If you're flying to a destination for business or pleasure and you don't plan to spend 100% of your time at the hotel or resort, you are going to need a rental car. While many of you are of the mind to Uber it here and there, not everyone — including me — likes to rely on that mode of transportation.
But the cold hard truth is that depending upon where you are going, rental cars can be expensive. I'm headed to Florida soon for a quickie business trip and I was able to get a deal on a rental car for 4 days for a midsize car from Budget for $50. I couldn't believe how cheap this was. BUT, I didn't book it through Budget.
Earlier this year, my husband and I were planning on driving from our home in Orange County, California, up the coast of California to Napa and then back to San Francisco, and our plan was to fly out of San Francisco to head back to Orange County. We were pricing decent rental cars -- and by that I mean cars that have enough room for our suitcases and were also powerful enough to make it up the Big Sur as we had done this same drive years ago with a Chrysler 300 and that car was having a really hard time with the inclines.
So we priced the rental car through every major and not so major rental car company and found it would cost nearly $1,000 for about 9 days. That is crazy!
I was then reading Facebook one day and a friend of mine, Heidi, had posted she had just saved a ton of money on a rental car through Sam's Club! Hey, I was a member of Costco and yet I never thought about purchasing any travel services through there. We priced it out and our Avis rental car was less than half when we went via Costco. And I mean half of booking direct with Avis itself! My $50 rental car for Florida was also purchased through Costco as well for a Budget rental car.
Costco asks its vendors to give them better pricing based on volume so that is why the prices for any product in the store are often less than you'll find anyplace else. I'm a big believer in this now and I'll always price out my rental car through one of the membership clubs first. So far, so good. I've not been disappointed yet.
If you are looking for a rental car, check out Sam's Club, Costco, or BJs first! And if you aren't a member of any of the wholesale clubs
, the cost savings for just that one rental, might be worth the annual membership fee!