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.)



2 Comments:
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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