Weekend car rental tips and tricks, particularly Hertz

Car rental companies are really weird in their pricing…prices are usually significantly cheaper over the weekends when all of the business travelers go home and return the cars. In October I am traveling to Los Angeles and looking to rent a car from Hertz since I got the free gold status, and triple points!

I am looking at renting a car from Thursday – Tuesday. Booking online, Hertz LAX quoted $235 for a weekly intermediate before taxes. Not unreasonable but still pricey for LA, especially since they’re running a promo for $14.99 (compact) per day weekend rate their homepage. So I decided to break up the reservations, Thurs – Sat and Sat – Tues Hertz offer me a weekend rate (non-special) for both reservations, this totaled about $130 before taxes saving around $100. 

Hertz also has a bunch of random coupons you can apply, such as PC 135892 which saves $10 per weekend day up to $40. But since it’s two reservations I got $50 savings. The only drawback to doing this is that you’ll have to swing by the location, drop off the first car and pick up the second card. But returning the car is quick, and with gold canopy service your name is on the arrivals board and car should be ready at your designated time. At LAX, if you rent an intermediate or above, they’ll let you pick the actual car through a feature called Gold Choice. I suggest trying to use Gold Choice, since last time I reserved a compact they gave me a really crappy Nissan Versa. What a terrible car to drive.

Next time you’re trying to reserve cars over a weekend try breaking up the reservation and see if you can get a lower rate. By the way, a “weekly” rental is generally anything 5-7 days long and price remains the same whether you rent 5,6, or 7 days. This applies for most companies, I just used Hertz as an example since they are running promos lately.

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1 Response

  1. wanderlustyleopard says:

    Thats a really good tip. Reminded me of the car rental pricing exercise we did in the Microecon class (remember that?). I rented a car in SFO for a week (5 days) a few years ago and landed up paying over $300. Yeah, silly me 🙁 Anyway, now I know better.

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