share the great rate we found!

Workin' MAMA! said...

On our trip this summer, I could use a break and deal like this one!
thanks for sharing this resource -
A nice treat without expense while driving to mama's in the south after landing ---

Again, you've come through!

latrice