Car Rental Research Pays: Tip-of-the-Day #89


My boyfriend was in a hurry to drop his car off today for servicing and to rent a car for his road trip to Lake Tahoe. He had me drive him to his dealership in Marin and then back to the city to pick up his rental car. The first question I asked him: "Did you check with your dealership to see if they had a loaner you could use?" He said he had and that they were fresh out of loaners. My second question: "Does your dealership have an arrangement with a rental car company? Perhaps one by which you could benefit from a preferred partner discount?" He hadn't thought of that.

After dropping him off at the rental agency (that he hadn't taken any time to research for discounts), I jumped online and discovered a few things.

1. A Costco membership would have saved him 25%+ on the car rental. That right there easily covers the cost of membership if you have the car, say three days. Do the math: He is spending $67 a day without a discount and $37 with it. That's a $30 difference and multiplied over 3 days that's a $90 savings!

2. He did take my advice and asked the rental car agency for a discount associated with his dealership and he basically got the Costco break outlined in the point above.

3. Renting a car closer to where you're ultimately going to end up (in his case Marin since he has to go get his car again) would save time and money (bridge toll and possibly an extra rental day since generally you're charged for an extra day when you return your car an hour post-cutoff).

These are lessons we all continue to learn. But my motto (and I stick by it) is ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK! It saves a lot of money.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's hear it!