TravelBuzz - Best way to rent car for 4-6 weeks
Mikey likes it
Aug 30, 03, 8:19 pm
I am changing jobs soon, and I think I am going to take 4-6 weeks off to play golf and go to football games.*
If I wind up doing this, I will rent a car and travel to visit friends, play golf and watch football all across the Midwest.
I want to minimize the cost of the car. It doesn't have to be anything more than a fullsize rental car, like a Chevy Malibu.
Any strategies to either a) use points/miles to cover the cost of some or all of the rental or b) get a good deal?
*pending spousal negotiation
Aug 31, 03, 12:52 am
We had a Van in South Africa for these 5 or 6 weeks our family (we flew forth and back depending on who gotten when vacation, just spent xmas together) was there. Just called some agencys and looked for the best rate and then took that one.
Usually rental agencys are pretty good if they know you will have the car a few weeks, and there are agencys who are specialized in dealing with long term rentals. What is also possible is that you ask a few car dealerships. They sometimes have cars standing around where a few more thousend miles dont matter and that they rent out...longterm might also get you a good rate.
Watch out with "CrediCard" Collision insurance.
Sometimes they don't cover if the rental is for more than 15 or 30 days.
Aug 31, 03, 9:14 am
Do you plan on returning to Chicago in the middle of your trip? Car rentals become more complex when they are longer than 2 weeks: you usually can't take advantage of the promo rates or use discount/upgrade coupons on longer rentals. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to switch out cars, you'll save some money. (Example: quick search on ORD yields monthly rates for a full-size at $900+, two-week rate is around $300. And that's before applying any discounts/upgrades you might have.)
If you can do the switching to keep these rentals in the 2-week range, then it becomes a normal exercise of finding your best rate across all companies (including airport and off-airport locations), and then letting Priceline try to beat it.
When comparing off-airport vs. airport rental costs, make sure to consider total costs including taxes and fees.
Aug 31, 03, 7:28 pm
Avis has a "Mini-Lease" program. The minimum used to be 29 days, but checking the website I see the new minimum is 60 days. Here's the link anyway as an FYI (note the FF miles info):
Aug 31, 03, 7:44 pm
That Avis deal looks good... but maybe you should consider purchasing a car then selling it 6 weeks later.
You'll pay sales tax, liscense, title fees, and possibly interest if you need to take a loan. This could be less than the cost of a rental.
Aug 31, 03, 10:12 pm
I did the mini lease for months at a time. You have to take the car back once per 30 day period. It is a good deal, costs more than owning a car but less than renting. We paid $800 or $900 per month that included everything for a nice car, I think a Grand Prix. No maintenance, just gas, everything else is their problem.
I've never done the Avis mini-lease, but I looked into it before. It seemed to be pretty good.
Talk to an agent about it; they may be more flexible on something that's 30-60 days, and, at least when I called, the agent sent me an info kit with a $50 off coupon.