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  1. Default Best place to rent vehicles for multi-state road trips

    What is the most cost effective way to rent a vehicle for longer road trips during winter?
    Something 4x4 would be preferable.

    Also do some rental companies provide chains for tires?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Shop and Negotiate

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are so many variables involved in the pricing of car rentals that it's hard to give you any hard and fast rules. But a few good general strategies are: Search as many options as you can: national and local companies. Know going in what the average price range looks like. Make sure that you're looking at the same category of vehicles in each case. To your advantage, winter should be a somewhat slow period for rentals, and prices may decrease a bit to attract more customers. The same is true of longer-term rentals, which should also be discounted from the weekly rate. Finally, call your best bets and see if they're offering any special deals during the time you want to rent, or as part of any rewards programs.

    Chains, however, are another story. Most car rental companies will not allow them, let alone supply them. They do damage to the car with little return to the driver except over-confidence. While the most visible and costly damage chains do to cars is to the wheel wells, they also damage the tires, damage which would be clearly visible when you returned the car.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Since chains are obviously a "no-no" with rental cars, there are a few other options:

    * If it's snowing/sleeting, get off the road and hole-up somewhere and wait it out until the road crews can do their job.

    * If renting a 4x4 is possible, that's a good thing. Another alternative, though, is an AWD vehicle of some sort. We prefer Subaru, because Subaru AWD is considered symmetrical. Other vehicle manufacturers have AWD though, just not a lot of different models.

    * Keep your trip flexible. If there is a winter storm moving into a place, head elsewhere.

    * Remember that black ice means clear ice that you can't see. Stay off roads that may not be serviced immediately, like county and local roads. The first ones serviced are usually interstate highways, then US highways, then state highways that are lengthy.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A round trip can save money.

    The most cost effective is usually to return it to the same place you picked it up from which avoids One way rental fees. If you're not renting from your hometown then looking at different starting point options along your route can also help but also check that any rental savings don't get used up in flight costs. (If thats the case) Rental could be a good place to start to get a feel of any deals out there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default To add to all the other great advice above....

    It's two years ago now, when I rented a vehicle for 5 months. Rented from Budget. Wanted a special model, but no one had one. Settled for second best. When picking up the vehicle I saw my preferred in the yard. Queried why? Was told it needed to be fixed, a relatively minor fix, in the scheme of things. When I agreed to do to it, I was given my preferred vehicle for the cost of my second choice, for the first 2 months.

    So don't forget to ask when you get there. You'll never know what's available, if you don't.


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