A Financial Revolution 

March 15, 2006
When Renting a Car, I Always Choose "Economy"

Last weekend, I rented a car from Alamo. As usual, I requested an economy car - typically a Geo Metro-sized car. I am certainly not a frequent car renter, but of the past 7 to 9 rentals in which I requested an economy car, I have never received one. Why? Well, I don't believe they even own (m)any economy cars. When I get to the rental counter, the discussion usually goes something like this:

  • Agent: I see you have an economy car. Our economy cars are Geo Metros and they don't provide much space. Would you like to upgrade to a mid-size sedan for only $15 more per day?
  • Me: No thank you. It's just me and I don't need much space.
  • Agent: The mid-size cars also handle much better and the weather report is calling for rain.
  • Me: Thanks, but I'll stick with the economy.
  • Agent: Hmmm. It appears that the economy cars are all out at the moment. I'm going to put you in a Chevy Impala at no extra charge.
  • Me: Thank you.

It never fails; we go through this same dance every time I rent a car. Has anyone had a different experience?

Fodors.com has other tips to save money on car rentals (e.g., never buy the "prepaid gas" option.)

Anonymous Jonathan said...

Another piece of advice is to skip the insurance (loss damage waiver). Most credit cards and auto insurance policies already cover accidents.

3/15/2006 11:44 PM  

Anonymous miriam said...

This happens to me also with some regularity.

3/16/2006 2:48 PM  

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