Recently, my family came up from
When it comes to the “little things” while traveling, nobody takes more advantage of you than rental car companies. They offer an attractive base price, weekly rate, daily rate, whatever, and then they kill you with fees and surcharges.
The best way to avoid the whole scam is to avoid renting the car in the first place. Take the subway, metro bus, taxi, hotel shuttle, or walk. If you do have to rent a car, pick it up downtown or near your hotel. You’ll save at least 10% vs. picking it up at the airport, I promise. Other rules:
- Drop it off where you picked it up. There are enormous fees for this, especially if you drop it off in a different state. One rental company charges $1,000 above and beyond the normal rate for a cross-country drop-off.
- Be aware of the 24 hour clock. If you rent a car for three days and you turn in after using for 73 hours… you just bought yourself a 4th day.
- Do NOT turn your car in early. They will revoke your quoted rate. If you secure a weekly rate and you turn your car in 4 days later (instead of 5), they will switch you over to the daily rate which is more expensive, and then they’ll hit you with an early return fee. Nice “1-2 punch!”
I had a blast with my family and we all stayed warm. My mom even went snow tubing with us! Of course, I’d warned them ahead of time that they’d need to prepare to buy a few things to cover their extremities. Thank God we didn’t have to rent a car when they got here or we’d have had to buy a few more!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.