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Saving money on a rental car

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

When visiting Orlando, I highly recommend a rental car.  While you can choose the Disney bus system if staying on property, and a lot of local properties provide shuttles to the major parks, the flexibility and time savings of a car are well worth the extra expense.  With that in mind, here are some tips on rental cars.

 


  • Use an aggregation site like Orbitz, Expedia, etc to get a handle on the state of the market, but book directly through the rental car company's site to get the best price
  • Rent from one of the companies that is located at the airport.  The rental car garage is literally right outside baggage claim, so you will save a lot of time versus a company that requires a shuttle to their facility.
  • In my experience, Dollar Rent a Car has the best pricing or darn close to it every time I've gone.  Compare anything you find against their website.
  • Join the loyalty program for the company you rent from.  It's free and you won't have to stand in line to pick up your car.
  • Rent whatever the best option is on the day you look knowing it is easy to cancel your reservation and replace it with a cheaper one down the road
  • With this last tip in mind, check prices about once a week up until your trip.  Rental pricing in Orlando moves around a lot and unless you are really unlucky, you will eventually find a ridiculously low price if you keep looking.   
  • Bring small bills or coins for the tolls from the airport.  
  • Fill up the gas on your return a couple of exits before hitting the airport.  There are options right next to the airport, but you have to be careful for scams.  If you don't see a posted price, you don't want to stop at that station.  Many of these stations charge double or more the going rate per gallon.  And of course, the rental car companies themselves charge usurious rates if you fail to remember to fill up.

 

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